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Angela Bassett | Source: Getty Images
Angela Bassett | Source: Getty Images

Betty Jane Bassett Is Angela Bassett's Mother Who Raised 2 Children

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Sep 29, 2023
12:15 P.M.

Betty Jane Bassett was actress Angela Bassett's mother. Despite her less-than-perfect parenting, she played a crucial role in shaping the Hollywood star, instilling the essential qualities needed to face life's challenges.

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Motherhood and parenting were things with which Angela Bassett's mom, Betty Jane Bassett, struggled in her lifetime. Betty even sought a relative's assistance to help her cope with life.

Although Betty may have had shortcomings as a parent, her famous daughter holds her in high regard. Her daughter also appreciates Betty's love, care, and sacrifices despite her mother's pride and high expectations.

Angela Bassett attends Chanel Hosts The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Artist's Dinner at Balthazar Restaurant on April 29, 2019, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Angela Bassett attends Chanel Hosts The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Artist's Dinner at Balthazar Restaurant on April 29, 2019, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Betty Had a Fulfilling Life Surrounded by the People She Held Dear

Betty, a St. Petersburg, Florida resident, enjoyed a life filled with the joy of watching her family thrive. She was blessed with two daughters, Dannette Belinda and Angela Bassett.

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In addition to her daughters, Betty was a proud grandmother to Slater Josiah Vance and Bronwyn Golden Vance, the twin children of Angela and her husband, renowned actor Courtney B. Vance.

Betty's family circle extended to include three siblings: two brothers, Ralph Gilbert and Garland Gilbert, and a sister named Lorraine Gilbert. She was also a treasured relative to her beloved great-aunt, Inez Ford.

Slater Josiah Vance, Bronwyn Golden Vance, Angela Bassett, and Courtney B. Vance attend the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Slater Josiah Vance, Bronwyn Golden Vance, Angela Bassett, and Courtney B. Vance attend the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Betty Once Struggled for Connection

Betty had a challenging time after divorcing her husband, greatly affecting Angela. In 2018, Angela revealed that her aunt cared for her when she was just ten months old but never assumed a maternal role. The actress recalled:

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"I always tried to call my auntie 'Mom.' You know, when you're a baby, you look for father, mother. And I would go, 'Mommy.' But she was always clear with me, 'I'm not your mom. You have a mommy. I'm not your mommy.' She was very clear. She didn't try to take that role."

Angela vividly recalled the moment when Betty returned to her life. One day, Betty called and told her that she was her mom and that she would come to pick her up from her aunt's house.

Angela Bassett attends the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. | Source: Getty Images

Angela Bassett attends the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. | Source: Getty Images

The phone call confused Angela, as she believed she had no mom. Shortly, Betty arrived and took her to St. Petersburg, Florida. However, this reunion was bittersweet, as Betty had difficulty connecting with her.

Because of Betty's health complications, Angela has become motivated to change her life.

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Betty placed great importance on presenting herself with pride. Angela admitted that her mother's expectations were "sometimes too highly," leading some to suggest that her own self-criticism might stem from her mom's high standards.

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Betty's Daughter Honored Her in a Special Way

Betty passed away on June 22, 2014, at the age of 78, leaving behind her beloved family. She died of heart failure due to complications from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Betty became an influential figure in her famous daughter's life, who lovingly described her as "strong-willed" and "determined." Despite their challenges in reconnecting when she was young, Betty has remained a crucial part of Angela's life.

The Hollywood star recalled how Betty, a financially challenged single mom, maintained high expectations for her and her sister. She pushed them to excel, pursue education, and achieve independence.

Angela Bassett attends the 2023 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2023, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Angela Bassett attends the 2023 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2023, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Because of Betty's health complications, Angela has become motivated to change her life. She now prioritizes regular checkups and advocates for her children's health.

In 2019, the actress became an ambassador for the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association's "Know Diabetes by Heart." This decision stemmed from her family's history of diabetes and heart disease and was a way for her to honor Betty.

At that time, Angela had also hosted an event that combined education and artistic expression, aligned with her ambassadorship. The initiative promoted awareness about diabetes, heart disease, and stroke while celebrating the rich culture of the Black community.

The actress gained prominence as Queen Ramonda, the mother of T'Challa, played by the late actor Chadwick Boseman in Marvel's "Black Panther" films. Her talented co-stars are Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, and Michaela Coel.

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