October 30, 1997 12:00 AM

Beah Richards, 74, who won an Emmy only last week for her guest appearance on ABC’s “The Practice,” died on Thursday of emphysema in Vicksburg, Miss., where she lived. In failing health at the time of the Sept. 10 ceremony, Richards did not attend the Emmys but did receive her award from “Practice” actress Lisa Gay Hamilton. The soft-spoken Richards was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Sidney Poitier’s mother in 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” and was featured in 1998’s “Beloved.”

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