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Bessie Smith (1894–1937)

Bessie Smith was born on April 15, 1894 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA as Elizabeth Smith. She was married to Jack Gee. She died on September 26, 1937 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. See full bio »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Known For

Angel Heart Soundtrack
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 Soundtrack
Water for Elephants Soundtrack
Idlewild Soundtrack


Hide Hide Show Show Soundtrack (42 credits)
 2020 Tales from the Loop (TV Series) (performer - 1 episode)
- Parallel (2020) ... (performer: "Careless Love Blues")
 2019 The Goldfinch (performer: "Lonesome Desert Blues") / (writer: "Lonesome Desert Blues")
 2019 Dolemite Is My Name (performer: "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out")
 2018 Fast Colour (writer: "You've Been A Good Ole Wagon")
 2017 Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars (Documentary) (writer: "Backwater Blues")
 2017 Nun (performer: "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "Baby Won't You Please Come Home")
 2017 Z: The Beginning of Everything (TV Series) (performer - 2 episodes)
- The Right Side of Paradise (2017) ... (performer: "After You've Gone" - uncredited)
- Just Humans (2017) ... (performer: "After You've Gone" - uncredited)
 2016 Les Temps Modernes (Short) (performer: "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out")
 2016 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (TV Movie) (writer: "Baby Doll" - as Smith)
 2016 Sophie and the Rising Sun (performer: "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home")
 2015 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (TV Series) (performer - 1 episode)
- Blood & Money (2015) ... (performer: "Nobody Knows When You're Down & Out")
 2015 Bessie (TV Movie) (performer: "Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer") / (writer: "Young Woman's Blues", "Long Old Road", "Lost Your Head Blues", "Preaching the Blues")
 2015 The Originals (TV Series) (performer - 1 episode)
- Sanctuary (2015) ... (performer: "Down Hearted Blues" - uncredited)
 2014/I A Good Man (Short) (performer: "A Good Man is Hard to Find") / (writer: "A Good Man is Hard to Find")
 2014 Jimmy's Hall (performer: "Weeping Willow Blues")
 2013 BioShock Infinite (Video Game) (performer: "I'm Wild About That Thing")
 2012 Boardwalk Empire (TV Series) (1 episode)
- Bone for Tuna (2012) ... ("Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out" (1923))
 2011 The Hour (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Episode #1.4 (2011) ... (writer: "Backwater Blues" - uncredited)
 2011 Water for Elephants (performer: "I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl")
 2008 Nights in Rodanthe (writer: "Backwater Blues")
 2006 Idlewild (performer: "Do Your Duty")
 2005 Cold Case (TV Series) (performer - 1 episode)
- Best Friends (2005) ... (performer: "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out")
 2004 Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (performer: "About Her")
  Carnivàle (TV Series) (performer - 1 episode, 2003) (writer - 1 episode, 2003)
- The River (2003) ... (performer: "I need A Little Sugar In My Bowl" - uncredited) / (writer: "I need A Little Sugar In My Bowl" - uncredited)
  The Blues (TV Series documentary) (writer - 1 episode, 2003) (performer - 1 episode, 2003)
- Red, White and Blues (2003) ... (writer: "Young Woman's Blues")
- Warming by the Devil's Fire (2003) ... (performer: "Muddy Water", "St. Louis Blues")
 2000 History Lessons (Documentary) (performer: "Soft Pedal Blues" - uncredited) / (writer: "Soft Pedal Blues" - uncredited)
 1997 En kvinnas huvud (performer: "Yes Indeed He Do!")
 1993 Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music (Documentary) (performer: "St. Louis Blues")
 1991 The Butcher's Wife (performer: "T' Aint Nobody's Bizness if I Do")
 1988 Die Schauspielerin (performer: "NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU'RE DOWN AND OUT")
 1987 Angel Heart (performer: "Honeymoon Blues")
 1986 'Round Midnight (writer: "Put It Right Here")
 1985 Àngel Casas Show (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Episode #2.6 (1985) ... (writer: "Backwater Blues")
 1982 FDR (TV Movie documentary) (performer: "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out")
 1981 Rich and Famous (performer: "Take Me for a Buggy Ride")
 1981 Carbon Copy (performer: "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out")
 1975 Lucky Lady (performer: "Empty Bed Blues", "A Hot Time in the Old Town")
 1975 Sanford and Son (TV Series) (performer - 1 episode)
- Earthquake II (1975) ... (performer: "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" - uncredited)
 1975 Brother Can You Spare a Dime (Documentary) (performer: "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (1923))
 1974 Sing Sing Thanksgiving (Documentary) (performer: "Sing Sing Prison Blues")
 1929 St. Louis Blues (Short) (performer: "St. Louis Blues" - uncredited)
 1929 Jailhouse Blues (Short) (writer: "Jailhouse Blues")
Show Show Actress (1 credit)
Show Show Music department (1 credit)
Show Show Self (1 credit)
Show Show Archive footage (23 credits)

Personal Details

Other Works:

CD: "Beale Street Mama" (ZCDC) See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Biographical Movie | 4 Print Biographies | 2 Portrayals | 3 Articles | 1 Pictorial | See more »


5' 9" (1.75 m)

Did You Know?


Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 (under the category Early Influences). See more »


Empress of the Blues

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