Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City. Her parents were Betty Jane and Daniel Benjamin Bassett. She grew up in the Harlem neighborhood. She also has a sister D'nette and half-sister Jean. She spent a part of her childhood with her aunt Golden and after her parents divorced, she moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. She studied at the Jordan Park Elementary School and Disston Middle School.

Later she continued at the Azalea Middle School for eighth and ninth grade. She finished her primary education at the Boca Ciega High School, where she was a cheerleader as well as a member of the college prep program. After school, she attended the Yale University and graduated with a B.A. Degree in African-American studies in 1980. She continued her education and in the 1983 she got her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. Afterwards, she joined the beauty salon, where she worked as a receptionist and photo researcher.

She started her stage work in the 1985, when she appeared at the play “Black Girl ”. In the next year she made her big screen debut with an appearance in the movie “F/X ”. Afterwards, in the 1988, she moved to Los Angeles. In the 1991 she played in the movie “Boyz n the Hood ”. The next year she appeared in the film “Malcolm X”. In the same year she played Katherine Jackson in biographical movie “The Jacksons: An American Dream”.

In the 1993 she was involved with other biographical work “What's Love Got to Do with It”, where she played Tina Turner and later was honored with The Golden Globe award. In the 1995 she starred in the films “Vampire in Brooklyn” and “Strange Days”. In the 1998 she appeared as Stella Payne in the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”. She played the Desiree Stokes Perry character in the 2002 film “Sunshine State”. In the 2004 she appeared as Dr. Elizabeth Chase in the movie “The Lazarus Child”.

In the 2008 she made her appearances in he the movie “Nothing But the Truth” as Bonnie Benjamin. With a role of Amanda Waller, she appeared in the 2011 film "Green Lantern”. She played in the popular horror TV series “American Horror Story” from the 2013. In the 2016 she appeared in the new season of American Horror Story TV series “Roanoke”.

During her acting career, she made her appearances in different movies and T shows and was honored with the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won a corresponding Golden Globe Award and reached Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her portraying the role of Rosa Parks.

She is married to Courtney B. Vance. She met her future husband at the drama school during her studies at Yale College and tied their married knot later in the 1997. The couple is blessed with two kids. Their children are twins - son Slater Josiah Vance and daughter Bronwyn Golden Vance. She has a net worth of $20 million dollars.