Suzzanne Douglas, a seasoned actress with four decades of stage and screen work under her belt, has passed away. She was 64 years old.
The cause of death of the “When They See Us” star was not disclosed, but his death was confirmed by his family on Tuesday evening.
“Suzzanne Douglas, a beautiful and talented actress made her transition today,” posted her cousin Angie Tee on Facebook. “She has warmed our hearts on movie screens and televisions around the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin.
Douglas was born in Chicago and raised in public housing by her single mother with her three siblings, Essence reported. She developed a passion for the arts at a young age and received a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, as well as a master’s degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music.
She appeared on Broadway – in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”, Weill’s “Threepenny Opera” and “The Tap Dance Kid” – throughout the 1980s before devoting herself full time to film and television.
Tee continued in her tribute: “I remember growing up, there weren’t a lot of black actresses who had lead roles – but there was my cousin with the lead role in ‘Tap’ alongside some great dancers. such as Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr., “Tee said in her emotional social media tribute.” She also performed with Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg in ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back’, ‘The Inkwell’, ‘Jason’s Lyric “and much more – the list goes on. The world will miss your talent but your soul will live on forever. Rest in heaven my beautiful cousin Suzzane, we will miss you RIP”
The actress was perhaps best known as Matriarch Jerri Peterson on the WB sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood”, in which she starred alongside Robert Townsend, 64, from 1995 to 1999.
Douglas won a NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for “Tap” from 1989, then starred in a leading film series, including the 2003 hit “School of Rock”. In 2015, she performed gospel legend Cissy Houston in a biopic of Whitney Houston – directed by her “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” co-star Angela Basset – on the Lifetime Network.
She has also been a frequent guest on top TV series including “Bull”, “Bones”, “The Good Wife”, “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”, “NYPD Blue” and many more.
She recently appeared in the acclaimed 2019 Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” which won two Emmy Awards.
Her friend Stephanie Perry Moore, writer and television producer, also paid tribute on Facebook, writing, “I have to stand by the side of greatness. Suzanne Douglas Cobb, I love you dear lady. Thank you for always watching me and showing me elegance and grace as you walk. My heart is heavy, but I am blessed to be a part of the legacy you have touched. I’m better because I know you.
“The sky is richer.”
Douglass is survived by her husband, neuro-radiologist Roy Jonathan Cobb, and their daughter Jordan.