Margaret Avery

Active - 1949 - 2019  |   Born - Jan 20, 1944 in Magnum, Oklahoma, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Horror, Action

Share on

Biography by Sandra Brennan

Having worked steadily through the '70s on television and in blaxploitation films, African-American actress Margaret Avery did not become a star until she was cast as Shug in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of The Color Purple (1985), a performance that won her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Though the quality of her films briefly improved, her stardom was only fleeting and she returned to less visible work.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Worked as a first grade teacher at Anthony Chabot Elementary School in Oakland, California before becoming an actor.
  • Studied at the Judy Davis Voice Studio in Oakland.
  • Made her big screen debut in 1972.
  • Received the lifetime achievement award for her theatrical productivity by the Ensemble Theater in Houston.
  • Is a public advocate for the Lupus Foundation of America.