Actress Ruby Dee. Together with her husband Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, has performed on stage, screen and television for 30 years. In the early part of her career, she and her husband lived by staging church readings of black authors like Langston Hughes and Phillis Wheatley. One of their best-known projects was the 13-part PBS series, "With Ossie & Ruby," which showcased black artists like Louis Armstrong, Della Reese and Max Roach.
Moms Mabley was a regular performer at Harlem's Apollo Theater, where actress Clarice Taylor saw her perform. Taylor, best known for her role in The Cosby Show, wrote and stars in a new play about the comedian's life.
Esther Rolle played a maid in the television show Maude, a role which she hoped would subvert the racist tradition of mammy characters typically given to African American actresses. Rolle now works mostly in theater, and is featured in a production of Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding.
Leslie Uggams is an actress and singer known for her roles in the television miniseries "Roots" and "Backstairs at the White House" and the t.v. show "Sing Along with Mitch." She is also well-known for work in musicals and on Broadway. Uggams discusses her career and life including being a child actor, a member of a youth gang, and singing versus acting. Uggams is currently performing in Philadelphia.