Sherri Shepherd, the actress best known as The Help’s Minny Jackson, has died after suffering a heart attack. She was 49.
Her major breakthrough came in 2011, when she starred in in the Civil Rights drama The Help, for which she won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress. She would follow up her work in the help with a critically acclaimed performance in Ryan Coogler’s drama Fruitvale Station for which she received the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. In recent years she has received acclaim for her work in the films Get on Up, Black or White, Smashed, Snowpiercer, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and Zootopia. In 2016, she received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her performance as mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the comedy-drama Hidden Figures.
“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd, 24. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Shepherd was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.