This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

List of Esther Rolle Movies: Ranked Best To Worst

1. Nothing But a Man (1964)
14
3
Nothing But a Man
14
3

Nothing But a Man is a romantic drama film which tells the story of an African American man and his school-teacher wife, who faces oppression and discrimination during the 1960s.

Starring:
Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, Gloria Foster, Julius Harris,
Directed By:
Michael Roemer
2. Up the Down Staircase (1967)
12
2
Up the Down Staircase
12
2
Starring:
Sorrell Booke, Jean Stapleton, Eileen Heckart, Ruth White, Sandy Dennis
Directed By:
Robert Mulligan
3. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
15
2
Driving Miss Daisy
PG
15
2

Adapted by Alfred Uhry from his own play, this movie begins when Miss Daisy’s son decides that his old mother needs to hire a chauffeur. Despite protests from her, he employs an African-American driver Hoke Colburn. After initial resistance, she eventually allows him to drive her. Over the next 25 years, as they learn more about life and each other, gradually a bond develops between them.

Role:
Idella
Starring:
Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy, Patti LuPone, Jessica Tandy
Directed By:
Bruce Beresford
4. Rosewood (1997)
16
2
Rosewood
R
16
2

Based on actual events, Rosewood is a drama film which takes us to 1923, Rosewood, Florida, a small peaceful town with mostly middle-class African-American people.  Things get ugly when a lynch mob from a neighboring white community storms the town. Few people take a stand against the invaders, in order to help the people of the town escape.

Starring:
Ving Rhames, Jon Voight, Don Cheadle, Bruce McGill, Loren Dean
Directed By:
John Singleton
5. Cape Fear (1991)
12
2
Cape Fear
R
12
2

Max Cady, who served 14 years in jail for raping and brutalizing a young woman, believes that his defense attorney Sam Bowden deliberately withheld crucial evidence that would have lightened his sentence. He studied law and sculpted his body while in jail, and is now hell-bent on taking revenge by terrorizing the Bowden family.

Directed By:
6. Down in the Delta (1998)
12
2
Down in the Delta
PG-13
12
2
Role:
Annie
Starring:
Wesley Snipes, Alfre Woodard, Loretta Devine, Al Freeman Jr., Mary Alice
Directed By:
Maya Angelou
7. My Fellow Americans (1996)
10
2
My Fellow Americans
PG-13
10
2

Kramer and Douglas are two former US Presidents who are well-known for their rivalry. However, when they uncover a conspiracy against them by the current corrupt president, they join forces to expose him and clear their names.

Directed By:
Peter Segal
8. Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow! (1971)
9
2
Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!
G
9
2

Barney is the owner of the last working farm in Manhattan, which he uses for giving pony rides to children. When city officials decide to close it down, he tries his best to save it along with his helper.  

Starring:
Jack Klugman, Morgan Freeman, Val Avery, Norma French, Reuben Figueroa
Directed By:
Edward Mann
9. Cleopatra Jones (1973)
9
2
Cleopatra Jones
PG
9
2
Starring:
Shelley Winters, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Dan Frazer, Tamara Dobson
Directed By:
Jack Starrett
11. House of Cards (1993)
9
2
House of Cards
PG-13
9
2
Role:
Adelle
Starring:
Kathleen Turner, Tommy Lee Jones, Shiloh Strong, Asha Menina
Directed By:
Michael Lessac
12. The Mighty Quinn (1989)
9
2
The Mighty Quinn
R
9
2
Starring:
Denzel Washington, Mimi Rogers, M. Emmet Walsh, James Fox, Sheryl Lee Ralph
Directed By:
Carl Schenkel
13. Don't Play Us Cheap (1973)
7
1
Don't Play Us Cheap
7
1
Starring:
Mabel King, Thomas Anderson, Jay Van Leer, Robert Dunn
Directed By:
Melvin Van Peebles
14. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (1982)
7
1
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
7
1
Role:
Nurse
Starring:
Blanche Baker, Fredric Lehne, Alex Hyde-White, Terrance Michos
Directed By:
William Woodman
15. Train Ride (2000)
12
2
Train Ride
R
12
2
Starring:
Wood Harris, Joe Clair, Dakota Anderson, Thomas Braxton Jr.
Directed By:
Rel Dowdell
16. P.K. and the Kid (1987)
8
2
P.K. and the Kid
PG-13
8
2
Starring:
Molly Ringwald, Alex Rocco, Charles Hallahan, Paul Le Mat, John DiSanti
Directed By:
Lou Lombardo
17. Blackbird Fly (1991)
7
2
Blackbird Fly
7
2
Starring:
Whoopi Goldberg, Garrett Morris, Rain Pryor

TV Movie(s)

1. Summer of My German Soldier (1978)
12
2
Summer of My German Soldier
12
2
Role:
Ruth
Starring:
Michael Constantine, Bruce Davison, Kristy McNichol, Barbara Barrie
Directed By:
Michael Tuchner
Awards:
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special
2. See China and Die (1981)
12
2
See China and Die
12
2
Role:
Momma Sykes
Starring:
Laurence Luckinbill, Andrew Duggan, Frank Converse, Kene Holiday
Directed By:
Larry Cohen
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1979)
12
2
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
12
2
Role:
Momma
Starring:
Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Paul Benjamin, Roger E. Mosley
Directed By:
Fielder Cook
4. To Dance with the White Dog (1993)
11
2
To Dance with the White Dog
PG
11
2
Starring:
Christine Baranski, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Terry Beaver
Directed By:
Glenn Jordan
5. Age-Old Friends (1989)
11
2
Age-Old Friends
11
2
Starring:
Hume Cronyn, Tandy Cronyn, Aaron Alexander, Frummie Blatt
Directed By:
Allan Kroeker
6. The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990)
11
2
The Kid Who Loved Christmas
11
2
Starring:
Charlie Murphy, Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Lynn Williams, Della Reese, Ben Vereen, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Warren
Directed By:
Arthur Allan Seidelman
7. Message from Nam (1993)
9
2
Message from Nam
9
2
Starring:
Billy Dee Williams, Hope Lange, Ed Flanders, Nick Mancuso
Directed By:
Paul Wendkos

TV Shows and Videos

The Bold Ones: The Senator (1970)
The Bold Ones: The Senator
Starring:
Hal Holbrook, Laurence Luckinbill, Anna Lee, Kevin Hagen, Michael Tolan, John Randolph
American Playhouse (1981)
American Playhouse
Starring:
Lillian Gish, Cynthia Nixon, Eric Stoltz, Paul Winfield, Stephen Baldwin, Jane Kaczmarek, Alan Arkin
Directed By:
Kirk Browning, Jack O'Brien, Jeff Bleckner, Bill Duke, Michael Roemer
Darkroom (1981)
Darkroom
Starring:
David Carradine, Helen Hunt, James Coburn, Claude Akins, Brian Dennehy, Billy Crystal
Directed By:
Paul Lynch, Rick Rosenthal, Peter Crane, Curtis Harrington, John McPherson
Good Times (1974)
Good Times
TV-PG
Role:
Florida Evans (109 episodes, 1974-1979)
Starring:
Jay Leno, William Christopher, Gary Coleman, Kim Fields, Carl Weathers, Alice Ghostley, John Amos
Directed By:
Bob LaHendro, Gerren Keith, Herbert Kenwith, Donald McKayle
Maude (1972)
Maude
Starring:
Tom Bosley, Michael Keaton, Bea Arthur, Bernadette Peters, Jill Clayburgh, Ed Begley Jr., John Wayne
Directed By:
Hal Cooper, Bill Hobin, Robert H. Livingston, Tony Csiki
One Life to Live (1968)
One Life to Live
TV-PG
Starring:
Elaine Stritch, Rebecca Schaeffer, Krysten Ritter, Hayden Panettiere, Wendy Williams, George Chakiris, Sarah Hyland
Directed By:
Gary Donatelli, Larry Carpenter, Jill Mitwell, Mary Ryan, Danielle Faraldo
The Incredible Hulk (1978)
The Incredible Hulk
TV-PG
Starring:
Lou Ferrigno, Mako Iwamatsu, Scatman Crothers, Kim Cattrall, Ray Walston, Sherman Hemsley, Jeremy Brett
Directed By:
Alan J. Levi, Chuck Bowman, Michael Vejar, Reza Badiyi, Sigmund Neufeld Jr.
Mike Hammer (1984)
Mike Hammer
Starring:
Sharon Stone, Dick Van Patten, Abe Vigoda, Ray Liotta, Micky Dolenz, Lou Ferrigno, Claude Akins
Directed By:
Ray Danton, Michael Preece, James Frawley, Bruce Kessler, Jon C. Andersen
Murder, She Wrote (1984)
Murder, She Wrote
Starring:
Bert Convy, Megan Mullally, Gavin MacLeod, Doris Roberts, Mickey Rooney, Fred Willard, George Takei
Directed By:
Anthony Pullen Shaw, Walter Grauman, Vincent McEveety, Seymour Robbie, Jerry Jameson
Flamingo Road (1980)
Flamingo Road
Starring:
Mark Harmon, Mako Iwamatsu, John Beck, Morgan Fairchild, Howard Duff, Woody Brown
Directed By:
Nick Havinga, Michael Preece, Don Weis, Bob Sweeney, Stan Lathan
Finder of Lost Loves (1984)
Finder of Lost Loves
Starring:
Eleanor Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Melissa Sue Anderson, Michelle Phillips, Leslie Nielsen, Florence Henderson, Mel Ferrer
Directed By:
Bruce Bilson, Allen Reisner, Don Chaffey, Philip Leacock
Fantasy Island (1977)
Fantasy Island
Starring:
Keenan Wynn, Cassandra Peterson, Dorothy McGuire, Michelle Pfeiffer, Frankie Avalon, Adam West, Peter Graves
Directed By:
Cliff Bole, Don Weis, Earl Bellamy, George McCowan, Philip Leacock
Promised Land (1996)
Promised Land
Starring:
Cloris Leachman, Emile Davenport Hirsch, Joe Walsh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Marion Ross, Selma Blair, Ossie Davis
Directed By:
Victor Lobl, Stuart Margolin, Burt Brinckerhoff, Alan J. Levi, Jim Johnston
Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996)
Poltergeist: The Legacy
Starring:
Frank Grillo, Rae Dawn Chong, Kim Coates, Lisa Robin Kelly, Anthony Michael Hall, A. J. Langer, Michael Moriarty
The Love Boat (1977)
The Love Boat
TV-G
Starring:
Charles Nelson Reilly, Denver Pyle, Lee Majors, David Cassidy, Tina Louise, Melissa Gilbert, Olivia de Havilland
Directed By:
Richard Kinon, Roger Duchowny, Robert Scheerer, Allen Baron, Ted Lange
Touched by an Angel (1994)
Touched by an Angel
TV-G
Starring:
Diane Ladd, Celine Dion, Bryan Cranston, Joel Grey, Scott Baio, Patrick Duffy, Rita Moreno
Directed By:
Peter H. Hunt, Timothy Van Patten, Victor Lobl, Bethany Rooney, Stuart Margolin
The New Odd Couple (1982)
The New Odd Couple
Starring:
John Schuck, Demond Wilson, Ron Glass, Sheila Anderson

Esther Rolle Awards

Primetime Emmy Awards
Summer of My German Soldier Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special 1979