Almost 20 years after the hit movie “Sister Act” debuted, a former Roman Catholic nun and honorary “Queen Mother” of Harlem is suing Walt Disney Co. and Sony Films claiming her life was the inspiration.
Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, was a “young, Black, singing nun serving the street people and youths of Harlem,” when she published an autobiography, “The Harlem Street Nun” in 1987. Later that year, she sent a 3 page synopsis of her story to Tri Star Pictures.
According to the claims, producer Scott Rudin took a Sister Act project from Tri-Star to Disney and went on to executive produce a film that made more than $230 million at the box office, as well as producing a sequel and a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. The lead character, as played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film, is named, interestingly enough, DELORES van Cartier. The studios declined to comment.
Queen Mother Blakely was profiled in the NY Times in 2003. Why she waited 20 years to bring this suit to court is a mystery.