Juanita Moore | Oscar nominee, 99
Juanita Moore, 99, an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner's black friend in the classic weeper Imitation of Life, has died.
Actor Kirk Kelleykahn, her grandson, said Ms. Moore collapsed and died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, according to Kelleykahn. Accounts of her age have differed over the years.
Ms. Moore, who got her start in show business as a chorus girl at New York's Cotton Club, was only the fifth black performer to be nominated for an Oscar, receiving the nod for the glossy Douglas Sirk film. The 1959 tearjerker, based on a Fannie Hurst novel and a remake of a 1934 film, tells the story of a struggling white actress' rise to stardom, her friendship with a black woman and how they team up to raise their daughters as single mothers.
It brought supporting-actress nominations for both Ms. Moore and Susan Kohner, who played Ms. Moore's daughter as a young adult trying to pass as a white woman.
"The Oscar prestige was fine, but I worked more before I was nominated," she told the Los Angeles Times in 1967. "Casting directors think an Oscar nominee is suddenly in another category. They couldn't possibly ask you to do one or two days' work. You wouldn't accept it. And I'm sure I would."
Besides numerous television credits, she also had an active career in the theater, appearing on Broadway in 1965 in James Baldwin's The Amen Corner and in London in a production of Raisin in the Sun. - AP