(Reuters) – A singer and actress who appeared this year as blues singer Big Mama Thornton in the film “Elvis” was found dead in her Nashville apartment on Thursday, police said.
The body of Shonka Dukureh, 44, was found after one of her two young children found the actress unresponsive and ran to get a neighbor, who called 9-1-1, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a written statement.
Police said no foul play was suspected and that an autopsy had been scheduled to determine her cause of death.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted his condolences to Dukureh’s family, saying that she had graduated from Fisk University in the city that she had called home for many years.Dukureh starred alongside Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker in the 2022 film.
Variety reported that “Elvis” marked the first major film role for Dukureh, who was born in North Carolina.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Stephen Coates)