Image of Esther Rolle

Esther Rolle

1920-11-08 Pompano Beach, Florida USA

Image of Esther Rolle


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Esther Elizabeth Rolle (November 8, 1920 – November 17, 1998) was a Bahamian American actress. Rolle is best known for her role as Florida Evans, on the CBS television sitcom Maude, for two seasons (1972–1974), and its spin-off series Good Times, for five seasons (1974–77, 1978–79), for which Rolle was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy in 1976. Rolle is best known for her television role as Florida Evans, the character she played on two 1970s sitcoms. The character was introduced as Maude Findlay's housekeeper on Maude, and was spun off in the show's second season into Good Times, a show about Florida's family. Rolle was nominated in 1975 for the Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Golden Globe Award for her role in Good Times. Rolle was 19 years older than the actor (John Amos) who played her husband James Evans. The James Evans character was only added after Esther Rolle fought hard for a father figure and husband to be added to the show. Rolle had fought for the father character on the show, more relevant themes and scripts and was unhappy when the success of Jimmie Walker's character, J.J. Evans, took the show in a frivolous direction. John Amos agreed with Rolle about Walker's character and was fired from the show after the third season ended. Later on, in a stand-off with Good Times producer Norman Lear, Rolle also quit when her contract ended. Although the show continued without her for the fifth season, she returned for the show's final season. In 1979 she won an Emmy for her role in Summer of My German Soldier, a made-for-television movie. Among her guest star roles was one on The Incredible Hulk in an episode entitled "Behind the Wheel" where she played a taxicab business owner. In the 1990s, Rolle was a surprise guest on RuPaul's VH-1 talk show. Her Maude co-star Bea Arthur was the guest, and Rolle was brought out to surprise Arthur. The two had not seen each other in years, Arthur said, and embraced warmly. Rolle also appeared in a series of psychic hotline TV commercials in the 1990s. "Tell them Esther sent you," was her trademark line.


Down in the Delta Annie Sinclair 1998-12-25
Rosewood Aunt Sarah 1997-02-21
My Fellow Americans Rita 1996-12-20
How to Make an American Quilt Aunt Pauline 1995-10-06
Nobody's Girls: Five Women of the West Clara Brown 1995-05-10
To Dance with the White Dog Neelie 1993-12-05
Message from Nam Queenie / Elizabeth McQueen 1993-10-17
House of Cards Adelle 1993-06-25
Color Adjustment Self 1992-01-29
Cape Fear Woman Watching Cady Get Out from Under the Car (uncredited) 1991-11-15
The Kid Who Loved Christmas Esther Clayton 1990-01-01
A Raisin in the Sun Lena 'Mama' Younger 1989-02-01
Age-Old Friends Mrs. Baker 1989-12-16
Driving Miss Daisy Idella 1989-12-13
The Mighty Quinn Ubu Pearl 1989-02-17
Ethnic Notions Narrator 1986-12-05
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Nurse 1982-01-01
See China and Die Momma Sykes 1981-12-09
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Momma 1979-04-28
Summer of My German Soldier Ruth 1978-10-29
Cleopatra Jones Mrs. Johnson 1973-07-13
Don't Play Us Cheap Miss Maybell 1973-01-01
Up the Down Staircase Teacher 1967-06-28
Nothing But a Man Church Woman 1964-12-27