Life and career
Todd was born in Chicago, IL, the daughter of Virena Todd. She began her acting career in the Off-Broadway production of Deep Are the Roots, and later performed in the London productions of No Strings and Blues for Mr. Charlie.
Todd played main role in the Broadway comedy play Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights directed by Sidney Poitier. She later appeared opposite Poitier, who was her mentor early in her career, in films such as The Lost Man (1969), They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970), Brother John (1971). and A Piece of the Action (1977). On television, she was regular cast member on the daytime soap opera, Love of Life, from 1968 to 1970, and in 1977 the educational show The Write Channel on PBS. Todd was nominated an NAACP Image Award for her performance in the critically acclaimed PBS production of Six Characters in Search of an Author (1976). She received her second NAACP Image Award nomination for her role in the ABC miniseries, Roots.
Todd had the female leading roles in films Moving (1988) opposite Richard Pryor, and Lean on Me (1989) with Morgan Freeman. She was married to film producer-director Kris Keiser. Their son, Malik Smith, died on March 20, 1989 at age 18 after being severely beaten at a teen youth center (no alcohol served or allowed) while on spring break. She did not appear regularly on the screen during the 1990s, and returned to acting in 2002, with a recurring role in the HBO series, Six Feet Under. In 2004, she appeared as Don Cheadle's character's mother in the critically acclaimed film, Crash. In 2007, she reunited with Morgan Freeman (who co-starred with her in Lean On Me), in the comedy-drama film, The Bucket List. Todd also had supporting roles in the independent films The Lena Baker Story (2008) and I Will Follow (2011). On television, in earlier years Todd appeared in Barnaby Jones; episode titled, “The Bounty Hunter”(12/16/1976). Todd also guest starred on House, The Closer and Grey's Anatomy, and, in 2012, had the recurring role in the NBC daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives as Celeste Perrault, the mother of Lexie Carver (Renée Jones).
- 1969 The Lost Man as Sally Carter
- 1969 Some Kind of a Nut as Policewoman (uncredited)
- 1970 They Call Me Mister Tibbs! as "Puff"
- 1971 Brother John as Louisa MacGill
- 1977 A Piece of the Action
- 1982 Vice Squad as Detective Louise Williams
- 1982 Homework as Clinic Receptionist
- 1986 The Ladies Club as Georgiane
- 1987 Happy Hour as Laura
- 1987 Baby Boom as Ann Bowen
- 1988 Moving as Monica Pear
- 1988 Clara's Heart as Dora
- 1989 Lean on Me as Mrs. Joan Levias
- 1995 Exquisite Tenderness as Nurse Burns
- 2004 Crash as Mrs. Waters, Graham's Mother
- 2005 Animal as Latreese
- 2007 Ascension Day as Nancy
- 2007 The Bucket List as Virginia Chambers
- 2008 The Lena Baker Story as Annie Baker
- 2011 I Will Follow as Amanda
- 2018 Drive Me to Vegas and Mars as Maggie
- 2019 Turnover as Ruth
- 2020 A Dark Foe as Mildred
- 2020 Broken as Grandma Wright
- 1968-1970 Love of Life as Monica Nelson
- 1969 The Wild Wild West as Angelique
- 1976 Six Characters in Search of an Author (TV Movie) as The Stepdaughter
- 1977 The Write Channel as Red Green
- 1977 Roots
- 1978 The Ghost of Flight 401 (TV Movie) as Dana
- 1978 Having Babies III (TV Movie) as Kelly Williams
- 1978-1979 Having Babies as Kelly
- 1979 The Jericho Mile (TV Movie) as Wylene
- 1979-1980 Benson as Casey Turner / Senator Francine Wade
- 1980 Lou Grant as Gloria
- 1981 Quincy M.E. as Gretchen Davis
- 1981 Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige (TV Movie) as Lahoma Brown
- 1981 Please Don't Hit Me, Mom (TV Movie) as Louise Hawley
- 1984 St. Elsewhere as Corrine Close
- 1984 A Touch of Scandal (TV Movie) as Beatty
- 1985 Magnum, P.I. as Donna Clemens
- 1985 Fraud Squad (TV Short)
- 1986 The Redd Foxx Show as Felicia Clemmons-Hughes
- 1987 A Different Affair (TV Movie) as Marla
- 1987 Hill Street Blues as Mrs. Milton
- 1991 A Different World as Julia Reeves
- 2002-2003 Six Feet Under as Lucille Charles / Keith's Mother
- 2006 Ghost Whisperer as Sheri Powell
- 2007 House M.D as Alicia Foreman
- 2007 The Closer as Mrs. Richards
- 2010 Criminal Minds as Susan Anderson
- 2011 Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (TV Movie) as Belzora
- 2011 Grey's Anatomy as Gilda Ruiz
- 2012 Days of Our Lives as Celeste Perrault
- 2013 Royal Pains as Bea
- 2017 Queen Sugar as Mother Olivia Brown
- 2019 9-1-1 as Beatrice Carter
- "6 Apr 1971, 37 - Daily News at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
- Beverly Todd Biography (1946-)
- "Beverly Todd". myLifetime.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
- "A Life Beyond the Grief : Two years ago, Beverly Todd's only son was beaten to death. 'You never get over it,' she says. 'You just learn to function.'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
- Ward Biederman, Patricia (March 17, 1991). "A Life Beyond the Grief". The Los Angeles Times. p. J1,J8-9.
- "Beverly Todd". MSN. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
- "Days of Our Lives casts co-star of The Bucket List - Inside TV - EW.com". EW.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
6. Demetria Fulton previewed Todd’s appearance in Barnaby Jones; episode titled, “The Bounty Hunter”(12/16/1976).