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Obscure Black C-List Actors: Bebe Drake

6 July 2007 One Comment

Only Bebe Drake (sometimes Drake-Massey) could have played David Allen Grier’s mother carrying a bucket of chitlins in Boomerang. Or howabout the episode of Martin where we find out “You gotta go to work on Myra’s feet,” then Gina gives her a perm with no neutralizer and has Myra growlin’ like Eartha Kitt by the end? It’s really Bebe Drake’s voice and attitude that’s memorable in combination with the face. Although I did see Bebe Drake playing a straight role on Good Times once, her first recurring televison role was on A Different World playing Mr. Gaines’ wife Velma. She’s been in pretty much every black sitcom and movie playing that kind of nasty sassy lady that might hit someone but is also bawdy and salacious somehow. She’s been working steadily since 1975 and is in Wild Hogs right now. I admit that she does always play the same stereotype but that lady DOES exist in real life. I think that she is the kind of actress black entertainment needs – there’s no one like her!

One Comment »

  • jazzfan360 said:

    I just love this blog. I stumbled in via this entry when I saw Bebe on some kinda bank commercial a bit ago and Googled her name. She’s the definition of a great comedic character actress; she plays the same role every time but she always brings the truth to it, and she’s so familiar that every time she shows up onscreen it’s like an old friend just walked into the house, and she doesn’t even have to open her mouth–she’s been funny so many times in the past that you start laughing as SOON as you see her ’cause you know what’s surely coming. I laughed the second the commercial started and she hadn’t even said anything yet.

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