HomeEntertainmentSuzzanne Douglas, ’The Parent ‘Hood’ and ‘Tap’ Star, Dies at 64

Suzzanne Douglas, ’The Parent ‘Hood’ and ‘Tap’ Star, Dies at 64

by Katie Maloney
Photo: John Lamparski / Contributor via Getty

Actor Suzzanne Douglas had died at age 64.

Suzzanne Douglas, who is best known for starring in the 1989 dance drama “Tap” died on Tuesday. Douglas spent four decades wowing audiences with her onstage and onscreen performances. She was born in Chicago in 1957. Her single mother raised her along with her three siblings, according to Essence. Douglas discovered a passion for performing arts when she was just a little girl. And the passion only grew stronger through the years. Douglas earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s in music from the Manhattan School of Music.

After graduating, Suzzanne Douglas performed on Broadway before segueing into film and television. The world also knows Douglas for her role as matriarch Jerri Peterson on the WB sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood.'” For the show, Douglas starred alongside Robert Townsend, from 1995–1999.

Suzzanne Douglas Shared Her Gifts Both On Stage And On Screen

Additionally, Suzzanne Douglas earned an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in 1989’s “Tap.” She then went on to star in movies including the 2003 hit “School of Rock.” In 2015, she portrayed gospel legend Cissy Houston in a Whitney Houston biopic. She also frequently guest-starred on popular television shows including “Bones”, “Bull”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, “The Good Wife”, “NYPD Blue” and more.

Suzzanne Douglas’s cousin, Angie Tee announced the news on Facebook. She wrote, “Suzzanne Douglas, a beautiful and talented actress, made her transition today. She warmed our hearts on movie screens and television sets all over the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin. I can remember growing up, there weren’t very many Black actresses who had starring roles but there was my cousin with the lead role in ‘Tap’ starring alongside great dancers such as Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. She also performed with Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg in ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back.’ ‘The Inkwell,’ ‘Jason’s Lyric’ and so much more, the list goes on. The world will miss your talent but your soul will live on forever. Rest in Paradise, my beautiful cousin Suzzane, you will be missed.”

Celebrities and former co-stars are also posting tributes to Douglas.

Ana Duvernay tweeted, “Suzzanne Douglas was a quiet, elegant force as we made ‘When They See Us.’ A gentlewoman. A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer,” wrote DuVernay. “I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love.”

Jada Pinkett Smith wrote, “I woke up this morning to the news that Suzzanne Douglas has passed away. I worked with Suzzanne in the film Inkwell. She was an elegant, gentle warm spirit. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in love.”

Suzzanne Douglass is survived by her husband, neuro-radiologist Roy Jonathan Cobb, and their daughter Jordan.