Bessie

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Bessie is an HBO TV film about legendary American blues singer Bessie Smith, and focuses on her transformation as a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues". The film is directed by Dee Rees, with a screenplay by Rees, Christopher... read more
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Bessie is an HBO TV film about legendary American blues singer Bessie Smith, and focuses on her transformation as a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues". The film is directed by Dee Rees, with a screenplay by Rees, Christopher Cleveland and Bettina Gilois. Queen Latifah stars as Smith, and supporting roles are played by Michael Kenneth Williams as Smith's first husband Jack Gee, and Mo'Nique as Ma Rainey. The film premiered on May 16, 2015.

Original Release

05/16/2015

US Release

05/16/2015

Links

Cast

Queen Latifah Bessie Smith / Bessie
Mo'Nique Ma Rainey
Mike Epps Richard
Tika Sumpter Lucille
Michael Kenneth Williams Jack Gee
Charles S. Dutton William 'Pa' Rainey / Pa Rainey
Bryan Greenberg John Hammond
Oliver Platt Carl Van Vechten
Khandi Alexander Viola
Tory Kittles Clarence
(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

Dee Rees

Writers

Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois, Horton Foote

Cast

Queen Latifah Bessie Smith / Bessie
Mo'Nique Ma Rainey
Mike Epps Richard
Tika Sumpter Lucille
Michael Kenneth Williams Jack Gee
Charles S. Dutton William 'Pa' Rainey / Pa Rainey
Bryan Greenberg John Hammond
Oliver Platt Carl Van Vechten
Khandi Alexander Viola
Tory Kittles Clarence
Jeremie Harris Langston Hughes
Joe Knezevich Frank Walker
Alkoya Brunson Swarm Boy #2
Whitney Goin Fania Van Vechten
Todd Allen Durkin Night Club Owner / Nightclub Manager
Terence Rosemore Detroit Theater Manager
Jessejames Locorriere Vanity Fair Editor
Onira Tares Chorus Girl #1 / Chorus Girl
Neko Parham Rehearsal Director
Crystal Lee Brown Bessie's Dancer

Producers

Shakim Compere Executive Producer
Randi Michel Executive Producer
Queen Latifah Executive Producer
Shelby Stone Executive Producer
Lili Fini Zanuck Executive Producer
Richard D. Zanuck Executive Producer
Hallie Foote Executive Producer
Ron Schmidt Producer

Editors

Brian A. Kates

2016 Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Television Movie Won
2015 Emmy Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) Won
2015 Emmy Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie Won
2015 Emmy Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or a Movie Won
2015 Emmy Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or a Movie Nominated
2015 Emmy Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Nominated
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