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Madge Sinclair
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    (April 28, 1938-December 20, 1995)
    Born in Kingston, Jamaica
    Birth name was Madge Dorita Walters
    Portrayed Bell Reynolds in 'Roots' (1977), Ernestine Shoop in 'Trapper John, M.D.' (1980-86), Empress Josephine in 'Gabriel's Fire' (1990-91) and Mary Tower in 'Me and the Boys' (1994-95)
    Appeared in the films 'Cornbread, Earl and Me' (1975), 'Leadbelly' (1976), 'Convoy' (1978), 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' (1979), 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home' (1986), 'Coming to America' (1988) and 'The Lion King' (voice only, 1994)
    She left her husband and two kids behind in Jamaica to pursue an acting career in New York.
    She ended up typecast as a mother, including playing LeVar Burton's mom in four projects over two decades (the PBS short film 'Almos' a Man,' the TV movies 'Guyana Tragedy; The Story of Jim Jones' and 'One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story,' and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation').
    She complained, 'If I were a white actress who's done what I've done, I would have been asked to do substantial roles. But the climate isn't right for it.'
    She said, 'Some people get snooty about it, but I like working for TV. I can finish something and see it the next week.'
    Her honors included an Emmy, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, two NAACP Image Awards and the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican prime minister.
    She was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after joining the cast of 'Trapper John, M.D.,' kept on acting for over a decade, and outlived her doctors' predictions by several years.

Credit: C. Fishel

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