Actress Mary Alice, known for such roles as The Oracle in “The Matrix” and Lettie Bostic in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World,” died at the age of 85 in New York City on Wednesday, the NYPD confirmed.
The prolific award-winning actress had nearly 60 credits on her IMDb page, and a career spanning many decades and different mediums.
Died Of Natural Causes At Her Manhattan Apartment, Authorities Say
Authorities revealed she “died of natural causes at her Manhattan apartment,” according to the Daily News.
Alice’s career saw her earn both Tony and Emmy awards as she took roles on screen and on stage, one for her role as Marguerite Peck in the NBC drama “I’ll Fly Away,” and the other for creating the role of Rose in the 1987 production of August Wilson’s “Fences.”
Award-Winning Actress’ Life, Career Celebrated On Social Media
Viola Davis, who revived that role in 2010 before starring in a 2016 film adaption, took to Twitter on Thursday to express her condolences to “one of the greatest actresses of all time.”
“RIP Mary Alice…the original Rose Maxson. You were one of the greatest actresses of all time!! Thank you for the work, inspiration and thank you for Rose. Godspeed Queen ❤️❤️❤️❤️” Davis tweeted on Thursday.
RIP Mary Alice…the original Rose Maxson. You were one of the greatest actresses of all time!! Thank you for the work, inspiration and thank you for Rose. Godspeed Queen ❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Yv3CKGOrDE
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 28, 2022
Other actors and actresses celebrated Alice’s life and work, calling her an “exquisite actress” and “a shoulder we all stood on.”
“Exquisite actress. Beautiful, kind soul,” tweeted fellow actor Bradley Whitford. Coleman Domingo called Alice, “a shoulder we all stood on.”
Acted Alongside Industry Greats Such As Robin Williams, Danny Glover
Alice’s legacy was further cemented in 2017 after her 1990 film “To Sleep With Anger” was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for its “cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance.”
Younger moviegoers perhaps best remember her work as The Oracle in “The Matrix: Revolutions,” a role she played after replacing Gloria Foster following the latter’s death in 2001.
She had previously acted alongside such industry greats as Robin Williams, Danny Glover, Keanu Reeves and James Earl Jones.