January 25, 2004 by

Beatrice Winde


Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Musicians

Beatrice Winde, a Tony Award-nominated actress, died on Jan. 3 from cancer. She was 79.
Born Beatrice Lucille Williams, Winde always planned on becoming a professional singer. She graduated from the Chicago Music Conservatory, attended the Yale School of Music, toured with its “Colored Choir” and studied voice at Juilliard. Although she was a soloist in her church choir, Winde’s talent for acting eventually became the driving force of her career as a performer.
She acted in numerous plays, including “A Lesson Before Dying” and “In White America.” In 1972, she won a Theatre World Award and earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work in “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death.” She received a Living Legend Award from the National Black Theater in 1997, and an Audelco Award for Excellence in Black Theater in 2001.
The actress, who took the name Beatrice Winde because Actors Equity already had a Beatrice Williams on its rolls, also had a successful career on television and in film. She appeared in the TV movie, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” and followed that up with several memorable guest appearances on “Guiding Light” and “Law & Order.” Her film credits include small roles in “Malcolm X,” “It Could Happen to You,” “Dangerous Minds,” “Simon Birch” and “The Hurricane.”

3 Responses to Beatrice Winde

  1. Sharon Reid

    She was a contribution to African Americans every where. She paved the way for most actors and actresses today. I hope they don’t forget that. I saw her last interview before she died on television. Even knowing the end was near, she was still Bea. Strong to the hilt, and ever loving. SHE WILL BE MISSED!

  2. Jacob D

    She was aunt that i never got to meet, but was loved by all her family, she will never be forgotten because of her films and because of the memory that she holds in her families hearts. I wish i would have been able to meet my great aunt because she was a great woman and will alway be in the hearts of her loved ones. I LOVE YOU AUNT B
    RIP Beatrice Williams

  3. abena joan brown

    Bea was/is the penultimate of talent and professionalism and commitment. a long time friend from the fifties, a colleague and buddy, as I write this in Jan 2009, she/her spirit remains with me today…..and I think of the many experiences we shared and the long and frequent conversations about the work over the years. I miss you Ms Bea and you continue to influence my choices. The work continues in your name. Thank you for all that you did to be the beacon for choices. Abena Joan Brown, President/Producer eta creative arts foundation

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