When They See Us actress Suzzanne Douglas passed away on Tuesday after four decades on stage and on screen; she was 64 years old.
The When They See Us star's cause of death has not been revealed, but her passing was confirmed by her family Tuesday night.
"Suzzane Douglas, a beautiful and talented actress made her transition today," her cousin Angie Tee posted to Facebook. "She warmed our hearts on movie screens and television sets all over the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin."
Tee continued in her tribute, "I can remember growing up, there weren't very many black actresses who had starring roles — but there was my cousin with the lead role in "Tap" starring alongside great dancers such as Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr.," Tee said in her emotional social media homage. "She also performed with Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back,' 'The Inkwell,' 'Jason's Lyric' and so much more — the list goes on. The world will miss your talent but your soul will live on forever. Rest in Paradise my beautiful cousin Suzzane, you will be missed RIP"
Douglass was born and raised in Chicago by a single mother along with three siblings in public housing on the south side of the city. From a young age, Douglass understood her passion for the arts that by the time she grew up she had secured a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois and a Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
Douglas then went on to appear in a number of TV sitcoms and dramas over the course of her career. In addition to her leading role as Jerri Peterson in the Warner Bros. comedy The Parent 'Hood, Douglas had also scored guest roles on The Cosby Show, Touched By An Angel, The Parkers, and The Good Wife.
For her lead role in Tap in 1989, Douglas was honored with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. From there, she starred in more feature films such as The Inkwell, Jason's Lyric, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. In 2015, she even played Cissy Houston in the Lifetime biopic Whitney.
Douglas' friends and colleagues took to social media to pay their respects.
Suzzanne Douglas was a quiet, elegant force as we made WHEN THEY SEE US. A gentlewoman. A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer. I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love. pic.twitter.com/1ZhaucGEiK— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 7, 2021
American filmmaker and the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe best director award Ava DuVernay received the privilege of directing Suzzanne Douglas in her original Netflix miniseries When They See Us. She describes Douglass as being "a gentlewoman, a gem of a lady."
Jada Pinkett Smith
I woke up this morning to the news that Suzzanne Douglas has passed away. I worked with Suzzanne in the film Inkwell. She was an elegant, gentle warm spirit. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in love. pic.twitter.com/fBUf3coIVb— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) July 7, 2021
Jada Pinkett Smith also shared her condolences with Douglas' family and loved ones over Twitter. The two worked together in the film Inkwell.
Awww man.... I remember being at a party with you. It was just about 10 of us. We talked about life, race, the world....We laughed, ate, shared!!! I'm so happy I got to tell you how much I loved your work. RIP Beautiful, talented, dancing, Queen. 🙏🏿❤🕊https://t.co/45oHGmAaME— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 7, 2021
Although Viola Davis and Suzzanne Douglas never acted alongside one another, Davis remembered Douglas as a "beautiful, talented, dancing queen."
Actress Suzzanne Douglas has died at 64. This has really saddened so many in the Hollywood community. A true talent! Let’s keep everyone her work and life impacted in our prayers. 🙏🏾 #SuzzanneDouglas https://t.co/gv4pkIMBz0— Sherri Shepherd (@sherrieshepherd) July 7, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with Douglas' friends and family during this time. May she rest in peace.