The Matrix Oracle Actress Mary Alice Dies

The Matrix Oracle Actress Mary Alice Dies

Mary Alice, known as The Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions and for her role in the first Broadway production of Fences, has passed away.

Actress Mary Alice, best known for her role as The Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions, has passed away. Alice also made appearances in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and in Brian de Palma’s Bonfire of the Vanities. She led the original Broadway cast of August Wilson’s Fences. Her final onscreen role was in the Ving Rhames TV series Kojak in 2005. Her age has been reported as 80, 84, and 85 by various sources.

Alice was a Tony winner, receiving the 1987 award for Best Featured Actress for her role as Rose opposite James Earl Jones in Fences. It was after being recognized for her incredible work in Wilson’s classic play that she began working with some of the most notable auteurs of the 20th century, collaborating with Lee and de Palma shortly thereafter. Alice also received the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1993 for her work in I’ll Fly Away as Marguerite Peck. She received her second Tony nomination, this time for Outstanding Actress in a Play, in 1995 for her role as Dr. Bessey Delaney in Emily Mann’s Having Our Say. Five years later, she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. In 2001, Alice joined The Matrix franchise after the passing of original Oracle actress Gloria Foster, delivering the final line of dialogue in the original trilogy.

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Sadly, Alice’s death was confirmed by the New York Police Department on Thursday, July 27, states Deadline. The NYPD also shared that Alice died of natural causes. No other details have been given at the time of this writing. Since the news broke, there has been an outpouring of loving tributes to Alice on social media.

Mary Alice and James Earl Jones in Fences

Colman Domingo called the actress “A shoulder we all stood on” and called for a round of applause acknowledging her incredible career. Viola Davis referred to her as an inspiration, stating that Mary Alice was “one of the greatest actresses of all time!!” Fans of her work celebrated a vast swath of her onscreen roles, with Criteron’s curatorial director Ashley Clark noting that even in her brief appearance as a schoolteacher in Malcolm X, Alice provides an undeniable presence and enriches the film.

Whether she was lending her massive talent to the stage or the screen, Alice brought humanity and truth to every part she played. In The Matrix Revolutions, she was able to sum up the central idea of the entire franchise – that faith in the people one cares for is their best hope for salvation – with two simple words: “I believed.” She brought one of the most important plays of the 20th century to life in Fences, ensuring that its legacy would continue for years to come. Alice was undoubtedly a towering presence and will be greatly missed.

Next: How Matrix Resurrections Changes The Other Movies: All Retcons & Reveals

Sources: Deadline, Colman Domingo, Viola Davis, Ashley Clark

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Zack Harris
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Zack Harris is a freelance writer for ScreenRant and works on film and commercial sets in Los Angeles, CA. He also co-hosts the podcast The Film Majors, premiering this summer on all podcast streaming services.

Zack is a massive horror movie fan and an aspiring filmmaker. His short film, Realm of Nightmare, won awards at the Cult Critic Film Awards, the Royal Wolf Film Awards, and was selected for Oregon Scream Week Film Festival in 2020.

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