Esther Scott, whose film, TV and stage career included roles in Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, died February 14 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack, Deadline has confirmed. She was 66.
Scott appeared in dozens of TV series including playing Delma on CW’s Hart of Dixie as well as roles on CBS’ The Help, Fox’s Melrose Place and ABC’s The Geena Davis Show and Sister, Sister among others. Her first role was voicing a character on the mid-1980s animated Star Wars series Ewoks.
Her film credits include Gangster Squad, Transformers, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dreamgirls, 2005’s Fun with Dick and Jane, Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Craft, Don Juan DeMarco and Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt. She memorably played a grandmother who nearly caught Cuba Gooding Jr’s Tre fooling around with her granddaughter in Boyz n the Hood, rushing up the stairs with a meat cleaver in hand but arriving just after Tre had jumped out the window.
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She played Nat Turner’s grandmother Bridget in The Birth of a Nation, Parker’s breakout drama that wowed the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Scott also was active in the theater, according to L.A. Theatre Works, where she appeared in 2001’s Jump at the Sun. She also worked with the East West Players (Po Boy Tango), the Fountain Theatre (Going to St. Ives and To Be Young, Gifted and Black) and the Actors Theatre of Louisville (Devotees in the Garden of Love and Marisol).
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