Lynne Thigpen, a Tony Award winner and former All My Children star, has died. She was 54.
Thigpen died Wednesday evening in her Los Angeles home. The actress had reportedly been in good health and the cause of her death was not immediately known.
Production was shut down on the CBS drama series The District following the shocking news of Thigpen's death, a series on which she had co-starred as Ella Farmer since 2000.
"I'm in shock. She was a wonderful actress and a friend," Thigpen's District co-star Craig T. Nelson said in a statement.
"The beauty, compassion and talent that you saw on the screen was not just superb acting, it was the very essence of this wonderful woman," said John Wirth, the drama's executive producer. "We will miss her terribly."
Thigpen, who was born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, and made her home in New York, had a distinguished stage career and also worked steadily in films and television.
In 1997, she received the Tony Award for best supporting actress for her role as a black Jewish feminist in Wendy Wasserstein's play An American Daughter.
For a sizeable portion of the 1990s, Thigpen appeared on All My Children as Grace Keefer. In the 1980s, she had also made appearances as Flora Baxter, but most AMC fans will forever remember her as "Aunt Grace."
Thigpen is also well-known to younger viewers as the chief on the PBS series, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? as well as Luna, the moon, on Bear in the Big Blue House.
Her film credits include The Insider, Shaft, Random Hearts, Lean on Me, Tootsie and the recently released Anger Management.