In her lifetime, Rosalind Cash was known for her starring portrayal of Mary Mae Ward in ABC's "General Hospital." However, she died at 56 without giving birth to a child of her own.
On October 31, 1995, the world said goodbye to a bright star. Her name was Rosalind Cash, and she had warmed her way into the hearts of many with her starring performances in several television shows.
In her lifetime, Cash was an original member of the Negor Ensemble Company. She was one of the company's liveliest and most talented members. She died at 56 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles as a result of cancer.
Despite her refusal to portray many stereotyped characters that Black actors and actresses were offered in those days, Cash's career was highly successful.
She once said she was not good at playing stereotypes and would not ingratiate herself to the powers-that-be as a nice, colored person. She vowed she would not be known as a Negro that people have come to know and love and are used to.
Cash was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She attended Atlantic City High and graduated in 1956. After she graduated, she gained admission to City College of New York. She also became a founding member of the Negro Ensemble Company in 1968.
Her career started with legitimate theater as she debuted on Broadway when she starred in "The Wayward Stork" in 1966. The rising star also appeared in productions like "Fiorello!," "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men," and "Boesman and Lena."
Cash was best known for acting in naturalistic dramas, but she held her own in musicals and classics. In 1973, she played Goneril in "King Lear" at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Legendary actor James Earl Jones portrayed Lear.
In her appearance on "The Golden Girls," Cash portrayed Lorraine, a 44-year-old Black woman who intended to marry the 24-year-old Michael.
Cash also appeared on "Callback," a New York-area television show that featured musical director Barry Manilow. During her appearance on the show, she performed "God Bless the Child."
The episode she appeared on was featured at New York City's Village Gate and aired on CBS. However, there are no known recordings of her performance in existence.
Cash had numerous television roles. She appeared in hit series like "Barney Miller," "China Beach," "Cagney and Lacey," "Hill Street Blues," and "Kojak."
She also had credits in other popular television shows like "The Cosby Show," "A Different World," "What's Happening!!," "Good Times," "Head of the Class," "Family Ties," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Frank's Place," "Police Woman," "The Golden Girls," and "L.A. Law."
In her appearance on "The Golden Girls," Cash portrayed Lorraine, a 44-year-old Black woman who intended to marry the 24-year-old Michael, played by Scott Jacoby.
With that storyline, "The Golden Girls," tackled the general assumption that Whites were more offended by interracial relationships.
The marriage raised everyone's eyebrows, including that of Michael's mom, Dorothy, whose character was portrayed by Beatrice Authur.
Dorothy objected to the marriage because of the wide age gap between her son and the Black woman and not because of their racial differences.
However, Lorraine's family was against her marrying a white man. Her mother, played by Virginia Capers, was worried about their racial differences.
With that storyline, "The Golden Girls" tackled the general assumption that Whites were more offended by interracial relationships than Blacks.
Cash received an Emmy nomination for her work in the Public Broadcasting Service production of "Go Tell It on the Mountain." She also appeared in films, with her most popular roles coming in "The Omega Man," in which she starred alongside Charleston Heston. In addition, she and Sidney Poitier starred in the comedy "Uptown Saturday Night."
Cash said she did not really have an attitude toward the industry but had spent much time keeping her balance.
Cash and John Lithgow starred in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Across the 8th Dimension," which became a cult classic. In 1982, she appeared in the film "Wrong Is Right." Her last film appearance came in 1995 when she starred in "Tales From The Hood."
Undoubtedly, the late actress is best known for portraying Mary Mae Ward in ABC's "General Hospital." She played the character from 1994 until she died in 1995.
In 1987, she received the Phoenix Award from the Black American Cinema Society. The award was in recognition of her achievements in motion pictures. In 1992, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
In 1981, Cash was interviewed by S. Pearl Sharp for BET's Lead In series. During the interview, Sharp noted that Cash was one of the finest actresses in the industry but did not work so much. She then asked her what her attitude toward the industry was.
In her response, Cash said she did not really have an attitude toward the industry but had spent much time keeping her balance, spiritual, mental, and physical health.
Cash said she felt like a queen and that she would prevail. She also said she felt very strong and would continue to do what she does best, adding she was surrounded by love and refused to deal with the industry's interpretation of her worth.
Cash expressed her desire to work as an actor because she deserved it but did not seek it to make her complete. She also said:
"I am an artist and I think I will be an artist whether the industry recognizes me or not."
The talented actress further said she was done with the stereotypes about her and did not care about that because she was going beyond it. Cash also said:
"I feel like I'm international and I think that the Black artist is international."
Cash was undoubtedly a legendary actress in more ways than one, and though she is not regarded as she deserved to be, her work and words remain a shining light in today's world.