Actress Suzzanne Douglas, best known for her role as matriarch Jerri Peterson on the sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood,’ died Tuesday. She was 64.
Her death was announced Tuesday on Facebook by her cousin, Angie Tee.
Douglas died at her Martha’s Vineyard home in Massachusetts, The New York Times reported. Her husband, Jonathan Cobb, said Douglas died from complications of cancer, although he did not specify what kind, the newspaper reported. Cobb said Douglas had been sick for more than two years.
Douglas, a Chicago native, also played Cissy Houston, the mother of Whitney Houston on Lifetime’s 2015 biopic “Whitney,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Douglas made her film debut in “Tap” (1989) and appeared in “The Inkwell” (1994), “Jason’s Lyric” (1994) and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998). “Inkwell” co-star Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted her condolences on Wednesday and said Douglas was “an elegant, gentle warm spirit.”
Douglas earned an NAACP Image Award for her role in “Tap,” Entertainment Tonight reported. She also appeared in “School of Rock,” “The Cosby Show,” “Touched By An Angel,” “The Parkers” and “The Good Wife.”
Most recently, Douglas played Grace Cuffee in the 2019 Netflix miniseries, “When They See Us,” Entertainment Tonight reported.
Douglas’ signature role was on the WB sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood,” which explored the challenges of raising a family in New York City, the Times reported. The show, created by and also starring Robert Townsend, ran for five seasons before ending in 1999.
“My heart is full because yesterday I lost my amazing dancing partner on TV for five years, Suzanne Douglas,” Townsend tweeted Wednesday. “I just remember a lot of laughter and a lot of tears … her regal bright light will be missed.”
Douglas grew up in the Altgeld Gardens housing development on Chicago’s South Side, the Sun-Times reported.
“It was 1067 E. 132nd St. but they called it Block Nine,” she told the newspaper in a 1996 interview. “We were right on the corner and we were broken into so many times. It was rough. We were not allowed off my block, and the playgrounds were rat-infested and there was broken glass all over.”
Douglas said she was bitten by the acting bug at age 5 after performing in a local production of the opera “Hansel and Gretel,” in which she played a mouse, the Sun-Times reported.
“My mom made me this brown crepe paper costume but I got caught in the rain,” Douglas told the newspaper. “And you know that rain and crepe paper don’t mix, so I was a soggy mouse. But once I hit the stage I just knew that this was it. It was a magical moment.”
“I got to stand beside greatness,” friend Stephanie Perry Moore, a writer and television producer, wrote on Facebook. “Suzanne Douglas Cobb, I love you, dear lady. Thanks for always checking on me and for showing me elegance and grace walking. I’ve got a heavy heart, but I’m blessed to be a part of the legacy you touched. I am better because I knew you. Heaven is richer.”
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