Novella Nelson was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 17, 1939. She has an extensive career in stage, film and television.

On Broadway Novella originated the role of Aunt Missy in the musical "Purlie" and performed as Pearl Bailey's stand-by in “Hello Dolly!” Off-Broadway and regional theater acting credits include the Ariel Dorfman/Tony Kushner adaptation of “Widows” at the Mark Taper Forum for which she was honored with a NAACP Image Award. She was an Artistic Consultant at The Public Theater from 1970 to 1976 producing "Sundays at the Public." Her other stage works include “Having Our Say,” “The Little Foxes,” “Caesar & Cleopatra,” “House of Flowers,” “A Piece of My Heart,” “Boesman and Lena” and “The Odyssey.” She directed the play “Bailey’s Café” and she’s a member of the original Acting Company of Lincoln Center Directors' Lab.

Novella’s feature film and telefilm credits include “The Seduction of Joe Tynan,” “Chiefs,” “The Cotton Club,” “Strictly Business,” “Mercy,” “Girl 6,” “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” “The Devil’s Advocate,” “Mama Flora’s Family,” “Antwone Fisher,” “Head of State,” “Preaching to the Choir” and “Birth.”

Novella’s tv guest appearances include “New York News,” “Law & Order,” “Oz,” “New York Undercover,” “100 Centre Street,” “Third Watch,” “Whoopi,” “The West Wing” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She also had a recurring role as Judge Barbara Fitzwater on the daytime drama “One Life to Live.”

Novella's film credits include the following:

Check out the following sites for additional information about Novella:

Novella Nelson@Internet Movie Database