ETI salutes accomplished actress Esther Scott – May she RIP

In order to be a legend you have to learn from and study the legends.

A legend today is known for their noted celebrity and larger-than-life accomplishments, whose fame is well-known.

Esther Scott, was an actress who specialized in playing matriarchal roles in films and on television — most notably in the movies “Boyz N the Hood” and “Dreamgirls” — died on Feb. 14, 2020 in Los Angeles at the age of 66.

Her sister Shaun Scott, said that Ms. Scott had a heart attack and was found unconscious in her home in Santa Monica on Feb. 11, 2020, and that she died at the UCLA Medical Center.

Esther Scott made a career of being the familiar face of nurturing but sometimes strict characters in over 70 movies and on many TV shows.

In “Boyz N the Hood,” John Singleton’s 1991 movie about the challenges young black men faced growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Ms. Scott played the grandmother of the protagonist’s love interest. In a memorable scene, she chases the young man out of her granddaughter’s bedroom while wielding a meat cleaver.

In “Dreamgirls” (2006), Ms. Scott portrayed the aunt of Curtis Taylor Jr., a record executive played by Jamie Foxx. Her character, Ethel, watches over Curtis’s children.

Ms. Scott played an asylum nurse in “The Craft” (1996) and a judge in “Austin Powers: Goldmember” (2002). She also had roles on “Martin,” “Sister, Sister” and “The Wayans Bros.,” among other TV shows.

Fans usually recognized her on the street but did not remember her name, her sister said.

Shaun Scott remembers seeing her sister most excited for her role as Bridget Turner in “The Birth of a Nation,” Nate Parker’s 2016 movie about Nat Turner, a slave who led a rebellion in Virginia in 1831.

Ms. Scott played Turner’s paternal grandmother, who taught him to read and write.

“She was really looking forward to that particular role,” Shaun Scott said. “I remember her being excited. She thought that the time was right to tell the story.”

Esther Scott was born on April 13, 1953, in Flushing, Queens. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Brooklyn. She attended the Bronx High School of Science, where her sister said she caught the acting bug.

“She was just about in every play that they had, that I can recall,” Shaun Scott said. “She might have been bitten by the bug even earlier than that.”

Ms. Scott later moved to California and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in theater arts, her sister said.

After the release of “Boyz N the Hood,” many other matronly roles followed for Ms. Scott — but there was one she simply could not fill.

“She tried to be motherly with me, but we bumped heads on that,” Shaun Scott said, laughing.

In addition to her sister Shaun, Esther Scott is survived by her mother, Sandra Grant. Another sister, Valerie J. Love, died in 2015.

Overall, regardless of how small or large the role was, Ms. Scott’s sister said she was happy to do what she loved:

“She enjoyed all of her roles. She was excited about working.”


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