Actress Dorothy Steel has died at age 95. She had a long life, but a short theatrical career. Her first movie role may well stand as the achievement of her lifetime: she played the leader of the Merchant Tribe in Wakanda’s royal council in Black Panther. Her part in Black Panther, while small, was important in demonstrating how egalitarian Wakandan society is.

Dorothy Steel as the tribal leader of Wakanda’s Merchant Tribe {image via Disney}

Dorothy Steel was born February 23, 1926 on Detroit, Michigan. When she was born, Calvin Coolidge was president. She began her acting career at the age of 88. Her first television role was as Mrs. Williams in The Trouble With Going Somewhere. Black Panther was her first big screen feature. Her grandson encouraged her to take the role. Her final role was as a village elder in Jumanji: the Next Level. She spent much of her life in Atlanta, Georgia, but when she realized her long life was nearing its end, she went back to Detroit to die. She did so on October 15, 2021. Rest in peace, Miss Dorothy.

Mrs. Steel proved that you are never too old to pursue a dream. lists 11 roles in her brief acting career, including Mother Harris in Saints and Sinners.

Our deepest condolence’s to Mrs. Steel’s children and grandchildren. Wakanda Forever!

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.