Dukureh, from ‘Elvis’ film, found dead in Nashville home

Shonka Dukureh, who played Big Mama Thornton in this year’s movie about Elvis Presley, was found dead Thursday in a bedroom at her home in Nashville, police said. She was 44.

What You Need To Know

  • The actor who played Big Mama Thornton in this year’s movie about Elvis Presley has been found dead in a bedroom at her home
  • Nashville police said there were no signs of foul play in the death of Shonka Dukureh; she was 44
  • Autopsy results are pending from the medical examiner
  • Police say Dukureh shared the apartment with her two young children

Nashville police said there were no signs of foul play. Autopsy results are pending from the medical examiner.

Dukureh, a Fisk University graduate and Nashville singer, shared the apartment with her two young children, police said. One of the children found her unresponsive and went to the apartment of a neighbor, who called 911 shortly before 9:30 a.m., police said.

The actor, who also shared the stage at Coachella this year with Doja Cat, had a theater degree from Fisk and graduated from Trevecca Nazarene with an education degree, WPLN-FM reported.

In an interview with the station last month, Dukureh said she taught second grade for a while and then worked with inner-city youth through after-school and summer programs.

She said those students reached out after seeing her in “Elvis.”