Played Nurse Ernestine Shoop on six seasons of Trapper John MD and portrayed Bell Reynolds in Roots. She also provided the voice of Sarabi in the 1994 Disney film The Lion King.
She was a promising stage actress in New York City's black theatre productions.
She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role of Belle in the groundbreaking miniseries Roots, and played Queen Aoleon in Coming to America.
She was married twice, and had two sons with her first husband, Royston Sinclair.
James Earl Jones played her husband King Jafe Joffer in the film Coming to America.