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Wed, 09.24.1924

Theresa Merritt, Stage, Musicals, and TV actress born

Theresa Merritt

Theresa Merritt was born on this date in 1924. She was a Black actress.

She was born in Emporia, VA, and early on she was a back up singer for Harry Belafonte.  Merritt is probably best recognized from her role as “Mama Eloise” on the TV sitcom "That's My Mama." Merritt’s talents found success on TV, film, and the stage.

In 1985, she received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" on Broadway.  Her films included "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "All That Jazz," and she played “Aunt Em” in the musical "The Wiz."

She had four children including a pair of twins. Theresa Merritt died of skin cancer on June 12, 1998.

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