Image of Louise Beavers

Louise Beavers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Louise Beavers (March 8, 1902 – October 26, 1962) was an American film and television actress. Beavers appeared in dozens of films and two hit television shows from the 1920s until 1960, most often cast in the role of a maid, servant, or slave. She was a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, one of the four African-American sororities. Beavers was a breakthrough actress for black women and became known as a symbol of a “mammy” on the screen. A mammy archetype "is the portrayal within a narrative framework or other imagery of a black domestic servant, generally good-natured, often overweight, and loud". Louise Beavers started her career in the 1920s. At the time, black people in films were limited to acting in only very few roles, usually as slaves or domestic help. She played the "mammy" in many of the movies she acted in. She started to gain more attention in the acting world after she played the role of Julia in Coquette, which starred Mary Pickford. In this film she played the black maid and mother figure to a young white woman. She once received a review which stated: "Personally, Miss Beavers is just splendid, just as fine as she appears on screen, but she also has a charm all her own, which needs no screen role for recognition. She has a very pleasing personality, one that draws people to her instantly and makes them feel that they are meeting a friend instead of a Hollywood Star.” Beavers had an attractive personality, and often played roles in which she helps a white protagonist mature in the course of the movie. In most of Beavers' movies, her role was written such that she would serve, as often black characters did, a fund, “of servitude and/or comic relief”. Louise Beavers with Bobby Breen in Rainbow on the River (1936) In 1934, Beavers played Delilah in Imitation of Life in a dramatic role. Her character again plays a black maid, but instead of the usual stereotypical comedic or purely functional role, Delilah's story line is a secondary parallel plot. The public reacted positively to Beavers' performance. It was not only a breakthrough for Beavers, but was also “the first time in American cinema history that a black woman's problems were given major emotional weight in a major Hollywood motion picture”. Some in the media recognized the unfairness of Hollywood's double standard regarding race. For example, California Graphic Magazine wrote, “the Academy could not recognize Miss Beavers. She is black!” In the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, in the performance of "Lincoln's Birthday," there was a big minstrel show number, "Abraham," which featured performances by Bing Crosby (Jim Hardy) in blackface makeup and by Beavers as Mamie. This number, as well as the scene itself, are sometimes cut from the film's show on television, presumably because of the offensiveness of blackface. In later life, Beavers was plagued by health issues, including diabetes. She died on October 26, 1962, at the age of 60, following a heart attack, at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles. Beavers was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.


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Born:
Mar 8, 1902 In Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
115
First Appeared:
In the movie Election Day 1929-01-12
Latest Project:
Movie The Facts of Life 1960-11-14
Known For
Filmography
Movie The Facts of Life Gussie 1960-11-14
Movie All The Fine Young Cannibals Rose 1960-09-15
Series The Swamp Fox 1959-10-23
Movie The Goddess The Cook 1958-06-24
Movie Tammy and the Bachelor Osia 1957-06-14
Movie Teenage Rebel Willamay, Fallon's Maid 1956-11-01
Movie Good-bye, My Lady Bonnie Drew 1956-05-12
Series The Danny Thomas Show Louise Evans 1953-09-29
Movie Never Wave at a WAC Artamesa 1953-01-28
Movie Colorado Sundown Mattie, Jackie's Maid 1952-02-08
Movie My Blue Heaven Selma 1950-09-15
Movie The Jackie Robinson Story Jackie's Mother 1950-05-16
Movie Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Gussie 1948-06-04
Movie For the Love of Mary Bertha 1948-09-01
Movie Good Sam Chloe 1948-09-01
Movie Banjo Lindy 1947-05-15
Movie Lover Come Back Martha 1946-06-21
Movie Young Widow Rosie 1946-03-04
Movie Barbary Coast Gent Bedelia 1944-09-01
Movie Dixie Jamboree Sam the Deckhand 1944-08-15
Movie There's Something About a Soldier Birdie 1943-11-30
Movie Top Man Cleo - the Warrens' Maid 1943-09-17
Movie Du Barry Was a Lady Niagara 1943-08-13
Movie All by Myself Willie 1943-06-11
Movie Good Morning, Judge Cleo 1943-05-07
Movie Young America Pansy 1942-02-06
Movie The Vanishing Virginian Aunt Emmeline 1942-02-01
Movie Reap the Wild Wind Maum Maria 1942-03-26
Movie Holiday Inn Mamie 1942-07-10
Movie The Big Street Ruby - Gloria's Maid (uncredited) 1942-08-13
Movie Sign of the Wolf Beulah 1941-03-25
Movie Virginia Ophelia 1941-01-28
Movie Shadow of the Thin Man Stella 1941-11-21
Movie Kisses for Breakfast Clotilda 1941-07-05
Movie Belle Starr Mammy Lou 1941-09-12
Movie I Want a Divorce Celestine 1940-09-20
Movie No Time for Comedy Clementine, Actress in Show / Linda's Maid 1940-09-14
Movie Primrose Path Woman Talking to Police (uncredited) 1940-03-22
Movie Women Without Names Ivory 1940-03-14
Movie Parole Fixer Aunt Lindy 1940-02-02
Movie The Lady's from Kentucky Aunt Tina 1939-04-27
Movie Made for Each Other Lily 1939-02-10
Movie Scandal Street Clairce 1938-02-11
Movie Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus Cassey 1938-12-02
Movie Brother Rat Jenny 1938-10-29
Movie Wings Over Honolulu Mammy 1937-05-16
Movie Make Way for Tomorrow Mamie 1937-05-09
Movie The Last Gangster Gloria, Talya's Maid 1937-11-12
Movie Rainbow on the River Toinette 1936-12-18
Movie General Spanky Cornelia 1936-12-11
Movie Bullets or Ballots Nellie LaFleur 1936-06-06
Movie Annapolis Farewell Miranda 1935-08-23
Movie Registered Nurse Flo - Sadie's Maid 1934-04-06
Movie Palooka Crystal 1934-01-26
Movie Bedside Pansy 1934-01-31
Movie I've Got Your Number Crystal 1934-02-24
Movie Gambling Lady Suzy - Peter's Cook (uncredited) 1934-03-31
Movie The Woman Condemned Sally, Jane's Maid 1934-04-03
Movie A Modern Hero Azais's maid 1934-04-21
Movie Glamour Millie 1934-04-09
Movie Merry Wives of Reno Derwent's Client - Black Mother of 12 Wanting a Divorce (uncredited) 1934-05-12
Movie The Merry Frinks Camille 1934-05-26
Movie Dr. Monica Sarah - Mary's Maid (uncredited) 1934-06-23
Movie Imitation of Life Delilah Johnson 1934-11-26
Movie West of the Pecos Mauree 1934-12-27
Movie She Done Him Wrong Pearl 1933-02-09
Movie Girl Missing Julie - Daisy's Maid (uncredited) 1933-03-04
Movie 42nd Street Pansy (uncredited) 1933-03-11
Movie Pick Up Magnolia (uncredited) 1933-03-24
Movie Central Airport Hotel Maid (uncredited) 1933-04-15
Movie The Story of Temple Drake Minnie 1933-05-06
Movie What Price Innocence? Hannah 1933-06-24
Movie Hold Your Man Elite Club Attendant (uncredited) 1933-07-07
Movie Midnight Mary Mary's Maid Anna (uncredited) 1933-06-30
Movie Her Bodyguard Margot's Maid 1933-07-21
Movie A Shriek in the Night Maid 1933-07-22
Movie The Midnight Patrol Maid (scenes deleted) 1933-08-03
Movie Notorious But Nice Ophelia 1933-08-04
Movie Bombshell Loretta 1933-10-13
Movie Only Yesterday Abby 1933-11-01
Movie In the Money Lily 1933-11-06
Movie The Expert Lulu 1932-03-05
Movie It's Tough to Be Famous Ada, Janet's Maid 1932-04-02
Movie The Strange Love of Molly Louvain Washroom Attendant (uncredited) 1932-05-28
Movie Street of Women Mattie, Natalie's maid 1932-06-04
Movie The Dark Horse Kay's Maid Levinnia 1932-06-16
Movie What Price Hollywood? Mary's Maid Bonita 1932-06-24
Movie Divorce In The Family Rosetta 1932-08-27
Movie Hell's Highway Rascal's Sweetheart at Visitor's Center (uncredited) 1932-09-23
Movie Wild Girl Mammy Lou 1932-11-09
Movie Too Busy to Work Mammy 1932-12-02
Movie Unashamed Amanda 1932-07-02
Movie Party Husband Laura's Maid 1931-06-06
Movie Millie Maid (uncredited) 1931-02-08
Movie Don't Bet on Women Maid (uncredited) 1931-02-15
Movie Sundown Trail Auntie Jenny 1931-09-11
Movie Girls About Town Hattie 1931-11-07
Movie Good Sport September 1931-12-12
Movie Ladies of the Big House Ivory 1931-12-26
Movie Safety in Numbers Messalina 1930-05-30
Movie Wide Open Easter 1930-02-01
Movie She Couldn't Say No 1930-02-15
Movie Honey Black Revivalist 1930-03-29
Movie True to the Navy Maid (uncredited) 1930-05-25
Movie Bright Lights Angela 1930-09-21
Movie Back Pay Nellie - Hester's Maid 1930-06-01
Movie Our Blushing Brides Amelia the Mannequins' Maid (uncredited) 1930-07-19
Movie Manslaughter Rose 1930-07-22
Movie Outside the Law Judy the Maid 1930-09-18
Movie Paid Convict (uncredited) 1930-12-30
Movie Barnum Was Right Maid 1929-09-22
Movie Thunderbolt Black Cat Cafe Patron (uncredited) 1929-06-20
Movie Glad Rag Doll Hannah 1929-05-03
Movie Coquette Julia 1929-03-30
Movie Election Day Farina's mother 1929-01-12