Suzzanne Douglas

Suzzanne Douglas (born April 12, 1957) is an American actress.[2] She is best known for her role as matriarch Jerri Peterson on The WB sitcom The Parent 'Hood,[2] starring Robert Townsend which ran from 1995–1999. Douglas portrayed Amy Simms in the 1989 dance/drama film Tap alongside Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr; for which she received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. In addition to Tap, Douglas has starred in several other motion pictures, among them How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Jason's Lyric (1994), The Inkwell (1994) as well as the 2003 Disney/ABC version of Sounder with Carl Lumbly. Douglas is also best known for her portrayal as Cissy Houston in the Lifetime TV movie Whitney in 2015. In 2019 she appeared as the mother of one of the main characters in When They See Us (Netflix), directed by Ava Duvernay, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Robert De Niro.

Suzzanne Douglas
Born (1957-04-12) April 12, 1957 (age 63)
EducationManhattan School of Music
Alma materIllinois State University
Years active1976–present
Known forJerri Peterson – The Parent 'Hood
Amy Simms – Tap
Roy J. Cobb
(m. 1989)
AwardsNAACP Image Award – (1989) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Tap)

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Douglas was one of four children born to Lois Mae Thompson and Donald Douglas, Sr. Raised by a single mother, Douglas grew up in a public housing complex on the city's south side. Douglas became interested in the arts as a child, citing 1965's The Sound of Music as her inspiration for acting.[3] Douglas attended Thornton Township High School, graduating in 1975.[4] After high school, Douglas studied at Illinois State University; graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During her adult life, Douglas was a student in the Master’s Program in Jazz Vocals at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music; later earning a Master in Music degree.[5]


Douglas has numerous television guest star appearances (most recently Bull, Bones and The Good Wife). Douglas has also appeared on The Parkers, The Cosby Show, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, NYPD Blue, and Touched by an Angel. On stage, Douglas performed the role of Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera starring Sting and Dr. Bearing in Wit, where she was the first African American to perform the role. Douglas is an Award winning actress: a two time Image Award winner, a Black Oscar, a Reel Award and the Mary Martin Award which was awarded to Douglas by Mary Martin. Douglas appears in the Rel Dowdell film, Changing the Game in 2011.


Douglas has been married to neuro-radiologist Roy Jonathan Cobb since February 1989 and they have one daughter.[6] Douglas is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority where she served on its board as the Honorary Co-Chair of the Commission on Arts and Letters for thirteen years. In the community, she is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of the USA, The National Council of Negro Women, Sigma Alpha Lambda (a national leadership and honors organization) and Jack and Jill of America.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Purlie Television film
1989 Tap Amy Simms
1990 The Knife and Gun Club Ginny Ducette Television film
1992 Chain of Desire Angie
1992 Condition: Critical Dr. Bailey Wallace Television film
1994 I'll Do Anything Rainbow House Star
1994 The Inkwell Brenda Tate
1994 Search for Grace Margaret / Melody Television film
1994 Jason's Lyric Gloria
1998 The Last Weekend Short film
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Angela
1998 Alyson's Closet Old Lady Short film
1999 Student Affairs Gretchin Television film
2003 Sounder The Mother Television film
2003 School of Rock Tomika's Mother
2004 Sunday on the Rocks Jessica
2012 Changing the Game Mrs. Davis
2015 Whitney Cissy Houston Television film
2016 Happy Yummy Chicken Sarah Del Casserole


Year Title Role Notes
1989 A Man Called Hawk Lorna Wells Episode: "Vendetta"
1990 The Cosby Show Rebecca Shorter Episode: "Live and Learn"
1990–1991 Against the Law Yvette Carruthers 17 episodes
1991 Great Performances Lady In Plaid / The Girl Episode: "The Colored Museum"
1991 ABC Afterschool Specials Sammy Episode: "In the Shadows of Love: A Teen AIDS Story"
1992 I'll Fly Away Ruth 3 episodes
1993 American Playhouse Eunice Perry Episode: "Hallelujah"
1995–1999 The Parent 'Hood Jerri Peterson 90 episodes
1996-1999 Touched by an Angel Dr. Rebecca Dixon / Brianna 2 episodes
1996 NYPD Blue Mrs. Torrence Episode: "Where's 'Swaldo"
1997–1998 Promised Land Dr. Rebecca Dixon 4 episodes
1999–2000 The Parkers Constance McFarland 2 episodes
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Principal Episode: "Secrets"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Karen Watkins Episode: "Mad Hops"
2010 The Good Wife Judge Keely Farmer Episode: "Infamy"
2011 Are We There Yet? Melissa Episode: "The Parent Teacher Trap Episode"
2016 Bones Elizabeth Burkhart Episode: "The Monster in the Closet"
2016 Bull Betty Everton Episode: "Just Tell the Truth"
2019 When They See Us Grace Cuffe Miniseries


  1. ^ JET Magazine - People Are Talking About... - February 27, 1989
  2. ^ a b "Suzzanne Douglas". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Mendoza, M.F. (May 10, 1994). "No More 'Dodging Bullets' for Actress Suzzanne Douglas - FAST TRACK: Up and Comers in Arts and Entertainment; One in a Series". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "1974 Thornton Township High School Yearbook (Harvey, Illinois)". 1974. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Baltimore Times (Online) - An Interview with Suzzanne Douglas - January 13, 2017
  6. ^ Randolph, Laura B. (October 1995). "How He (She) Proposed". Ebony Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  7. ^

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