Suzzanne Douglas, best known for starring in the WB sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood” and in the 1989 dance drama “Tap,” died on Tuesday, her publicist confirmed to Variety. She was 64.
“The industry has lost a truly talented artist with the passing of Suzzanne Douglas. She touched everyone who knew her and was lovely in every sense of the word,” her publicist shared in a statement to Variety. “The family appreciates your support and asks for their privacy during this difficult time.”
“Suzzanne Douglas, a beautiful and talented actress, made her transition today,” her cousin Angie Tee wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “She warmed our hearts on movie screens and television sets all over the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin. I can remember growing up, there weren’t very many Black actresses who had starring roles but there was my cousin with the lead role in ‘Tap’ starring alongside great dancers such as Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. She also performed with Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg in ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back.’ ‘The Inkwell,’ ‘Jason’s Lyric’ and so much more, the list goes on. The world will miss your talent but your soul will live on forever. Rest in Paradise, my beautiful cousin Suzzane, you will be missed.”
For “Tap,” Douglas won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actress in a film. Her other credits include playing Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney Houston, in the 2015 biopic “Whitney,” “School of Rock,” the 1990 Fox series “Against the Law” and Ava DuVernay’s Emmy-winning limited series “When They See Us.”
DuVernay and others posted tributes to Douglas on Twitter.
“Suzzanne Douglas was a quite, elegant force as we made ‘When They See Us.’ A gentlewoman. A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer,” wrote DuVernay. “I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love.”
Suzzanne Douglas was a quiet, elegant force as we made WHEN THEY SEE US. A gentlewoman. A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer. I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love. pic.twitter.com/1ZhaucGEiK
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 7, 2021
“She was an elegant, gentle warm spirit. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in love,” wrote Jada Pinkett Smitth, who co-starred in 1994’s “The Inkwell” with Douglas.
I woke up this morning to the news that Suzzanne Douglas has passed away. I worked with Suzzanne in the film Inkwell. She was an elegant, gentle warm spirit. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in love. pic.twitter.com/fBUf3coIVb
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) July 7, 2021
Variety has reached out to Douglas’ representatives for statements.