Dana Elaine Owens aka Queen Latifah started her professional life in rap and hip-hop, often taking a feminist point of view in her song lyrics. Her breakout acting role was as a magazine editor in the popular ’90s sitcom Living Single, and she followed that up with movie work, including a few notable frock flicks. She has amazing range as an actor, doing hilarious comedy and poignant drama, plus fantastic musicals with singing and dancing. I’ve enjoyed everything she’s been in and want to see more!
Sulie in Hoodlum (1997)
Haven’t seen this 1930s gangster flick, but I think that’s Queen Latifah with her head down. Nice period print dresses!
Diana in Mama Flora’s Family (1998)
This TV miniseries spans the 1910s to the 1970s, so I’m guessing she shows up towards the end.
Matron Mama Morton in Chicago (2002)
When you’re good to mama, indeed! Queen Latifah has a standout part in this musical — so much so that she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
OK, so this isn’t a very 1920s gown, but she looks STUN-NING.
Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray (2007)
I adore this movie & musical in every form, & Queen Latifah as Maybelle is perfect.
Ostensibly set in 1962, this movie version has costumes that range a bit all over the late ’50s up to the end of the ’60s. But dayum, she looks good in all of it!
LOVE all the different wigs!
Hairspray also has a desegregation message underneath the song & dance.
August Boatwright in The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
A low-key flick set in the segregated south of 1964.
The story is seen through Dakota Fanning’s character’s eyes, but Queen Latifah’s character is the strongest & most fully fleshed out.
And the relationship between these three sisters is lovely.
Gwen Ifill in Saturday Night Live (2008)
OK, not historical, but hysterical! I loved Gwen Ifill on NPR, so I really enjoyed watching Queen Latifah as the “moderator” in this parody of the VP debate between then-Senator Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
Bessie Smith in Bessie (2015)
Telling blues singer Bessie Smith’s life story was a passion project for Queen Latifah, who helped HBO to bring it to the screen an executive producer.
Bessie won the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie, & Queen Latifah was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Emmy.
This TV movie is still available for streaming on HBO Max & worth checking out!
Hattie McDanie in Hollywood (2020)
This Netflix miniseries is set post-World War II, & Queen Latifah plays a fictionalized version of actor Hattie McDaniel (best-known for playing “Mammy” in Gone With the Wind).
This look is reminiscent of McDaniels at the 1940 Oscars, where a columnist described her “hair trimmed with gardenias, face alight, and dress up to the queen’s taste.”
What’s your favorite frock flick role of Queen Latifah’s?