Esther Rolle (November 8, 1920-November 17, 1998) was an American actress. The daughter of Bahamian immigrants, Rolle was born in Pompano Beach, Florida and attended Spelman College.
Rolle is best known for her role as Florida Evans, the character she played on two successful 1970s sitcoms: Maude and its spinoff, Good Times. She was nominated in 1975 for the Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Golden Globe Award for her role in Good Times. Although Good Times was successful, Rolle fought for more relevant themes and scripts. In a stand-off with the show's producer Norman Lear, Rolle quit, and the series continued without her. She returned for the show's final season.
After Good Times, she performed in a number of made-for-television movies and feature films, including Driving Miss Daisy and My Fellow Americans. She won an Emmy Award for her starring role in the TV movie A Raisin in the Sun.
Rolle died in Los Angeles, due to complications from diabetes. She left her Emmy and estate to an institution for African American rights.