Shonka Dukureh, who played Big Mama Thorton in the movie “Elvis,” has died, according to media reports Friday. Police found Dukureh dead Thursday in her apartment in Nashville, Tennessee. She was 44.
There were no signs of foul play, the Metro Nashville Police Department said. Results from an autopsy report are pending from the medical examiner.
Dukureh, who was a graduate of Fisk University and a singer in Nashville, lived in the apartment with her two children, according to media reports. One of her children found her unresponsive, and went to a neighbor to call 911 just before 9:30 a.m., police said.
“My deepest condolences to the family of Shonka Dukureh. Shonka graduated from @Fisk1866 and called Nashville home for many years,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted.