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Elvis Actress dead at 44

Shonka Dukureh, the actress who portrayed Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in released Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” was found dead Thursday at 44.

Dukureh’s role as “Big Mama”, who was the first singer to record the song “Hound Dog,” which was then made popular by Elvis Presley, was her debut film appearance.