Margaret Avery was born on the 20th January 1944, in Mangum, Oklahoma USA, and is an award-winning film, theatre, and television actress, possibly best known for playing Shug Avery in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple” (1985), a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Her career began in 1972.
Have you ever wondered how rich Margaret Avery is, as of early 2017? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that Avery’s net worth is as high as $3 million, an amount earned largely through her successful career in acting.
Margaret Avery Net Worth $3 Million
Margaret Avery was the daughter of a Navy man, which is why her family relocated from Oklahoma to San Diego, California when she was little. There, she finished Point Loma High School, and then earned a degree in education from San Francisco State University. For a while she worked as a substitute teacher, but her love of acting drove her to auditions in her spare time. Her first roles were in commercials, though soon enough she managed to find work on stage. She appeared in several Los Angeles plays during the 1970s, including “Revolution” and “Sistuhs”, while for her turn in 1972 “Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?” she won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress.
Following this success, Margaret’s on-screen career also began that same year, when she joined the cast of Steven Spielberg’s television movie “Something Evil” (1972), as well as appearing in her first Blaxploitation film “Cool Breeze” (1972). Since then, she has made several movies in that genre, but avoided typecasting by playing a range of other roles as well. She appeared in the sequel to “Dirty Harry” (1971) called “Magnum Force” (1973), once again starring Clint Eastwood, followed by the Richard Pryor comedy “Which Way Is Up?” (1977), and the biographical movie “Scott Joplin” (1977), in which she played opposite Billy Dee Williams.
Avery’s most successful role to date came in 1985, when she was cast by Steven Spielberg once again, this time to play the complex role of singer Shug Avery in the critically acclaimed drama “The Color Purple”, alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. For this role, Margaret received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, though she lost to Anjelica Huston. Though gaining considerable praise as an actress, her career stalled after that, and in the following years she mostly guest-starred in various television shows, such as “Miami Vice” (1987), “MacGyver” (1991), and “The Cosby Show” (1992).
Lately, Margaret returned to the big screen, starring in the ensemble comedy film “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” (2008), with Martin Lawrence, Michael Clarke Duncan, Mo’Nique, and James Earl Jones, as well as in “Tyler Perry Meets the Browns” (2008), which starred Angela Basset. She also landed the recurring role in the hit drama series “Being Mary Jane” (2013-2017), playing the mother of the titular character. She continues to be active, starring in the short film “Symposium” in 2017.
Regarding her personal life,Margaret was married to Robert Gordon Hunt from 1974 to 1980, and with him she has one daughter, Aisha. When she is not acting, she dedicates her time to helping at-risk teenagers, and advocating for battered women.
She waged a controversial personal campaign for an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in The Color Purple (1985), highlighted by her taking out an ad in an industry trade magazine. A born-again Christian, she wrote the ad in the vernacular of her character, "Shug", and made her plea directly to God. Many Academy members, reputedly including the film's director Steven Spielberg, were put off by this approach and by her using her professed faith to campaign for an award. She still received the nomination (lost to Anjelica Huston, but many still speculate that her approach, which came across as simultaneously sanctimonious and disingenuous, led to her being overlooked, if not out-and-out shunned, by the motion picture industry ever since.
While still a teenager, she joined the civil-rights campaign known as the Freedom Riders.