December 17, 1939|
Brooklyn, New York United States
Nelson was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Evelyn Hines and James Nelson. She established her career as a singer, both on the off-Broadway and Broadway stage and in cabaret-style locales. Starting in 1961, Nelson had a decades-long stage career, performing, directing and producing, primarily in New York.She was a featured performer on Broadway in 1970 in the musical, Purlie. In 1975, Nelson directed the play La Femme Noire at The Public Theater. Her film career began at age 39 with a small part in 1977's An Unmarried Woman, and continued for the next several decades with roles in movies and television.
|1978||An Unmarried Woman||Jean Starret|
|1979||The Seduction of Joe Tynan||Carla Willis|
|1984||The Cotton Club||Madame St. Clair|
|1984||The Flamingo Kid||Lizzy the Housekeeper|
|1990||The Bonfire of the Vanities||Media Jackal|
|1993||Weekend at Bernie's II||Mobu|
|1995||The Keeper||Mrs. Lemont, Mother|
|1996||Girl 6||Angela's Aunt|
|1997||The Devil's Advocate||Botanica Woman|
|1998||A Perfect Murder||Ambassador Alice Wills|
|2002||Antwone Fisher||Mrs. Tate|
|2003||The West Wing episode "Gaza"||Gail Fitzwallace|
|2003||The West Wing episode "N.S.F. Thurmont"||Gail Fitzwallace|
|2005||"Preaching To The Choir"||Ruth|
|2007||The Ten||Judge Sophia R. Jackson|
|2007||August Rush||Social Worker|
|2010||Night Catches Us||Eloise Johnson|
|2010||30 Rock episode "The Moms"||Herself|
|2010||It's Kind of a Funny Story||The Professor|
- Arcana A1001, made by Desto Records, NYC, unknown date, "Novella Nelson".
- Songs: Mean World; Long Road Home; (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay; Lilac Wine; Johnny (Guns and Drums); I'm Troubled; Do What You Gotta Do; Cold Water Flat; Porgy; I Wish I Knew How It Would feel To Be Free.
- Musicians: Phil Moore, piano; Richard Davis, bass; Frederick Waits, drums; Warren Smith, percussion; Emmanuel Green and Gene Orloff, violins; Selwart Clarke, viola; Kermit Moore, cello.
- Information on this LP from Black Shellac, Records for Collectors, Spring City, PA
- "Novella Nelson Biography". Film Reference. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- THEATER; 'Electra' With a Different Dimension - New York Times
- Cabaret - Novella Nelson - Nytimes.Com
- Bailey, Peter A. (Apr 1975). "Annual Round-up, Black Theater in America". Black World/Negro Digest. Johnson Publishing Co. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- Novella Nelson - IMDb