REEL Radio features Actress Irma P. Hall!
Missed the radio show with Irma on REEL Ladies? LISTEN HERE
In 1972, Raymond St. Jacques was in Texas to produce and star in his film “Book of Numbers”. Irma worked as interim publicist for the movie, and when Mr. St. Jacques chanced to hear her reciting one of her poems to some writers and artists who’d gotten together, he asked her to audition for a part in the film. Irma (then a 36-year-old teacher and single mother of two) got the role as “Georgia Brown”, and that was the “Sweet” launch to Irma’s starting her “Second Career” in acting.
Irma’s acting career gained momentum in 1978, after acting as Tilly the Housekeeper in a number of episodes of the TV series DALLAS, and in two Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders TV movies (1 & 2), and in director Ron Howard’s telefilm Skyward.
In 1984, for medical reasons, Irma retired from teaching in the Dallas Independent School District. Three years later, she returned to living in Chicago to help care for her ailing parents. During that time, she appeared as a nurse in Ron Howard’s highly-regarded film Backdraft filmed in Chicago, and accepted numerous other film and stage roles.
In 1996, Irma was proud to win the Chicago Film Critics Award as “Best Supporting Actress” for her performance in A Family Thing as the tough but lovable blind Aunt T. (with James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall).
Two years later, she won the NAACP Image Award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her 1998 work as Big Mamma Jo in the memorable film Soul Food, and was nominated for another Image Award in 2001 when she reprised her role in the Showtime TV series based on that film.
Since then, Irma has appeared in more than 50 theatrical and TV films and guest appearances including: Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil, Nothing To Lose, Patch Adams, Beloved, A Lesson Before Dying, Something to Sing About, Collateral, the Coen Brother’s The Ladykillers with Tom Hanks (earning a coveted Special Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival), and numerous other unforgettable roles.
Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks
Irma has been honored to be the recipient of several nominations and awards for her career, including: Cannes Jury Award, Image Award, Chicago Film Critics award, Induction into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in Austin, Texas in March of ‘07 (where she was introduced by Ethan and Joel Coen) and into the Spindletop Film Hall of Fame in her hometown of Beaumont; honored by the Chicago Int’l Film Festival and Chicago and Dallas chapters of Women in Film; having a theater festival was named in her honor in 2007, and MORE!