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Danitra Vance

Danitra Vance

Cumpleaños: 1954-07-13 · Conocido Por: Acting

2 Películas


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Início de Vida

Raised in the South Side, Chicago, Vance grew up with her mother, younger sister, and maternal grandparents in a household where telling stories was the main form of entertainment, and graduated from nearby Thornton Township High School in 1972. In high school she was active in theater and was a member of the debate team. She later attended National College of Education before transferring to Roosevelt University in 1975, where she studied playwriting and acting, and graduated with honors. She then moved to London to study at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, where she was classically trained in Shakespeare and earned a MFA.Vance started her career performing with The Second City improv group before moving to New York City in 1981 with goals of performing only to face direct discrimination and return to the midwest to teach high school in Gary, Indiana, where her students helped inspire characters in her next show. She initially performed the characters in Old Town, Chicago.From November 30 – December 11, 1984, Vance mounted the show, "Danitra Vance and the Mell-o White Boys," at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. In a review of the piece that ran in the Village Voice, theater critic Alisa Solomon wrote that Vance's comedy "stabs while it entertains, actually causing a physical catch in your laughter, as she undercuts every pose she takes... Beginning with and then undermining stereotypes, Vance creates an unsettling tension among stereotypes, reality, and the conditions that create stereotypes." Among the characters she performed in the show were several that she later developed on Saturday Night Live – including teenaged mother Cabrini Green Jackson and Flotilla Williams (who performs a version of Romeo and Juliet's balcony scene from her fire escape), described as a "ghetto Shakespearean actress".== Saturday Night Live ==Vance was the first African American woman to become an SNL repertory player in 1985 (not to be confused with Yvonne Hudson from season six, who first appeared as a recurring extra for season four (1978–1979) and season five (1979–1980) and was hired as a feature player in 1981), the only SNL cast member to have a learning disability, and was the first lesbian cast member hired (though her sexual orientation never became public knowledge until her death). Her casting alongside Terry Sweeney was also the first time that Saturday Night Live had two LGBTQ+ cast members (as Sweeney was the show's first openly gay male cast member).Vance joined the SNL cast during a time of great transition and turbulence for the show, and she became frustrated over repeatedly having characters stereotypical of young, black women written for her.Vance ultimately was let go SNL at the end of the 1986 season along with many other cast members from that season who were dismissed, including Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, and Terry Sweeney, the other first LGBT member of the SNL cast. Recurring characters on SNL. That Black Girl, a black actress looking to hit the big time, despite being passed up because of her race (parody of Marlo Thomas's That Girl)Cabrini Green Jackson, a professional teenage mother and motivational speaker who gives advice on teen pregnancy= Celebrity impersonations. =Diahann Carroll (as Dominique Deveraux on Dynasty)Lola FalanaCicely TysonLeslie Uggams== Late career ==She was awarded an NAACP Image Award in 1986 and later won an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress for her performance in the theatrical adaptation of Spunk, a collection of short stories written by Zora Neale Hurston. That same year, Vance was also in the original cast of George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum; she would go on to reprise some of her performances therein for a 1991 Great Performances restaging of the play.Vance was the second female lead opposite Nancy Allen in Limit Up, where she played a guardian angel on assignment for God being played by Ray Charles. She had small roles in The War of the Roses and Little Man Tate and a more significant role in Jumpin' at the Boneyard, for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.== Death ==Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990, Vance underwent a single mastectomy and incorporated the experience into a solo skit, "The Radical Girl's Guide to Radical Mastectomy". She expanded on her experiences in a second, autobiographical show, titled "Pre-Shrunk" which was to be performed at The Public Theater. However, she was unable to perform as her cancer recurred in 1993. She died of the disease the following year in Markham, Illinois. She requested her funeral be held at an amusement park, and her family threw her a "going-away party" with apple bobbing and bean bag tossing to respect her wishes. She was survived by her partner, Jones Miller.== Filmography = References = External links ==Danitra Vance at the Internet Off-Broadway DatabaseDanitra Vance on IMDbDanitra Vance at AllMovieBiography from the website of

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