Esther Rolle

  • Birth Place: Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
  • Died: November 17, 1998
  • Profession: Actor
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Fast Facts

  • Began her career as a dancer with the Shogola Obola Dance Company.
  • In 1962, made her New York stage debut in an off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's The Blacks.
  • One of the founding members of the Negro Ensemble Company.
  • Breakthrough role came in 1972 when Norman Lear cast her as Florida Evans on the CBS sitcom Maude; her character was so popular that she was soon spun off onto her own show, Good Times, which focused on Evans' family.
  • Was an honorary chairwoman for the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped.


  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Special: Winner


  • Jonathan Rolle — Father
  • Rosanna Carter — Sister
  • Oscar Robinson — Ex-husband
  • Elizabeth Rolle — Mother
  • Estelle Evans — Sister


  • Attended Hunter College, New York, New York, United States; attended the New School for Social Research, New York, New York, United States; Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, United States (1942)

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