Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthJanuary 20, 1944
SpouseRobert Gordyn
FactShe was cast in the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple (1985) just after Tina Turner turned it down and because Steven Spielberg had previously worked with her on the television film Something Evil (1972).

Margaret Avery is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Shug Avery in the film The Color Purple (1985), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.

Avery was born in Lufkin, Texas, on December 13, 1944. She was the youngest of six children. Her parents were sharecroppers. As a child, she picked cotton and did other farm work.

Avery began her acting career in the early 1970s. She appeared in several films, including The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975). In 1985, she starred in The Color Purple, for which she received an Academy Award nomination.

Avery has had a long and successful career in film and television. She has appeared in such films as Thelma & Louise (1991), A Time to Kill (1996), and Crash (2004). She has also had roles on television shows such as The Cosby Show, Law & Order, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Avery has been married three times. She has three children.

Avery is five feet four inches tall and weighs approximately 140 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

General Info

Full NameMargaret Avery
Date Of BirthJanuary 20, 1944
ProfessionActor, Singer
EducationSan Francisco State University


SpouseRobert Gordyn
ChildrenAisha Hunt


NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
MoviesThe Color Purple, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Which Way Is Up?, Magnum Force, Hell Up in Harlem, Meet the Browns, The Jacksons: An American Dream, White Man's Burden, Cool Breeze, Scott Joplin, The Lathe of Heaven, The Return of Superfly, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, Night Trap, Lord Help Us, Fo...
TV Shows413 Hope St., Being Mary Jane

Social profile links


1She waged a controversial personal campaign for an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in The Color Purple (1985), highlighted by her taking out an ad in an industry trade magazine. A born-again Christian, she wrote the ad in the vernacular of her character, "Shug", and made her plea directly to God. Many Academy members, reputedly including the film's director Steven Spielberg, were put off by this approach and by her using her professed faith to campaign for an award. She still received the nomination (lost to Anjelica Huston, but many still speculate that her approach, which came across as simultaneously sanctimonious and disingenuous, led to her being overlooked, if not out-and-out shunned, by the motion picture industry ever since.
2While still a teenager, she joined the civil-rights campaign known as the Freedom Riders.
3She was cast in the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple (1985) just after Tina Turner turned it down and because Steven Spielberg had previously worked with her on the television film Something Evil (1972).
4Has one daughter, Aisha.




Symposium2017Short completedWoman
Road to Redemptionpost-productionKadija (rumored)
Being Mary Jane2013-2015TV SeriesHelen Patterson
Single Ladies2012TV Series
Extrospection2009ShortAnna (as Margret Avery)
Meet the Browns2008Sarah
Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins2008Mama Jenkins
Exodus2007/IRobbed Tourist
Lord Help Us2007VideoDorinda Thomas
Waitin' to Live2006Pearline Loggins
Bones2005TV SeriesIvy Gillespie
JAG2005TV SeriesIndira Diamond
10-8: Officers on Duty2003TV SeriesRita Armstrong
Second to Die2002Insurance Agent
Wie stark muß eine Liebe sein1998TV MovieMary McMillian
Love Kills1998Moon
413 Hope St.1997TV SeriesDenise Thomas
Walker, Texas Ranger1997TV SeriesMabel Jarvis
Die Gang1997TV SeriesGlenda Otero
White Man's Burden1995Megan Thomas
The Set Up1995Olivia Dubois
Cyborg 3: The Recycler1994VideoDoc Edford
Lightning in a Bottle1993Dr. Sierheed
Night Trap1993Miss Sadie
Time Trax1993TV SeriesMrs. Shaw
Jack's Place1992TV SeriesKathleen
Roc1992TV SeriesHelen
The Cosby Show1992TV SeriesLeah
The Jacksons: An American Dream1992TV SeriesMartha Scruse
MacGyver1991TV SeriesRegina Jeffries
The Return of Superfly1990Francine
Heat Wave1990TV MovieRoxie Turpin
CBS Schoolbreak Special1990TV SeriesMary Jones
Amen1990TV SeriesJuanita Mannings
Riverbend1989Bell Coleman
Single Women Married Men1989TV MovieGrace Williams
Knightwatch1989TV SeriesCouncilwoman Slane
Blueberry Hill1988Hattie Cale
Crime Story1988TV SeriesIris Marshall
Rags to Riches1987TV SeriesCelia Richards
Bustin' Loose1987TV Series
Spenser: For Hire1987TV SeriesCallie Braxton
Miami Vice1987TV SeriesSally Cordoba
The Color Purple1985Shug Avery
Murder, She Wrote1985TV SeriesDixie
T.J. Hooker1984TV SeriesMrs. Daniels
American Playhouse1983TV SeriesDottie
The Powers of Matthew Star1982TV SeriesApril
Trapper John, M.D.1981TV SeriesSharon Henderson
The Sky Is Gray1980TV MovieRosemary
The Lathe of Heaven1980TV MovieHeather LeLache
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh1979Toby Millman
Baby, I'm Back1978TV SeriesRacine Parks
Scott Joplin1977TV MovieBelle Joplin
Which Way Is Up?1977Annie Mae
A.E.S. Hudson Street1977TV SeriesNurse Sawyer
Harry O1974-1976TV SeriesRuby Dome / Ginnie Adams
Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style1976TV MovieAlma Rae
The Rookies1972-1975TV SeriesStacy Brooks / Marly Walker
Kolchak: The Night Stalker1975TV SeriesRuth Van Galen
Sanford and Son1975TV SeriesDenise
Marcus Welby, M.D.1974TV SeriesJulie
Kojak1974TV SeriesLula
Ironside1973TV SeriesBartender
Magnum Force1973Prostitute
The New Dick Van Dyke Show1973TV SeriesPam Harris / Nurse Wilkinson
Hell Up in Harlem1973Sister Jennifer
An Eye for an Eye1973Nurse
Terror House1972Edwina (as Margret Avery)
Cool Breeze1972Lark
Something Evil1972TV MovieIrene


Cultivating a Classic: The Making of 'The Color Purple'2003Video documentary short special thanks
The Color Purple: The 'Musical'2003Video documentary short special thanks
A Collaboration of Spirits: Casting and Acting 'The Color Purple'2003Video documentary short special thanks


Unsung Hollywood2016TV Series documentaryHerself
Apollo Night LA2015TV SeriesHerself - Celebrity Co Host
Actor's Day in LA2015TV SeriesHerself
BET Awards 20142014TV SpecialHerself
The Arsenio Hall Show2014TV SeriesHerself - Guest
BET Awards 20132013TV SpecialHerself
The Oprah Winfrey Show2010TV SeriesHerself
The Florence Henderson Show2008TV SeriesHerself - guest
BET Awards 20062006TV SpecialHerself
The Black Movie Awards2005TV SpecialHerself
The Color Purple: The 'Musical'2003Video documentary shortHerself
A Collaboration of Spirits: Casting and Acting 'The Color Purple'2003Video documentary shortHerself
The Roots of Roe1993TV Movie documentaryLetters to Margaret Sanger (voice)
Àngel Casas Show1987TV SeriesHerself
The 58th Annual Academy Awards1986TV SpecialHerself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role


Nominated Awards

1986OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actress in a Supporting RoleThe Color Purple (1985)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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