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Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 30, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Waterbury, Connecticut, USA Profession: actor, singer, dancer, director, producer, screenwriter, children's clothing designer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Born in Waterbury, CT, Sheryl Lee Ralph spent her youth in Mandeville, Jamaica and Long Island, New York. In 1982 she began her theatrical career with the Broadway smash "Dreamgirls." Her portrayal of Deena Jones won Ralph's first Tony nomination for the Best Actress in a Musical category. Beginning her recurring roles on television, Ralph played Ginger St. James on the sitcom "It's A Living" (ABC 1986-89) Her first leading role on the big screen was with Denzel Washington in "The Mighty Quinn" (1992). She continued with the big screen working in "The Distinguished Gentleman" (1992) opposite Eddie Murphy, and "Mistress" (1992) opposite Robert DeNiro, before landing her TV breakout role as Dee Mitchell on the popular sitcom "Moesha" (UPN 1996-2001); Ralph played Moesha's (Brandy Norwood) mother for the length of the series. After that series ended, Ralph guest-starred on series and in TV movies including "The Jennie Project" (Disney 2001), "Barbershop" (Showtime 2005), "Hannah Montana" (Disney 2006-2011) and "Smash" (NBC 2012-13), on which she played the mother of Jennifer Hudson's character. In addition to her acting work, Ralph was a high profile activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Along with...

Born in Waterbury, CT, Sheryl Lee Ralph spent her youth in Mandeville, Jamaica and Long Island, New York. In 1982 she began her theatrical career with the Broadway smash "Dreamgirls." Her portrayal of Deena Jones won Ralph's first Tony nomination for the Best Actress in a Musical category. Beginning her recurring roles on television, Ralph played Ginger St. James on the sitcom "It's A Living" (ABC 1986-89) Her first leading role on the big screen was with Denzel Washington in "The Mighty Quinn" (1992). She continued with the big screen working in "The Distinguished Gentleman" (1992) opposite Eddie Murphy, and "Mistress" (1992) opposite Robert DeNiro, before landing her TV breakout role as Dee Mitchell on the popular sitcom "Moesha" (UPN 1996-2001); Ralph played Moesha's (Brandy Norwood) mother for the length of the series. After that series ended, Ralph guest-starred on series and in TV movies including "The Jennie Project" (Disney 2001), "Barbershop" (Showtime 2005), "Hannah Montana" (Disney 2006-2011) and "Smash" (NBC 2012-13), on which she played the mother of Jennifer Hudson's character.

In addition to her acting work, Ralph was a high profile activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Along with her own charity called The DIVA (Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed) Foundation, she created "Divas Simply Singing!," an annual musical benefit. Ralph also wrote the one-woman show "Sometimes I Cry," detailing true life stories of women and their lives struggling with HIV/AIDS.

Ralph also created and hosted The International Jamaican Film & Music Festival. Ralph also wrote and directed her own independent short film, "Secrets." A finalist in the HBO Film Short Competition, Showtime's Filmmaker Award Series, and the BET Filmmaker Award Competition, the film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hollywood Film Festival, and the Urban World Film Festival.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Secrets (1997) Director
2.
  Secrets (1999) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Blessed & Cursed (2010)
3.
 Personals (1999) Chantal
4.
 Deterrence (1999) Gayle Redford
5.
 Secrets (1997)
6.
 Bogus (1996) Ruthie
7.
 Lover's Knot (1995) Charlotte
8.
 White Man's Burden (1995) Roberta
9.
 Witch Hunt (1994) Hypolita Laveau Kropotkin
10.
 Flintstones, The (1994) Mrs. Pyrite
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1981:
Appeared in over 1,200 performances of the Broadway hit, "Dreamgirls" as Deena Jones, the character loosely based on Diana Ross
1980:
Broadway debut, "Reggae"
1987:
Co-authored book, produced video, "Sheryl Lee Ralph's Beauty Basics"
1990:
Co-starred as Vicki St James in the series, "New Attitude"
1989:
First leading role in features, "The Mighty Quinn", opposite Denzel Wazshington
1999:
Made directorial debut with the 12-minute short "Secrets"; also produced and scripted; aired on "Showtime Black Filmmaker Showcase"
:
Played the title character's stepmother on the UPN series, "Moesha"
2002:
Returned to Broadway in the role of Muzzy Van Meer n the stage musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie"
:
Started own production company, Island Girl Productions
1978:
TV debut on "The Krofft Komedy Hour", an unsold pilot
1992:
Cast as Vegas showgirl Etienne (named after her child) on the long-running series, "Designing Women"
1973:
Named Miss Black Teen-Age New York
1984:
Recorded album, "In the Evening"
:
TV series regular as Ginger St. James on "It's a Living"
2000:
Co-starred as a government official in the political thriller "Deterrence"
1985:
Co-starred in the TV series, "Code Name: Foxfire"
1977:
Professional acting debut in "A Piece of the Action"
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Education

Uniondale High School: Uniondale, New York -
Rutgers University: New Brunswick, New Jersey -
Rutgers University: New Brunswick, New Jersey -
Negro Ensemble Company: New York, New York -

Notes

Ralph runs the annual L.A. Children's Toy Drive with Denzel Washington.

She produces "Divas", an annual benefit for minorities with AIDS.

Ralph also oversees the design and management of a children's clothing line, Le Petit Etienne.

She filed a million-dollar lawsuit against The National Enquirer for defamation of character and emotional distress.

"Life is a wonderful teacher and since we don't get to repeat class, we must pay attention."- Raplh Ebony March 2003

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Eric George Maurice. Art importer. Born c. 1961; owns store Nu Nubian in California; Ralph filed for divorce on March 8, 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Stanley Ralph. College administrator.
mother:
Ivy Ralph. Fashion designer.
son:
Etienne George-Nelson Maurice. Born in November 1991.
daughter:
Ivy-Victoria Julia Maurice. Born in December 1994.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"Sheryl Lee Ralph's Beauty Basics"

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