Theresa Merritt Hines (September 24, 1922 – June 12, 1998) was an American stage, film, and television actress and singer. She's known for her role in That's My Mama (1974-1975) and for her film roles in The Wiz (1978) and Billy Madison (1995).
== Career ==
Born in Emporia, Virginia, Merritt appeared in many theatrical productions but gained fame later in life when she starred in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination, and The Wiz, in which she replaced Mabel King as Evelline. She left The Wiz, citing the role's harmful effect on her voice. She then starred in the television sitcom That's My Mama.Merritt's other Broadway credits included Mule Bone (1991), Division Street (1980), Don't Play Us Cheap! (1972), The Crucible (1972), Trumpets of the Lord (1969), Golden Boy (1964), Tambourines to Glory (1963), and Carmen Jones (1943, 1945, 1947). She also toured with road companies of Funny Girl, Show Boat, and South Pacific.Her most notable film roles were Aunt Em in the 1978 film version of The Wiz, Mrs. Crosby in the 1977 film adaptation of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, and Juanita in the Adam Sandler comedy Billy Madison. She also appeared alongside Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton in the film adaptation of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
== Personal life and death ==
Merritt was married to Benjamin Hines, and they had four children. During the 34th National Convention of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Merritt and E. Fannie Granton of Jet magazine were made honorary members of the sorority in 1977. Merritt died of skin cancer on June 12, 1998 in The Bronx.
== Filmography ==
== Awards and nominations ==
== References ==
== External links ==
Theresa Merritt at IMDb
Theresa Merritt at the TCM Movie Database
Theresa Merritt at the Internet Broadway Database
Theresa Merritt at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
Theresa Merritt at Find a Grave