Angela Bassett earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993's 'What's Love Got to Do with It'
The actress, 64, portrayed the rock 'n' roll icon in the 1993 film What's Love Got to Do with It opposite Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner. After news of Turner's death at 83 on Wednesday, Bassett wrote on Instagram, "How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world?"
"Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion and freedom should look like," Bassett continued.
"Her final words to me — for me — were, 'You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.' I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days. I am honored to have known Tina Turner," she said.
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"I am humbled to have helped show her to the world," the actress added. "So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be 'simply the best.' Angels, sing thee to thy rest … Queen."
One month ago, Turner paid tribute to Bassett for TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2023 list, praising the actress as "perfect" to play her in the film, which earned her an Oscar nomination at the time.
"Angela, the first time we met, you didn’t look, sound or move like me — that came later after you worked so hard to make it happen," wrote Turner. "But even then, I could see that the young woman standing before me had strength, determination and big, big dreams, just like me."
Turner said Bassett "never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world."
"You honor all the women you play, just as you honored me. And you're still perfect," she added.
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In a video interview with InStyle last year, Bassett confirmed that Turner did her hair and makeup for the final day of filming What's Love Got to Do with It.
"It was funny," the actress recalled, "because everyone kept knocking on the door, wanting to know if— wanting to be so helpful: 'Do you need anything? Anything to drink? Anything? A comb?' And she was like, 'No, no, no. We're fine. Leave us alone.' And she did my makeup and hair in a quarter of the time that my hairstylist did. And it was just as fabulous."
A rep for Turner confirmed on Wednesday, "Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock'n Roll,' has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model."
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