This Legendary Actress Passed Away Years Ago & Many Never Knew Why
If you grew up in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or early 90’s, chances are you know actress, Rosalind Cash, because her career spanned each of those generations. Some of her most memorable roles were in films like Uptown Saturday Night, The Monkey Hustle, The Omega Man, and also in TV shows, like General Hospital, Different World, Barney Miller, Good Times and What’s Happening, and more.
Although many know her work, what many didn’t know (because it wasn’t widely covered in mainstream media) is that Rosalind passed away years ago
Rosalind Cash’s Illness & Her Absolute Refusal To Be A Stereotype
Rosalind Cash passed away from cancer on October 31, 1995. She was 56 years young, but it was never publicly revealed what type of cancer she succumbed to. She kind of passed away under the radar, so we wanted to pay homage to her well deserved legacy.
Cash is best known as an actress, but behind the scenes she was also known as a woman of great integrity, who did not hold her tongue for nobody. She often referred to herself as a “one woman movement.” She had a rep’ for being one of the most outspoken actresses of her era and she always refused to degrade herself on film, television, or in her theatrical performances. That’s why she consciously refused to conform to any ‘Hollywood standard’ she deemed as being stereotypical for African Americans.
She NEVER WANTED TO BE LIKE PAM GRIER, HERE’S WHY…
Cash was once quoted as stating the following about the lack of respect African Americans get in film and television:
“I think blacks are looked upon in this country in a very peculiar way where I don’t think we are taken seriously as a group that has something to say in film and theater. As I said before, I think musically we’re more apt to be accepted and in comedy. But there’s great drama in our lives, in our past, in our culture, and in our Africanisms- I’d like to see more of that portrayed. See, people are frightened of that because its so powerful.”
Cash also revealed she wanted to be nothing like Pam Grier and made that clear to Hollywood big wigs:
“I was told when I would go for a role, right around the black exploitation genre, that they really wanted Pam Grier because they wanted a sex object. So I was never deemed a sex object. I began to do films where I wasn’t always in a glamorous light. I was reprimanded for that by several people saying that if you’re going to be in movies always look sexy and beautiful.”
“There was a whole train of thought that if you stayed beautiful as long as you could, it would ensure you’re working, but if you began to do roles that were less than glamorous you would get typed as an ugly. And they were saying, “How could you do that part and not wear make-up?” I wasn’t concerned with those issues because I work from inside. But…I became aware that I was not considered the glamorous Black woman who was there to assuage all their fantasies about a hot Black woman. There are Black actors that they consider ‘tits and a$$.’ And I wasn’t one of them.” [via scholarworks.umass.edu]
In today’s entertainment climate of reality TV show ratchetness, women who self-proclaim to be bitc&es and twerk to music and artists who call them ‘hoes, ‘ the world desperately needs more actors/actresses like Rosalind Cash.
Ms. Cash did not have children and she wasn’t married at the time of her passing. She was survived by her brother, Col. John A. Cash, who was a very prominent figure in the Army (he later passed away in 1998); another brother, Robert; and a sister, Helen Cash Jackson. Her time here only lasted a little over five decades, but her legacy will last many generations to come. May she continue to rest peacefully.