Madge Sinclair


Jamaican Performing & Recording Artists

Date of Birth (DOB): 4/27/38
Died: 12/20/95
From: Jamaica
Best Known for: Television and Film star best known for roles on Trapper John MD & Coming to America

Bio: Actress Madge Sinclair was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. A bright and ambitious student, Sinclair excelled in speech and drama, winning several awards. She put her theatrical aspirations on hold when she married a Jamaican policeman, working for several years as a school teacher. Sinclair married young, and had two sons. She taught in Jamaica until she was 30, when she left for New York to be an actress. The boys stayed in Jamaica with their father, and saw their mother only on visits. In New York she modeled, and acted with the New York Shakespearean Festival and at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. In 1968, she moved to New York with her two sons in tow, hoping to launch an acting career. While opportunities were still rather limited for black performers in the late 1960s, she managed to find good, solid stage work with producer Joseph Papp, the Public Theatre and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She made her film debut as Mrs. Scott in Conrack (1974), then went on to earn an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Bell in the 1977 TV miniseries Roots. After a brief fling at series TV with the 1978 Jack Albertson sitcom Grandpa Goes to Washington, Sinclair enjoyed a six-season (1980-86) run as Nurse Ernestine Shoop on Trapper John MD. Afterwards she appeared on the weekly TV shows, Ohara (1987) and Me and the Boys (1994). In the 1986 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America, she was played Eddie's royal mother opposite James Earl Jones. Madge Sinclair died of leukemia at the age of 57, not long after completing work on the TV special A Century of Women. Her final film role was the voice of the Lion Queen in Disney's "The Lion King" (1994).'s complete profile on Madge Sinclair
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