Hope Clarke (born March 23, 1941) appeared as a nurse at Santa Monica Memorial Hospital, where Chrissy was getting treated for a head injury in the episode of Three's Company titled "Chrissy's Hospitality" in Season 4.
A veteran actress, former dancer, singer, choreographer, and director, Clarke performed as principal dancer with Katherine Dunham Company and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Hope serves on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee for the 2011-2012 Broadway season.
Early life and careerEdit
A native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Clarke grew up in just the sort of community she sought to portray in Porgy and Bess. Segregation was still a harsh fact of life during her childhood. She recalled, for instance, how people shopped through mail-order catalogues in order to purchase clothes offered in stores where they were not welcome. "The black community, as I remember it, was very closely knit," Clarke said in the San Francisco Examiner. "Before the fabric of this society was torn by racism and lack of education, we all took care of each other. We all watched each other's children."
In 1960, the still-teenaged Clarke landed a role in the original touring cast of West Side Story, a musical play about rival big city gangs. Following West Side Story, Clarke served as a principal dancer in two noted African American dance troupes: the Katherine Dunham Company and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She was particularly prominent in the Alvin Ailey company and sometimes danced in partnership with Ailey himself. Clarke told Essence magazine that her years as a professional dancer helped her to prepare for the next stages in her career. "The discipline I learned in dance carried over into acting and directing," she said.
Various acting worksEdit
After leaving the Alvin Ailey group in the 1970s, Hope moved into acting. Her most notable feature film performance was in A Piece of the Action (1977), starring comedian/actor Bill Cosby and Oscar-winning actor/director Sidney Poitier. In addition to her Three's Company appearance, Hope has also appeared in guest roles on numerous television shows, including The Jeffersons, The Ropers, Hill Street Blues, and As The World Turns. Her Broadway credits include Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope, Purlie, and Hallelujah Baby. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed NBC-TV miniseries King (1978) based upon the life and ministry of the slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.