Armelia McQueen died at the age of 68-years-old on Saturday. Her friend, Dorian Hannaway, confirmed the news on Facebook. McQueen had starred in the 1990 film, Ghost, and appeared on television on The CW’s Hart of Dixie after first breaking out in that market on Disney Channel’s Adventures in Wonderland as the Red Queen. Some of her other work in movies included Action Jackson and The Hustle.
Hannaway wrote, “My dear friend Armelia crossed over yesterday. She leaves us cherishing her memory as she was one of the greatest friends you could ever have.” She added that her “extraordinary talent” was the only thing that was bigger than her “beautiful soul.” Hannaway did not provide any further details as to the cause of her death.
Armelia McQueen was the kindest, most generous woman I ever knew. We spent hours on set at Hart of Dixie laughing, talking and just enjoying each other’s company. From listening to Ain’t Misbehavin’ to caretaker sharing I’ll never forget her. Rest in Paradise 💔#ArmeliaMcQueen pic.twitter.com/Pnksh3OUj0— Carla Renata (@TheCurvyCritic) October 4, 2020
Before heading to the big screen, McQueen first got her start on Broadway. Her most notable work was in Ain’t Misbehavin before it made it to Broadway. When it got picked up, she, too, went with the show to make her mark there, even winning a Theatre World award. She also appeared in Harrigan N’ Hart, among others. Trenyce, who appeared on the second season of American Idol and also has a career on Broadway, paid tribute to the late actress. “The Queen of Queens walked so my cast and I could run,” her tweet began. “We thank you forevermore for sharing your gift.” Another actress, Carla Renata, whose credits include NBC’s Superstore, called McQueen the “kindest, most generous woman I ever knew” in her tribute on Twitter. The two also worked together in Hart of Dixie, to which Renata reminisced about “laughing, talking and just enjoying each other’s company” while on set. On the CW show, McQueen played the character Shula between 2011-2015.
The Queen of Queens walked so my cast and I could run. We thank you forevermore for sharing your gift #ArmeliaMcQueen #RIP #BROADWAYBLACK #broadway #aintmisbehavin #blackexcellence 💔 pic.twitter.com/5Bpq6tgeaS— Trenyce (@trenyce) October 4, 2020
McQueen was born in North Carolina before relocating to Brooklyn. She went to the Fashion Industry School, where she majored in fashion design before eventually enrolling in drama school.