Juanita Moore, 'Imitation of Life' actress, dies at 99

Jan. 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Academy Award-nominated actress Juanita Moore, known for her role in "Imitation of Life" died at her Los Angeles home, her family said. She was 99.

Moore collapsed at her home Wednesday, though the cause of her death wasn't reported.

The actress was the third African American nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar, and while her role in 1960's "Imitation of Life" gave her fame, she didn't work much after that, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

"What can you do?" she asked during a 2000 interview with the Times. "They're not going to pay me a lot of money for carrying a tray. That's all we did in movies at the time."

Moore didn't work for a year after her role as Annie Johnson, whose light-skinned teenage daughter shuns her in her effort to live as a white woman in "Imitation of Life."

"A half-century later, everyone remembers the tears they shed for her as she suffered and died. Yet many recall no more than that, making her a household emotion more than a household name," said Sam Staggs, the author of "Born to Be Hurt," a book about the film.

Moore later took small roles in film and television, and worked on Broadway and theater in Los Angeles.

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