Who is Theresa Merritt, American film actresse – Theresa Merritt biography

Spread the love
Theresa Merritt
Born(1922-09-24)September 24, 1922
Emporia, Virginia, U.S.
DiedJune 12, 1998(1998-06-12) (aged 75)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s)Actress, singer
Years active1969–1998
Benjamin Hines
(m. 1945)​
Who is Theresa Merritt


Biography of Theresa Merritt

Theresa Merritt Hines, also recognized by her professional name, Theresa Merritt, was an immensely talented American actress who made significant contributions to both television and film.

is theresa merritt from the wiz still alive

No,theresa merritt died of cancer on June 12, 1998 at the age of 75, Merritt’s career spanned various mediums, cementing her status as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

Theresa Merritt Hines, known professionally as Theresa Merritt, was an esteemed American actress and singer. Born on September 24, 1922, in Emporia, Virginia, she became well-known for her role in the TV series “That’s My Mama” (1974–1975) and for her film roles in “The Wiz” (1978) and “Billy Madison” (1995). Her career in the entertainment industry spanned from 1969 until her death in 1998.

Merritt’s notable contributions to cinema included roles in films such as “They Might Be Giants” (1971), “The Goodbye Girl” (1977), “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982), “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (1988), and “Silence Like Glass” (1989). In addition to her film career, she made significant appearances in television, including in the series “That’s My Mama” and guest roles in shows like “Law & Order” and “Sesame Street.” Merritt was also recognized for her stage performances, receiving a Tony Award nomination in 1985 for her role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Merritt was married to Benjamin Hines and they had four children together. She was made an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1977. Theresa Merritt passed away from skin cancer on June 12, 1998, in The Bronx, New York, at the age of 75

Theresa merritt cause of death

Theresa Merritt passed away from skin cancer on June 12, 1998​​​​.

Movies and Shows by Theresa Merritt

1. The Wiz (1978) In the renowned musical film, “The Wiz,” Theresa Merritt delivers an unforgettable performance as Aunt Em, a character pivotal to the storyline. The film, a reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz” with an all-Black cast, features Merritt’s character in a nurturing, maternal role, providing a foundation of love and support for the protagonist, Dorothy. Her rendition of the song “The Feeling We Once Had” is a poignant moment, capturing the essence of longing and familial love. Merritt’s performance in “The Wiz” is noteworthy for its emotional depth and vocal prowess, contributing significantly to the movie’s overall impact.

2. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) In this rollicking musical comedy, Theresa Merritt shines as Jewel, a character who adds a unique blend of humor and sassiness. Set in a brothel in Texas, the film explores themes of morality, politics, and love. Merritt’s portrayal of Jewel, a witty and sharp-tongued individual, provides comic relief and depth to the storyline. Her musical number, “Twenty-Four Hours of Lovin’,” is a standout, showcasing her powerful voice and charismatic screen presence. This performance underscores Merritt’s versatility as an actress, adept in both dramatic and comedic roles.

3. That’s My Mama (1974-1975) In the television series “That’s My Mama,” Theresa Merritt takes on the lead role of Mama Eloise Curtis, a strong-willed and loving mother running a barbershop. The show, set in Washington D.C., centers around the everyday life of an African-American family in the 1970s. Merritt’s portrayal of Mama Curtis is both heartwarming and authoritative, capturing the essence of a matriarch who is the glue holding her family together. Her interactions with her son, Clifton, are particularly noteworthy, as they blend humor with life lessons, making the show both entertaining and meaningful.

4. All That Jazz (1979) In the semi-autobiographical musical drama “All That Jazz,” directed by Bob Fosse, Theresa Merritt plays a small but memorable role. The film delves into the life of a driven, charismatic choreographer and director, paralleling Fosse’s own life. Merritt’s role, though not central to the plot, adds a layer of authenticity and depth to the narrative. Her performance, characterized by its understated yet impactful presence, contributes to the film’s exploration of creativity, obsession, and the toll of artistic endeavors.

5. Billy Madison (1995) In this comedy film, Theresa Merritt appears in the role of Juanita, Billy Madison’s housemaid. The movie, centered around a man-child who must repeat grades 1-12 to inherit his father’s company, is known for its slapstick humor and absurd plot. Merritt’s character, Juanita, is humorous and indulgent towards Billy’s antics. Her comedic timing and ability to hold her own amidst the film’s over-the-top humor are commendable, showcasing her adaptability to various film genres and styles.

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1984) In the television adaptation of August Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Theresa Merritt stars as the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey. The story delves into issues of race, art, and exploitation in 1920s Chicago. Merritt’s portrayal of Ma Rainey is powerful and nuanced, capturing the singer’s fiery spirit and pioneering presence in the music industry. Her performance not only highlights her singing talent but also her ability to embody complex characters, making the play an impactful piece on both stage and screen.

7. A Fine Romance (1991) In “A Fine Romance,” a film about a couple’s tumultuous relationship set against the backdrop of the film industry, Theresa Merritt plays a supporting role. Her character, although not central to the plot, adds a layer of depth and reality to the film. Her portrayal is marked by its naturalism and authenticity, which grounds the film’s sometimes whimsical and chaotic narrative. Merritt’s ability to bring genuineness to her roles, regardless of their size, is evident in this performance.

8. Mr. Ricco (1975) In “Mr. Ricco,” a crime drama film, Theresa Merritt plays the role of Irene Mapes. The movie revolves around a lawyer, played by Dean Martin, who gets caught up in a complex web of criminal intrigue. Merritt’s character, although not the focal point of the story, is integral to the development of the plot. Her performance is marked by a sense of gravitas and realism, which adds to the film’s overall tension and drama. Her ability to convey deep emotions with subtlety is a testament to her skill as an actress.

9. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) In this horror film, Theresa Merritt takes on the role of a Haitian voodoo priestess. The movie, which delves into the world of voodoo and the supernatural, sees Merritt’s character as pivotal to the unfolding of the plot. Her portrayal is both eerie and compelling, adding an authentic touch to the film’s exploration of Haitian culture and folklore. Her performance is notable for its intensity and the sense of mystery she brings to the role, making it a memorable part of the film.

10. The Goodbye Girl (1977) In “The Goodbye Girl,” a romantic comedy-drama, Theresa Merritt appears in a supporting role. The film tells the story of a dancer who is forced to share an apartment with a struggling actor. Merritt’s character, while not central to the plot, adds a touch of warmth and realism to the story. Her performance is characterized by its understated charm and the depth she brings to even minor roles, highlighting her versatility as an actress.

11. Domestic Life (1984) In the TV series “Domestic Life,” Theresa Merritt had a recurring role. The show, which focuses on the day-to-day life of a middle-class American family, featured Merritt in a role that showcased her ability to portray everyday characters with authenticity and warmth. Her performance in the series was noted for its humor and relatability, making her a memorable part of the cast.

12. Carter Country (1977-1979) In this television sitcom, Theresa Merritt appeared in a recurring role. Set in a small town in Georgia, the show deals with the comedic interactions between the town’s quirky residents and its sheriff. Merritt’s character added a touch of humor and heart to the show, making her a fan favorite during her appearances.