Dorothy Steel, the actress who played a tribal elder on Black Panther, has died at the age of 95.
According to WSB-TV, Steel passed away last Friday morning (Oct. 15) at her home in Detroit. “She went out strong,” her publicist told the outlet. Prior to her death, Steel was in the middle of filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which started production this past June. The Marvel franchise reportedly flew her home so she could spend her final moments with her loved ones. As of this report, her cause of death has not been revealed to the public.
Steel’s role as the elder of the Merchant Tribe in the blockbuster movie was her feature film debut.
During a 2018 appearance on “Steve Harvey,” the actress said she was originally reluctant to appear in a ”comic strip at my age,” however, her grandson encouraged her to audition for the part. “He said, ‘Grandma, you always talk about stepping out onto nothing, letting your faith take you there. Now how come you don’t do it yourself?’” Steel recalled. “He said, ‘Either you’re gonna step out there or you’re gonna shut up.’”
She also stated that she sat down in front of her computer every day and “practiced” Nelson Mandela’s speeches to find the right tone for her character. An hour after sending in her audition tape, Steel heard from the Black Panther production team.
While reflecting on the experience, the actress said it made her “feel really good to be a part of something … Black,” adding, “Wakanda forever.”
Steel has acted in several other movies, including Poms, Daisy Winters and Jumanji: The Next Level. She also appeared on a few television shows such as BET’s “The Oval” and Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners.”
The REVOLT team would like to send our condolences to Steel’s family and friends. May she rest in peace.