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Angela Bassett to play Coretta Scott King in Lifetime movie

Angela Bassett will play Coretta Scott King in an upcoming Lifetime film. CREDIT: AP

Angela Bassett will play Coretta Scott King in an upcoming Lifetime film. CREDIT: AP

Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett has been cast to play the late Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, in a film on Lifetime featuring Coretta Scott King and Malcolm X’s wife Betty Shabazz tentatively called “Betty and Coretta.”

Shabazz will be played by R&B songstress Mary J. Blige. The film will focus on their lives after their husbands were assassinated. (Malcolm X in 1965; King in 1968.)

The casting news was broken by The Hollywood Reporter.

A spokeswoman for Lifetime confirmed the news and said the show will be shot in Montreal, starting next month, although it certainly could have been shot in Atlanta given the King connection.

The story said civil rights activist Ruby Dee “will appear onscreen as a historical witness to narrate the duo’s story as someone familiar with the events of both their lives.”

Bassett played Shabazz in the 1992 feature film “Malcolm X” starring Denzel Washington. She was nominated for an Oscar for 1994’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” playing Tina Turner.

An airdate has not been set.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

17 comments Add your comment

Kathy

August 24th, 2012
5:06 pm

Although nominated, Angela Bassett did not win the Oscar. Holly Hunter won for The Piano.

LG

August 25th, 2012
3:24 pm

Great choice; and Angela SHOULD have won that Oscar that year. Her performance was worthy of one. She’s a MUCh better actress than Halle or any of the others will ever be. Congrats to Angela Bassett.

That picture doesn’t look like AB to me, but maybe it is.

Bill

August 25th, 2012
3:27 pm

Awesome news! Ms Bassett will bring a regal respect & dignity to the role of Coretta Scott King, such an admired and key lady in American history.

Vanilla Satin

August 25th, 2012
3:38 pm

That’s great! We just don’t hear enough about MLk and his wife. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Why??????

August 25th, 2012
3:53 pm

@ Vanilla Satin. Not to worry; we’ll wake you when the next episode of “Honey Boo Boo” comes on….

Ray

August 25th, 2012
8:16 pm

No let Vanilla Satin sleep… whether or not he/she/it is awake is irrelevant! This is going to be a movie on the Lifetime Network/channel. You really don’t have to watch it Vanilla Ice/Satin, assuming you have cable. This is why they give you a remote so you can still watch the Country Music Channel.. or NASCAR. I agree with all of you who say Angela Bassett is a class act and this film will be worth watching just because she’s in it.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Mo Gallo

August 26th, 2012
8:54 am

Great casting! I can’t wait to see theis Lifetime movie. This is a much better than the problematic and insensitive castings for the Nina Simone and Harriet Tubman pictures set to be filmed by other groups. The actresses are good but don’t look anything like the richly dark black women they are set to portray.

username

August 26th, 2012
8:59 am

It will be interesting to see how she plays the role of a woman who conspired to her husband’s death and benefitted from it greatly afterwards. Angie Bassett seems too good of a human being to play a scam artist like CSK. Best of luck to her in this challenging role!!

tina

August 26th, 2012
10:32 am

the academy always sleeps on Angela’s work. she should have won for her portrayal of Tina Turner in Whats love got to do with it”. I thought that was Tina up on the screen. Hell, Tina thought that was her up on the screen. she nailed it….facial expressions and all.

CeeCee

August 26th, 2012
10:45 am

With all due respect to Angela Bassett, (Who I love) you mean to tell me that Hollywood can only find ONE black actress to play ALL of our black female icons? I mean, she’s been the Jacksons’ mother, Tina Turner, Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz, (TWICE…in “Malcom X” and “Panther” ) and now she’s playing Coretta Scott King….in a movie WITH Betty Shabazz? What’s next, a stage play about great women in African American history where she stars in a one-woman show? The only difference between that and what’s already happened is that it would be live.

Shaquitta Jackson-Lee

August 26th, 2012
3:51 pm

CeeCee,

Cicily Tyson, the other black female icon in Hollywood, is too old to portray Coretta.

I also heard Denzel might portray Dr King when they do a movie on him. He was quite good as Malcolm.

Aro

August 26th, 2012
4:26 pm

CeeCee:

If not Angela, then who? Felicia Reshad (not sure about the spelling) from Cosby’s?

brad

August 26th, 2012
6:35 pm

Coretta Scott King? The same one that tried to use the race card to fly first class on delta? The one that blackmailed the US govt to by her husbands papers for 20 million? The one that lived of the legacy of her husband, but never actually did anything but remind us that she was married to him? I would pick Rossanne Barr to play her.

Nicole

August 26th, 2012
6:54 pm

Well…..its kinda like Merryl Streep plays everything in the white community. I think that it is a kudo of how good she is as an actress. I love to watch Angela no matter what or who she protrays.

Monica

August 27th, 2012
9:16 am

@Kathy. And your point is? The article is correct and it did not ask who won that year.

Why????

August 27th, 2012
5:04 pm

Ok. Brad and Vanilla Satin can both go back to sleep. Again, we’ll wake you 2 when the next “Honey Boo Boo” episode airs… or NASCAR… or the Loretta Lynn remake…