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Maidie Norman
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    (October 16, 1912-May 2, 1998)
    Born in Villa Rica, Georgia
    Birth name is Maidie Ruth Gamble
    Acted in 'Bright Road,' 'Torch Song,' 'About Ms. Leslie,' 'Susan Slept Here,' 'Written in the Wind,' and 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane'
    She was divorced.
    As if her name wasn't enough of an indication, she was typecast as maids throughout her career.
    She testified at the HUAC hearings in the late-forties.
    She has a decades long career on film and television, but she is only remembered as Elvira, the maid who gets knocked out with a hammer by Bette Davis in 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.'
    She was disappointed that her lead performance in the mixed race drama, 'The Well,' did not translate into a career as a leading actress.
    She played Joan Crawford's maid twice, including in the camp classic, 'Torch Song.'
    She is frequently confused with Juanita Moore, whom she physically resembled and who was also typecast as maids.
    She was a supporter of Richard Nixon, as early as his 1950 Senate race against Helen Gahagan.
    She campaigned for Barry Goldwater for President despite his being maligned as a racist in the press.
    Her portrayal of Elvira was progressive in that she exhibited agency, was well-spoken, and asserted herself.
    She rewrote dialogue calling for Elvira to act like the traditional 'Mammy,' telling Bob Aldrich 'you know, this is not the way we talk these days. This is old slavery-time talk.'
    Many felt that she was too attractive to be typecast as maids, with her stunning features often defying the plain clothes she was made to wear.
    She was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.
    She was awarded Los Angeles Woman of the Year for her community services.
    She was awarded the NAACP Award for Contribution to Education.
    She worked with a young Dorothy Dandridge in the all-black drama 'Bright Road' (1953).
    She taught Black Theater History at the UCLA, and an award in her name is given out by the Department every year.
    She was a founding member of the American Negro Theater West (1977).
    She had a memorable cameo on an episode of The Jeffersons, 'Mother Jefferson's Fall,' as a friend of Zara Cully ('next time, dear, say its your heart, they can never tell with the heart').

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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