December 2, 1915
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
May 11, 1993
New York City, New York, United States
Durable African-American actor who began in segregated, all-black theater at an early age, and well over half a century later was still racking up credits in features like "The Bad Lieutenant" (1992). For many years Gentry worked primarily on the stage, in plays ranging from "Lysistrata" and "Medea" to a revival of "A Raisin in the Sun." Feature film work did not begin until late middle age, but Gentry made her dignified, charming and strong presence visible in a number of media in the years that followed. For many she is probably best for her touching work as Great Aunt Gramtee, a recurring role she played during the 1989-90 season on the hit sitcom, "The Cosby Show."