Actress Irma P. Hall has appeared in numerous films and television shows since the early 1970s. She is best known for playing matriarchal figures in films including Soul Food, The Ladykillers, and A Family Thing. She also had a reoccurring role on the hit show Dallas in the 1980s.
Hall was born Irma Dolores Player Hall in Beaumont, Texas. She was the daughter of Josephine Hall. She was raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a saxophone player who performed jazz music. Hall attended Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. Hall had been a teacher for many years in Dallas, Texas when actor/director Raymond St. Jacques hired her as an interim publicist for Book of Numbers.
She co-founded the Dallas Minority Repertory Theatre and starred in a production of Happy Endings. After starring in several more productions, Hall realized her calling as an actress and officially retired from teaching in 1984. Her first acting job came for her at the age of 36. Her first acting job came for her at the age of 36. Hall starred in several films including Nothing to Lose (1997), Soul Food (1997) and Beloved (1998).
In 2004, Hall was injured in a car accident in Chicago. She was driving during a snowstorm and lost control over her car. She crossed lanes into oncoming traffic, hitting another car head on. Hall underwent open-heart surgery, however, she made a full recovery and was able to continue her acting career.
She was awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play for “Have You Seen Zandile?” She also was awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.