Margaret Avery: Wikis


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Margaret Avery
Born Mangum, Oklahoma, USA
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Robert Gordon Hunt (divorced)

Margaret Avery is an American actress and singer. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Shug in The Color Purple (1985).


Early life

Born in Mangum, Oklahoma, she was raised in San Diego, California, where she attended Point Loma High School. Avery then attended San Francisco State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. While working as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles, Avery began making singing appearances and acting on the stage.


Among the plays she appeared in were Revolution, and Sistuhs. For her performance in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (1973) she received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for "Performance In A Major Role."[1]

In the television movie Something Evil (1972), a horror story with Sandy Dennis and Darren McGavin, she was directed by Steven Spielberg. That same year, she made her theatrical motion picture debut as Lark in the MGM crime/drama Cool Breeze with Thalmus Rasulala and Judy Pace. In this blaxploitation remake of The Asphalt Jungle, Avery played the Marilyn Monroe part. The following year she played a prostitute in Magnum Force (1973), the second in the series of Dirty Harry films starring Clint Eastwood, in which the character she played was murdered by her pimp (played by Albert Popwell) by having drain cleaner poured down her throat. This act of killing was said to have inspired the notorious Hi-Fi Murders case in 1974.

She married Robert Gordon Hunt. They were divorced. They had one daughter, Aisha Hunt (born March 14, 1974).[2]

In Universal's Which Way Is Up? (1977), directed by Michael Schultz, Avery turned in a comedic performance as Annie Mae, the wife of Richard Pryor. That same year, she played Belle Joplin, wife of the ragtime composer Scott Joplin, opposite Billy Dee Williams in the title role.

Avery scored a major success with her role as the sultry and spirited Blues singer, Shug Avery, in Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985) opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover. Her performance in this screen adaptation of Alice Walker's prize-winning novel of the same title earned Avery an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

She has also made numerous TV series guest appearances, including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Kojak, Sanford and Son, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, A.E.S. Hudson Street, Murder, She Wrote, Miami Vice, Spenser: For Hire, The Cosby Show, Walker, Texas Ranger and JAG.

In 2008, Avery played Mama Jenkins in Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, opposite Martin Lawrence and James Earl Jones, and Sarah Brown in Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, which also stars Angela Bassett.

Margaret Avery lives in Los Angeles, and is active in the show business industry. While continuing to act, she also works with at-risk teenagers and battered women of Greater Los Angeles.


Year Title Genre Role Other notes
1972 Cool Breeze crime/drama Lark
Terror House comedy/horror Edwina
1973 Magnum Force action/mystery prostitute
Hell Up in Harlem crime/drama Sister Jennifer
1975 The Psychopath horror/thriller nurse
1977 Which Way Is Up? comedy Annie Mae
Scott Joplin biopic/music Belle Joplin
1979 The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh comedy/sports Toby Millman
1985 The Color Purple drama Shug Avery Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1988 Blueberry Hill drama Hattie Cale
1990 The Return of Superfly action/crime Francine
1993 Lightning in a Bottle drama Dr. Sierheed
Night Trap horror/thriller Miss Sadie
1994 Cyborg 3: The Recycler action/sci-fi Doc Edford
1995 The Set-Up action/drama Olivia Dubois
White Man's Burden drama Megan Thomas
1998 Love Kills comedy/romance Moon
2002 Waitin' to Live comedy Pearline Loggins
Second to Die thriller insurance agent
2007 Lord Help Us comedy/drama Dorinda Thomas Direct-to-video
2008 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins comedy/romance Mama Jenkins
Meet the Browns comedy/drama Sarah Brown
2009 Extrospection drama/short Anna

Television filmography

Year Title Genre Role Other notes
1972 Something Evil horror Irene
1976 Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style biopic/music Alma Rae
1980 The Sky Is Gray drama Rosemary
The Lathe of Heaven sci-fi Heather LeLache
1983 For Us, the Living biopic/crime Dottie
1989 Single Women Married Men drama Grace Williams
1990 Riverbend action/drama Bell Coleman
Heat Wave drama Roxie Turpin
1992 The Jacksons: An American Dream biopic/music Martha Scruse
1998 Wie stark muss eine Liebe sein drama Mary McMillian (German TV)


  1. ^ Los Angeles Times, Mar. 20, 1974, "27 Win Critics' Circle Honors," p. E 1.
  2. ^ California Birth Index, Name: Aisha D. Hunt, Birth Date: March 14, 1974, Sex: Female, Mother's Maiden Name: Avery, Birth County: Los Angeles.

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