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Screen Legend: Juanita Moore Dead at age 99

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Juanita Moore an African American actress, television and stage performer who became a screen legend for her mesmerizing performance as the maid Annie Johnson in the 1959 film classic ‘Imitation of Life” has died at the age of 99.

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Moore broke barriers playing a maid who works tirelessly to raise her daughter Sara Jane to love herself and the color of her skin in the classic tearjerker film “Imitation of Life”. Moore who was born in 1914 was the fifth African American actor to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Supporting Actress category, she also received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.

Moore made her film debut in the 1949 movie “Pinky” which mirrored the same racial acceptance issues as the film Imitation of Life did which she is most remembered for.

Throughout the years Moore continued to work and in 2000 she played the role of Grandma in the Disney movie “The Kid” and she made several television appearances on shows like ER and Judging Amy.

In 2010 Moore gave fans a rare treat as she attended the Turner Classic Movie film festival for a screening of the 1959 classic followed by a Q&A which she received a standing ovation.

According to People, Moore had this to say regarding her experience when making the classic film back in 1958. "There were times I was so nervous the muscles were jumping in my face," she added. "I cried a lot in the making of this movie because it was real easy for me to cry. I had a lot to cry about. Conditions for black actors were unbelievable back then. Very few actors got the opportunity to hone their craft in the same way white actors did."

Juanita Moore’s performance in Imitation of Life makes this movie truly is a must see film.


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