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Who Was Suzzanne Douglas Cobb? Biography, Career, and Death

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Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, an actress, dancer, and singer, was born on April 12, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois, to Lois Mae Thompson Douglas and Donald Douglas. She grew up in the Altgeld Gardens Homes public housing complex on the city’s far south side with her siblings.

Douglas graduated from Thornton Township High School in 1975, where she was involved in the dance and music ensembles. She attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois after graduating from high school.

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Douglas worked as an understudy in several New York City stage productions during the 1980s, including Little Shop of Horrors at the Orpheum Theatre from 1982 to 1984 and Into the Woods at the Martin Beck Theatre in 1987. She also appeared on stage in 1988 in Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of Playboy of the West Indies in New Haven, Connecticut.

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On February 11, 1989, Douglas married neuro-radiologist Roy Jonathan Cobb. They had a daughter named Jordan Victoria Cobb. In the same year, she starred as Amy Simms, a principal in the 1989 dance drama film Tap, alongside two legendary tap dancers, Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. For her role in Tap, Douglas received her first NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.” Douglas appeared as Sammy in the ABC and PBS special In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story in 1991.

On the syndicated sitcom “The Parent’ Hood,” Douglas portrayed Jerri Peterson, the wife of Robert Townsend who was also a mother and law student raising a family in New York City from 1995 to 1999. In 1999, she appeared as Brianna in “The Christmas Gift” episode of CBS’ Touched by an Angel. During this time, she also appeared in the film How Stella Got Her Groove Back, in which she played the disapproving sister of Angela Bassett’s character, who was in a relationship with a younger man.

Douglas made history as the first Black woman actor to play the lead role of a poetry professor battling ovarian cancer in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in 2000. Douglas graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Acting in 2011. She received her Master of Music in Jazz Vocal from New York’s Manhattan School of Music in 2015. She collaborated with legendary jazz musicians Thelonious Monk Jr. and Stanley Turrentine as a composer and singer.

Douglas’s last television appearance came in 2019 in “When They See Us.” She portrayed Grace Cuffe, one of the mothers of the five Black and Latino teenagers who were erroneously convicted of raping a 28-year-old white woman jogging in New York’s Central Park but who were later exonerated.

Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., died of cancer on July 6, 2021, at her home in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. She was 64.

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Written by How Africa News

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