Whether on the stage or the screen, the greatest stories of our time are brought to life by great actors and actresses. One of those greats has passed on.
Award-winning actress Mary Alice, 85, died Wednesday in her New York apartment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Alice was best known for her Tony-award-winning performance as Rose in the play “Fences” and her role in TV’s “I’ll Fly Away,” which earned her an Emmy.
In 1987, Alice became a bonafide stage star after she won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Rose in “Fences.” She starred opposite James Earl Jones, who played Troy.
“I just tried to understand (Rose) and to place myself in her shoes,” Alice said in an interview at the time, the Daily News reported. “I think Troy is a character who has a magnificent spirit, and Rose had to be someone who would complement that, in her devotion, her support, her loving and nurturing and taking care of him.”
Alice is known to modern audiences for her role as The Oracle in “The Matrix Revolutions.” However, her career spanned decades and included working with other legends in Hollywood.
During the 1990s, Alice worked with such stars as Danny Glover in “To Sleep with Anger” and Robin Williams and Robert De Niro in “Awakenings,” the hit film directed by Penny Marshall. She also had roles on television with the popular sitcom “A Different World” and the legal drama “I’ll Fly Away,” where she was nominated twice for an Emmy.
Alice’s final screen credit came in 2005’s remake of “Kojack,” and by that time, she had more than enough wisdom to share. “You will work for many, many people. Sometimes it will be pleasant; sometimes it will be unpleasant,” Alice reportedly said in 2002. “So you need something within you that you know is yours and that no one can take away from you.”
The entertainment industry is more than just a diversion. The films, television shows, and stage productions are part of our shared culture — and one of those who created many roles in it has passed on.