- L. Scott Caldwell
birthname = Laverne Scott
othername = Scottie Caldwell
birthdate = birth date and age|1950|4|17
birthplace = city-state|Chicago|Illinois, U.S.
Film, stage, television actor
yearsactive = 1978–present
tonyawards = Outstanding Featured Actress in a play
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Caldwell, who earned a degree in Theater Arts and Communications from
Loyola University Chicago, has an extensive background in feature films, television and theater. Her film credits include " Mystery Alaska," " Waiting to Exhale," " The Net," " The Fugitive," "Dutch" and " Without a Trace." Caldwell had recurring roles on " Judging Amy", and has guest-starred in " JAG", " Chicago Hope," " City of Angels" and " Promised Land," all on CBS. Her additional television credits include " The Practice," " The Division," "Any Day Now," " Murder One", "The Pretender," " Grace Under Fire," " Melrose Place," " Lois and Clark", "ER", " Nip/Tuck", " L.A. Law", " Ghost Whisperer", " Cold Case", "Saving Grace", "State of Mind", and " The Cosby Show."
On Broadway, Caldwell won a 1988
Tony Awardfor her role in " Joe Turner's Come and Gone". Her other Broadway credits include "Proposals," "A Month of Sundays" and "Home." She has also appeared off Broadway in "About Heaven & Earth," "Colored People's Time," "Old Phantoms," "A Season to Unravel", and "The Imprisonment of Obatala."
Her most recent appearances have been in "
Ghost Whisperer", " Cold Case", "Saving Grace", and "State of Mind". Caldwell currently appears on "Lost" in a recurring capacity. She had extensive screentime in the series' pilot but was one of two actors who did not become regulars on the show. According to the Season 2 DVD featurettes, her husband was going through health problems during the shooting of the first season; this likely factored into her absence during this time. Her husband's story inspired her character's flashbacks in her focus episode, "S.O.S.". The character Rose has not appeared on the show since Season 2, but did appear in the last two episodes of the third season entitled Greatest Hits and Through the Looking Glass, as well as a few episodes in series 4.
Caldwell, the middle of five children, was born in
Chicago, Illinoisto working class parents. Her mother was a maid and her father was a chauffeur. Her mother eventually became a nurse. She grew up in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The neighborhood public school was crowded so the students attended in split shifts. When she was about eight years old Caldwell attended the morning session and her older siblings went to school in the afternoon. When the school released her at noon she was escorted to the Lex Theatre where she was minded by a friend of her mother. It was there that her love of film was spawned. At that early age she did not realize she wanted to be an actress. But she did know that she wanted to be like Bette Davis or Loretta Young.
While attending Hyde Park High School (1963-1967) Caldwell joined the drama club. Her class went to see a performance of A Day of Absence. The play featured Douglas Turner Ward, one of the founders of The Negro Ensemble Company. It was the first time she saw professional Black actors on stage.
After graduating from high school in 1967, Caldwell enrolled at Northwestern University. Although she held a number of part-time jobs she could not afford the tuition and left after one year. She went to work full-time as an operator at Illinois Bell. Caldwell married a young lawyer, John Caldwell, and had a son, Ominara. She transferred her credits to Loyola University-Chicago and earned a bachelor's degree in Theater Arts and Communications.
Caldwell planned on a teaching career and taught at Chicago High School of the Performing Arts. She did not enjoy that profession so she worked a year for the Chicago Council on Fine Arts as an artist-in-residence. She also performed in local theatrical productions at the Body Politic, Court Theater, and Eleventh Street Theater.
She went to New York in 1978 to audition for
Uta Hagen's school HB Studio. While waiting to audition she saw an ad for The Negro Ensemble Company. After her audition at Hagen's school she took the subway to the NEC. Caldwell was initially rebuffed by the person who interviewed her but she insisted on meeting with Mr. Ward. She used the three pieces she performed at her audition for Hagen. She was accepted by Hagen and Ward.
During her first season at NEC Caldwell performed in several plays. One of those plays, "
Home" , by Samm Art Williams took her to the Cort Theatre on Broadway in 1980. The play was critically acclaimed and earned a Tony Award nomination for Charles Brown. After Home closed Caldwell worked in several regional theater productions including Boesman and Lena at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and " A Raisin In The Sun" at Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, New York. She also had small roles in film (" Without A Trace"), and daytime television (" All My Children").
In December 1984 while working in Play of Giants Caldwell was struck by a car while hailing a cab on Columbus Avenue in New York. She suffered a severe back injury and was unable to work for nearly two years. Her first audition after her recovery was for the
August Wilsonplay " Joe Turner's Come and Gone". She did not get the role she wanted. But the role of Bertha Holly was a history maker. Caldwell's performance earned her a 1988 Tony Award. She thanked her mother, siblings, and son during her acceptance speech.
Caldwell moved to southern California to work in television and film. She is extremely busy, working in several cities in the US and South Africa, and continues to work in theater. She returned to Broadway in 1997 as the lead in
Neil Simon's " Proposals". The play was not very well accepted by audiences but Caldwell's performance was critically acclaimed. After Proposals closed Caldwell performed the role of Leah, Little Augie's sister, in the "New York City Center's Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert" production of "St. Louis Woman."
Caldwell is an active member of Unite For Strength, the SAG opposition group. She and thirty other members of Unite For Strength are campaining for a seats on the SAG board of directors. On Sptember 19, 2008 she won a seat as an alternate on the national board of directors and Hollywood division board of directors. She will serve a one-year term.
In her early twenties Laverne Scott married John Caldwell. They are the parents of Ominara Caldwell, who lives in Chicago. The Caldwells divorced in the early 1980s. She was married again in 2004 to artist/photographer/director Dasal Banks. Banks suffered from cancer and passed away in 2005.
Caldwell gives lectures and appears on panels concerning African American actors. In 2007 she participated in tributes to August Wilson at Goodman Theatre in conjunction with Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago, and at St. Louis Black Repertory Company. In June 2008 she participated in the NAACP Theatre Awards Festival Actors on Acting panel.
The Secret Life Of The American Teenager" (2008) Margaret
Without a Trace" (2007) Rev. Anna Washington
* "State of Mind" (2007) Mrs. Williams
* "Saving Grace" (2007) Mama Dee Reynolds
* "Lost" (2004-Present) Rose Henderson
Jozi-H" (2007) Dr. Laura Shields (Canadian TV)
Cold Case" (2006) Alice Stallworth
Ghost Whisperer" (2006) Liz
* "ER" (2004, 2006) Dr. Raab
Nip Tuck" (2003) Dr. Reed
* "Queens Supreme" (2003) Judge Rose Barnea
The Court" (2002) Anne Marie
Passions" (2001) Clinic counselor
The Practice" (2001) Parole Board Chairperson
* "Kate Brasher" (2001) Mrs. Rumel
The Division" (2001) Detective Reese
City of Angels" (2000) Mrs. Angela Patterson
Judging Amy" (1999-2000) Tanya Miller
Chicago Hope" (1999) Bonnie Medina
JAG" (1999) Mrs. Flora Springs
* "Last Man On Planet Earth" (1999) Ester
* "Intimate Betrayal" (1999) Detective Sheila Monroe
* "Graham's Diner" (1999) Verna
* "Any Day Now" (1998) Mrs. Opal Lee
* "Tell Me No Secrets" (1997) judge
Weapons of Mass Distraction" (1997) Senator Condon
Murder One" (1997) Anna Mae Brown
* "Dying To Be Perfect" (1996) Dr. Wallace
The Pretender" (1996) Gwen Porter
* "Twilight Man" (1996) Detective Lou Shannon
* "Bringing Up Jack" (1995) Dr. Davis
* "Down Came A Blackbird" (1995) Cirises
Grace Under Fire" (1995) Carol Briscoe
Melrose Place" (1994) Judge Maxine Marco
Lois & Clark" (1993) Carol Sherman
* "For The Love Of My Child" (1993) Rita Wilson
* "Darkness Before Dawn" (1993) nurse
The Switch" (1993) Mrs. Linson
Reasonable Doubts" (1992)
The Heights" (1992) Joanne
Thirtysomething" (1991) Alice
* "Baby Of The Bride" (1991) Dr. Davis
* "Love Lies & Murder" (1991) Judge Starkey
* "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" (1991) Emily Warner
Doogie Howser" (1990) TV reporter
* "Dangerous Passion" (1990) Ruby
* "The Outsiders" (1990) Barbra Richards
Alien Nation" (1989) Lyddie Tuggles
Hunter" (1989) Gloria Tessel
* "Tour Of Duty" (1989) Selma Binion
LA Law" (1989) Wanda Havens
TV 101" (1988) Mrs. Hines
* "God Bless The Child" (1988) Althea
Cosby Show" (1988) Elizabeth
* "The File on Jill Hatch" (1983)
All My Children" Nurse Dragon Lady Flemming
Search For Tomorrow"
* "The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove" (2006) Sarah Breedlove (Madam C.J. Walker)
* "Going To St. Ives" (2000, 2003 (radio broadcast and recording), 2005) May N'Kame
* "Intimate Apparel" Staged reading (2002)
* "Sorrows and Rejoicings" (2001) Marta Barends
* "St. Louis Woman" (1998) Leah
Proposals" (1997) Clemma Diggins
Macbeth" (1997) Lady Macbeth
* "American Medea" (1995) Medea
The Piano Lesson" (1991) Berniece
* "From The Mississippi Delta" (1990) Miss Rosebud/Bro. Pastor
Joe Turner's Come and Gone" (1987-1988) Bertha Holly
* "A Month Of Sundays" (1987) understudy Mrs. Baker
* "Elegies For The Fallen" Staged reading (1986)
* "A Play Of Giants" (1984) Ambassador
* "About Heaven & Earth" (1983) Black Woman (The Redeemer)/Raimy (Nightline)
A Raisin In The Sun" (1982)
* "Colored Peoples Time" (1982) Cahterine/Addie/Nadine/Ida
* "Boesman and Lena" (1982) Lena
* "Home" (1980-1981). Pattie Mae Wells / Woman One. Broadway debut.
* "A Season To Unravel" (1979) Afrodite
* "Plays From Africa" (1979)
* "Old Phantoms" (1979) Ruth
* "Daughters Of The Mock" (1978) Gail
* "The Other Cinderella" (1975) (Chicago - Club Misty)
* "No Place To Be Somebody" (1974) Cora Beasley (Loyola University student production)
Like Dandelion Dust" (2009) Allyson Bower
Gridiron Gang" (2006) Bobbi Porter
* "Dragonfly" (2002) nurse
Mystery Alaska" (1999) Judge McGibbons
Devil in a Blue Dress" (1995) Hattie Mae Parsons
The Net" (1995) Court appointed attorney
Waiting to Exhale" (1995) Bernadine's divorce attorney
* "Soweto Green" (1995) Cora Tshabalala
Extreme Justice" (1993) Devlin
* "The Fugitive" (1993) Deputy US Marshall Poole.
* "Dutch" (1991) Homeless woman
* "Up Against The Wall" (1991) Sandy Wilkes
Exterminator 2" (1984) Patron
Without A Trace" (1983) Janet Smith
* "McDonald's" (1993)
* "The United Negro College Fund"
Awards and nominations
* 2006 BTAA Award for Best leading actress in a play – "The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove"
* 2005 Obie Award for Performance in a play – "Going To St. Ives"
* 1998 Helen Hayes Award for Supporting actress in a non-resident production – "
* 1997 Drama-Logue Award for Performance in a play – "
* 1990 Drama-Logue Award for Ensemble performance – "From The Mississippi Delta"
* 1988 Tony Award for Featured actress in a play – "Joe Turner's Come & Gone"
* 2007 Gemini Award for Best actress in a guest performance – "
* 2005 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding actress in a play – "Going To St. Ives"
* 1998 FANY (FAns of NY Theatre) Award for Outstanding actress in a play – "
"I didn't say to myself 'I want to be an actress' or anyting like that. But I loved film, and I loved what they (Bette Davis & Loretta Young) did." St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 1, 1988
"The first play my mother ever saw I was in." Chicago Tribune November 30, 1997
"I didn't have dance lessons or anything when I was growing up.... I didn't have background in the arts at all. I used to like to pretend when I was a kid, so I would hide in the closet and make up stories and pretend to be other people." Chicago Tribune November 30, 1997
"When you stop acting is when you feel it. On your day off, everything shuts down and you have to start all over again at the next performance.... There is nothing else quite like the high of live theater." The Plain Dealer December 14, 1997
Chicago Defender"Loyola Opens Season With Versatile Seasoned Cast", October 5, 1974 p. A5
* Kuchwara, Michael
St. Louis Post-DispatchEveryday Magazine "Tony Winner Knew It In Her Heart", July 1, 1988 p. 8F
* Weiss, Hedy
Chicago Sun-Times, July 14, 1988 p. 39
* Mitchell, Ophelia DeVore The Columbus Times "Tony Award Winning Actress Puts Her Philosophy of Enriching Others' Lives To Practice" vol. XXVII issue 35, August 28, 1988 p.A1
* Jackson, Caroline Black Masks "L. Scott Caldwell: Laughter in One Hand; The Tony in the Other" vol. 4 issue 9, August 31, 1988 p.4
* Kilian, Michael
Chicago Tribune, "Serious Simon - Play Has Its Critics, But Its Leading Actresses Find Acclaim" November 30, 1997 Arts & Entertainment p. 10
* Kuchwara, Michael
The Plain Dealer (newspaper)"Sweet Role Entices Actress to Simon Play: Maid A Major Role in Proposals", December 14, 1997 Arts section p. 101
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