Biography

Danitra Vance was a highly regarded stage actress who occasionally ventured into films and television. Vance debuted on stage in the early '80s and subsequently worked closely with New York Shakespeare Festival producer George C. Wolfe. Her stage work won her some prestigious awards, including two Dramalogues, an NAACP Image Award, and an Obie. On television, she spent the 1985 season in the cast of the long-running sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. She was the first black woman to become a cast regular. She played supporting roles in a handful of feature films, including Little Man Tate (1991) and Sticky Fingers (1988). She played a lead in her final film, Jumpin' at the Boneyard (1992). Vance was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 and incorporated the experience into a solo skit The Radical Girl's Guide to Radical Mastectomy. Despite her efforts to fight the disease, Vance passed away on August 21, 1994. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi