Image of Esther Rolle

Esther Rolle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Esther Elizabeth Rolle (November 8, 1920 – November 17, 1998) was a Bahamian American actress. Rolle is best known for her role as Florida Evans, on the CBS television sitcom Maude, for two seasons (1972–1974), and its spin-off series Good Times, for five seasons (1974–77, 1978–79), for which Rolle was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy in 1976. Rolle is best known for her television role as Florida Evans, the character she played on two 1970s sitcoms. The character was introduced as Maude Findlay's housekeeper on Maude, and was spun off in the show's second season into Good Times, a show about Florida's family. Rolle was nominated in 1975 for the Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Golden Globe Award for her role in Good Times. Rolle was 19 years older than the actor (John Amos) who played her husband James Evans. The James Evans character was only added after Esther Rolle fought hard for a father figure and husband to be added to the show. Rolle had fought for the father character on the show, more relevant themes and scripts and was unhappy when the success of Jimmie Walker's character, J.J. Evans, took the show in a frivolous direction. John Amos agreed with Rolle about Walker's character and was fired from the show after the third season ended. Later on, in a stand-off with Good Times producer Norman Lear, Rolle also quit when her contract ended. Although the show continued without her for the fifth season, she returned for the show's final season. In 1979 she won an Emmy for her role in Summer of My German Soldier, a made-for-television movie. Among her guest star roles was one on The Incredible Hulk in an episode entitled "Behind the Wheel" where she played a taxicab business owner. In the 1990s, Rolle was a surprise guest on RuPaul's VH-1 talk show. Her Maude co-star Bea Arthur was the guest, and Rolle was brought out to surprise Arthur. The two had not seen each other in years, Arthur said, and embraced warmly. Rolle also appeared in a series of psychic hotline TV commercials in the 1990s. "Tell them Esther sent you," was her trademark line.


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Born:
Nov 8, 1920 In Pompano Beach, Florida USA
Movie/TV Credits:
35
First Appeared:
In the series Hallmark Hall of Fame 1951-12-24
Latest Project:
Movie Down in the Delta 1998-12-25
Known For
Poster of How to Make an American Quilt
Poster of Touched by an Angel
Poster of Driving Miss Daisy
Poster of Don't Play Us Cheap
Filmography
Movie Down in the Delta Annie Sinclair 1998-12-25
Movie Rosewood Aunt Sarah 1997-02-21
Series Promised Land Mary Harding 1996-09-17
Movie My Fellow Americans Rita 1996-12-20
Movie Nobody's Girls: Five Women of the West Clara Brown 1995-05-10
Movie How to Make an American Quilt Aunt Pauline 1995-10-06
Series Touched by an Angel Mary Harding 1994-09-21
Series Scarlett Unknown 1994-11-13
Movie House of Cards Adelle 1993-06-25
Movie To Dance with the White Dog Neelie 1993-12-05
Movie Message from Nam Queenie / Elizabeth McQueen 1993-10-17
Movie Color Adjustment Self 1992-01-29
Movie Cape Fear Woman Watching Cady Get Out from Under the Car (uncredited) 1991-11-15
Movie The Kid Who Loved Christmas Esther Clayton 1990-01-01
Series Singer and Sons Unknown 1990-06-09
Movie A Raisin in the Sun Lena 'Mama' Younger 1989-02-01
Movie The Mighty Quinn Ubu Pearl 1989-02-17
Movie Driving Miss Daisy Idella 1989-12-13
Movie Age-Old Friends Mrs. Baker 1989-12-16
Movie Ethnic Notions Narrator 1986-12-05
Series Murder, She Wrote Unknown 1984-09-30
Movie The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Nurse 1982-01-01
Movie See China and Die Momma Sykes 1981-12-09
Series Flamingo Road Unknown 1980-05-12
Movie I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Momma 1979-04-28
Movie Summer of My German Soldier Ruth 1978-10-29
Series The Incredible Hulk Unknown 1977-11-04
Series Donny & Marie Unknown 1976-01-23
Series Good Times Florida Evans 1974-02-08
Movie Don't Play Us Cheap Miss Maybell 1973-01-01
Movie Cleopatra Jones Mrs. Johnson 1973-07-13
Series Maude Florida Evans 1972-09-12
Movie Up the Down Staircase Teacher 1967-06-28
Movie Nothing But a Man Church Woman 1964-12-27
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24