HOLLYWOOD—Oscar-nominated actress Juanita Moore passed away on Wednesday, January 1 at her Los Angeles home. Moore, who was 99, made history becoming the fifth African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the 1959 film “Imitation of Life” where she co-starred alongside Lana Turner. Moore became the third woman to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
The movie tells the story of a white actress (Turner) who aspires to fame, and the relationship she builds with her friend Annie Johnson ( Moore) and their quest to raise their daughters as single mothers. Moore was born in Los Angeles and made her film debut in the 1949 movie “Pinky.” The actress continued with small roles in movies and television including “The Mack,” “Fox Style,” Disney’s “The Kid,” “ER” and “Judging Amy.”
She was married to Charles Burris for nearly 50 years, before his passing in 2001. Her grandson, Kirk Kelley-Kahn, who is an actor/producer, is also the CEO/President of “Cambridge Players-Next Generation.”