/  07.28.2022

Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Mary Alice, best known for her roles as Leticia “Lettie” Bostic on NBC‘s A Different World and Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle, has died.

The Huffington Post’s Philip Lewis broke the news, tweeting, “Mary Alice, known for her roles as ‘Lettie’ on A Different World and Effie Williams in Sparkle, has died, one of her close friends tells me.” The friend reportedly added, “We are all very sad at the loss.”

Alice was just 84 at the time of her death. The cause of death is still unknown. She made her screen debut in the 1974 film The Education of Sonny Carson. Alice appeared in television series like “Police Woman” and “Sanford and Son.” During the mid-1980s, Alice portrayed Ellie Grant Hubbard on the soap opera “All My Children.” She most notably co-starred in “A Different World” as Leticia “Lettie” Bostic from 1987 to 1989. The beloved actress won the Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1993 for I’ll Fly Away. Her TV credits also include “Malcolm X,” “The Inkwell,” and “Down in the Delta.” Alice went on to won a Tony Award for her part in the 1987 production of Fences by August Wilson. Most recently, the American Theatre Hall of Fame inducted Alice in 2000 for her stage work.

Fans began expressing their grievances online. One person wrote, “Mary Alice was truly one wickedly talented actor that commanded the screen with charisma and care. she was cherished, and she will be dearly missed.” Another fan wrote, “Rest in peace to Mary Alice, the unforgettable and undeniable on-screen force.” Another fan chimed in, saying, “I always felt Mary Alice was a criminally underrated acting marvel. She filled every role she played with such raw honesty and beauty. To me, she was one of the greatest character actors of her generation. Rest in beautiful peace.”

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