Virginia Capers (Eliza Virginia Capers)

Virginia Capers

Born in Sumter, South Carolina, Capers attended Howard University and studied voice at the Juilliard School in New York City. She made her Broadway debut in the musical Jamaica in 1957 as the understudy for Adelaide Hall in the role of Grandma Obeah, taking over the role when Hall left the show. Capers went on to appear in Saratoga[9] and Raisin. Capers was a familiar face to television audiences. In addition to a recurring role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, she appeared in many television programs, including Have Gun Will Travel, Marcus Welby, M.D., My Three Sons, Mannix, The Waltons, Mork & Mindy, Highway to Heaven, St. Elsewhere, Murder, She Wrote, Evening Shade, The Golden Girls, Married… with Children, The Practice and ER. Capers appeared in such films as Norwood (1970), The Great White Hope (1970), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), The North Avenue Irregulars (1979), The Toy (1982), Teachers (1984), Howard the Duck (1986), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Beethoven’s 2nd (1993) and What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993). Capers founded the Lafayette Players, a Los Angeles repertory theatre company for African-American performers. She was the recipient of the National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, the Paul Robeson Pioneer Award, and the NAACP Image Award for theatre excellence. Capers provided the narration for the adventure game Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Capers died on May 6, 2004, of complications from pneumonia in Los Angeles, California, aged 78.


  • September, 22, 1925
  • USA
  • Sumter, South Carolina


  • May, 06, 2004
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • pneumonia


  • Cremated

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