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Irma P. Hall

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Information about Irma P. Hall

Profile image of Irma P. Hall

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Actress

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
When You’re Born You’re Like An Empty Vase...

Birthplace

Born:
6/3/1935
Birth Location:
Beaumont, Texas

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Actress

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
When You’re Born You’re Like An Empty Vase...

Birthplace

Born:
6/3/1935
Birth Location:
Beaumont
See how Irma P. Hall is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Stage and film actress Irma P. Hall was born Irma Dolores Player on June 3, 1935, in Beaumont, Texas. In 1942, her family moved to the South Side of Chicago, Illinois where she was raised. Hall was introduced to the entertainment industry at the age of seven when her father, a jazz musician, began to take her with him when performing at clubs and local events. After graduating from high school, Hall went on to attend Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa where she was selected for her first acting role in a theatrical production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Afterwards, she transferred to Texas College in Tyler, Texas and pursued her B.A. degree in foreign language education with a focus in French and Spanish.

Hall taught in the Dallas, Texas school system for twenty years until she was discovered by actor and director Raymond St. Jacques. She was performing at a poetry reading when he offered her a role in one of his films, Book of Numbers (1973). In 1972, Hall co-founded the Dallas Minority Repertory Theatre and starred in a production of Happy Endings. After starring in several more productions, Hall realized her calling as an actress and officially retired from teaching in 1984. When her mother fell ill, Hall took a leave from acting and moved back to Chicago. After her mother's death in 1987, Hall returned to acting, starring in numerous stage productions such as Member of the Wedding, Black Girl, and Steppin' Out. For the Dallas Minority Repertory Theatre, she wrote a play, Gentle Fire which was based on her poetry. In 1996, Hall was featured alongside Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones in the film A Family Thing . Her performance won her Best Supporting Actress Awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Kansas City Film Critics Circle. She went on to star in several films including Nothing to Lose (1997), Soul Food (1997) and Beloved (1998). In 2000, Hall starred in the revival of the Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun. Later, in 2004, Hall appeared in the films The Ladykillers and Collateral. She was also cast in the 2008 Tyler Perry film, Meet the Browns.

Hall has been nominated and has received several awards for her acting including a NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Soul Food. In 2004, she won the prestigious Prixe du Jury from Cannes Film Festival for her performance in the The Ladykillers while she was still recovering from a devastating car accident. Since then she has been inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame and has opened the African American Repertory Theatre in DeSoto, Texas so she can share her knowledge with and train the new generation of black actors.

Irma P. Hall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 12, 2008

See how Irma P. Hall is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Irma P. Hall's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Irma P. Hall lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Irma P. Hall describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Irma P. Hall describes her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Irma P. Hall describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Irma P. Hall describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Irma P. Hall describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Irma P. Hall remembers the pastimes of her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Irma P. Hall describes her needlework
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Irma P. Hall remembers her early activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Irma P. Hall describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Irma P. Hall describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Irma P. Hall remembers her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Irma P. Hall remembers Carroll Street Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Irma P. Hall recalls visiting her father in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Irma P. Hall recalls visiting her father in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Irma P. Hall recalls her early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Irma P. Hall remembers hog slaughtering in Tyler, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Irma P. Hall remembers performing on the train to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Irma P. Hall remembers her early involvement in the arts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Irma P. Hall remembers life on the home front during World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Irma P. Hall remembers Corpus Christi Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Irma P. Hall remembers meeting notable African Americans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Irma P. Hall describes her college experiences, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Irma P. Hall remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Irma P. Hall remembers the Bud Billiken Club
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Irma P. Hall recalls attending the prom at Corpus Christi High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Irma P. Hall describes her college experiences, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Irma P. Hall remembers Texas College in Tyler, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Irma P. Hall remembers her early teaching career, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Irma P. Hall recalls working as a butcher's apprentice
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Irma P. Hall remembers her early teaching career, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Irma P. Hall recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Irma P. Hall remembers reporting for the Dallas Express
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Irma P. Hall recalls her introduction to screen acting
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Irma P. Hall describes her teaching career in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Irma P. Hall remembers her early acting roles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Irma P. Hall remembers appearing in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Irma P. Hall remembers her transition to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Irma P. Hall talks about starring in 'A Family Thing'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Irma P. Hall remembers her acting credits
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Irma P. Hall describes the reception to her performance in 'Soul Food'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Irma P. Hall describes her awards and honors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Irma P. Hall talks about her recent acting projects
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Irma P. Hall describes her family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Irma P. Hall reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Irma P. Hall reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Irma P. Hall describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Irma P. Hall shares a message to future generations