Maya Angelou on Screen: 8 Powerful TV and Film Appearances (Photos)

  • "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"
  • "Roots"
  • "Poetic Justice"
  • "Sesame Street"
  • "Iconoclasts"
  • "Madea's Family Reunion"
  • "The Arsenio Hall Show"

Author and activist had a thriving side career on screen

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The poet gave a heartbreaking performance on "The Richard Pryor Special?" in 1977 as the wife of Pryor's Willie, a drunk. When he passes out, she delivers a powerful monologue about lost hopes, the consequences of alcoholism and why the N-word isn't an affectionate term.