Character actress Helen Martin, known for her role as the neighbor Pearl in the television series “227,” and as Halle Berry’s mother in the political comedy “Bulworth,” died Feb. 25 of a heart attack at her home in Monterey. She was 90.
Raised in Nashville, she originally made a name for herself on Broadway, starring in such productions as “Deep Are the Roots,” “The Long Dream” and “Amen Corner.” She was one of the original members of Harlem’s American Negro Theater.
In 1973, she was cast in the TV series “That’s My Mama” and appeared in continuing roles on five television series, including “Good Times” and “227.”
Martin also appeared in numerous films, including “Bulworth” and “Beverly Hills Cop III.” She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for her role as the grandmother in Robert Townsend’s “Hollywood Shuffle.”
She had just completed the film “Something to Sing About,” scheduled for release this spring.