Lynne Thigpen was born in Illinois in 1948. Thigpen was active in theater through her college years. Following college she taught English but the stage bug got her and she headed to New York.
In 1971 she was cast in the theater version of Godspell, a new age gospel story. In 1973 when they made Godspell (1973) into a movie Thigpen was selected for a role.
Thigpen continued singing and acting in theater through the 1970s and in 1981, she earned a Tony nomination for her work in Tintypes.
It was at this point that she made her movie into tv and film. During her career she had almost 40 tv and film roles. Many of her roles were supporting but her deep and unique voice brought her extra attention. She seemed to standout in minor roles.
She played the role of the gang DJ in The Warriors (1979). In this movie they only showed her lips talking on the microphone but there was no doubt who was talking.
Other movies included Tootsie (1982), Sweet Liberty (1986) [video] as a film crew manager, Hello Again (1987), Running on Empty (1988), and in Lean on Me (1989) where she was an irate parent angling for a job.
Outside of film she was Chief on the PBS series “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” (1991) and the video game Carmen Sandiego Great Chase Through Time (1999). She received four Emmy nominations during this time. She also voiced Luna in Bear in the Big Blue House 1997-1999.
She was also doing recurring roles on tv shows such as “L.A. Law.” The 1990s and early 2000s found Thigpen back in theater and making movies such as Random Hearts (1999), Bicentennial Man (1999), Shaft (2000), and her final film Anger Management (2003).
Prior to the release of Anger Management (2003) Thigpen died suddenly as the result of cerbral hemorage. This wonderful actress was taken away too soon.