Her name was Madge Sinclair and there’s a very good chance you have seen her or heard her voice in several popular films.
Her onscreen characters played pivotal roles in many popular motion pictures including Coming to America, Cornbread, Trapper John and she was was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance as Bell Reynolds in the miniseries Roots (1977).
She also voiced the character of Sarabi, Mufasa’s mate and Simba’s mother, in the animated feature film The Lion King.
Her role as captain of the USS Saratoga in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, made her the the first female Starfleet captain to be seen in the history of Star Trek.
Despite her incredible and abundant volume of work, many Jamaicans are still not aware that she was from the land of wood and water.
Born Madge Dorita Walters in Kingston, Jamaica, to Herbert and Jemima Walters. She was a teacher in Jamaica until 1968 when she left for New York to pursue her career in acting.
In the early 1980s, Sinclair was diagnosed with leukemia, but she continued working regardless. In 1982, she married an actor named Dean Compton. They remained married until December 1995, when Sinclair died from leukemia in Los Angeles, California at the age of 57.
Madge Sinclair played a role in all the productions below:
Madigan, The Witches of Salem: The Horror and the Hope, I Love You… Good-bye, Conrack, Medical Cente, The Waltons, Cornbread, Earl and Me, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Joe Forrester, Doctors’ Hospita, I Will, I Will… for Now, Leadbelly, Executive Suite, Roots, Serpico, Convoy, ABC Afterschool Specials, Uncle Joe Shannon, The White Shadow, Trapper John, M.D., ABC Afterschool Specials, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Mathnet, Ohara, Starman, Look Away, Coming to America, Gideon Oliver, Roseanne, Midnight Caller, The End of, Innocence, Gabriel’s Fire, The Orchid House, Pros and Cons, L.A. Law, Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Lion King, Me and the Boys, Dream On
Were you aware this talented woman was a Jamaican? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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