Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Played the Maid

Danitra Vance (July 13, 1954 - August 21, 1994) was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. She was the second female African American member of SNL (the first was Yvonne Hudson, who appeared in the 1980-1981 season), but the first to be a contract player and to play any major roles. She is best remembered for the sketch "That Black Girl", a spoof of the 1960s sitcom That Girl, starring Marlo Thomas, and for her character Cabrini Green, an urban teenager.
Vance became extremely frustrated during her run on SNL because she was overwhelmingly written into sketches as either a
prostitute or a maid. She opted to leave the show because of this, and her final performance on the show was singing a song called "I Played the Maid," a tribute to black woman in Hollywood.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990, Vance underwent a single mastectomy and incorporated the experience into a solo skit, "The Radical Girl's Guide to Radical Mastectomy." Unfortunately, the cancer recurred in 1993 and she died the following year.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I am glad you posted this.

Beatty said...

I googled her picture to see if I remember her on SNL, I use to watch it alot more back then. I can't remember her though. I'm so sorry to hear she lost her battle with breast cancer.

Trina Slade-Burks said...

It is so sad. I stumbled on this doing reach. It is ironic because it is almost here 11 year anniversary since her death.

Beatty said...

I didn't even know. It is sad.