Louise Beavers (Louise Beavers)

Louise  Beavers

Actress. A plump, mournful-eyed character player in Hollywood films, she was almost always cast as a maid, mammy, or housekeeper, a shameful waste of her talent. Beavers is best remembered for her wrenching performance in “Imitation of Life” (1934), as an Aunt Jemima-like pancake maker whose light-skinned daughter abandons her to pass for white in society. Her 160 other screen appearances include “What Price Hollywood?” (1932), “She Done Him Wrong” (1933), “Made for Each Other” (1939), “Reap the Wild Wind” (1942), “Holiday Inn” (1942), “The Jackie Robinson Story” (1950), “Tammy and the Bachelor” (1957), and “All the Fine Young Cannibals” (1960). Beavers was born in Cincinnati, and moved with her mother to Los Angeles as a child. After graduating from Pasadena High School she was employed as a maid by actress Leatrice Joy, who helped her break into the movies. She sang with a ladies’ minstrel show in the mid-1920s and began her film career in earnest with the silent “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1927). From 1952 to 1953 she starred in the TV series “The Beulah Show”, taking over the title role following the death of original star Hattie McDaniel. Unlike McDaniel, Beavers was not naturally hefty and had to overeat to stay in “type” for the good-natured servant roles she was invariably given. This created health problems in her later years and she died of a heart attack at 60. She was inducted into the Black Filmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.

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  • March, 08, 1902
  • USA
  • Ohio


  • October, 26, 1962
  • USA
  • California


  • Evergreen Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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