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Della Reese

Della Reese

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Also Known As: Della Reese Lett, Deloreese Patricia Early Died:
Born: July 6, 1931 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, singer, screenwriter, clerical worker, minister, barber

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A no-nonsense, solidly-built singer and comedy performer who went from best-selling recording artist in the 50s to sitcom star in the 70s and 80s to dramatic TV star in the 90s, Della Reese was raised in Detroit, Michigan. By age six, she was singing in church and at age 13 was "discovered" by Mahalia Jackson and asked to join her group of singers. After touring with Jackson, Reese enrolled at Wayne State University, where she started a gospel group called The Meditations Singers. Reese's college studies were cut short by family problems and forces to help with finances, she worked a wide range of jobs from cutting hair to clerical work. She hit her stride when she was hired as a hostess and singer at Detroit's famed Flame Showbar.

A no-nonsense, solidly-built singer and comedy performer who went from best-selling recording artist in the 50s to sitcom star in the 70s and 80s to dramatic TV star in the 90s, Della Reese was raised in Detroit, Michigan. By age six, she was singing in church and at age 13 was "discovered" by Mahalia Jackson and asked to join her group of singers. After touring with Jackson, Reese enrolled at Wayne State University, where she started a gospel group called The Meditations Singers. Reese's college studies were cut short by family problems and forces to help with finances, she worked a wide range of jobs from cutting hair to clerical work. She hit her stride when she was hired as a hostess and singer at Detroit's famed Flame Showbar.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Christmas Angel (2012)
3.
 Beauty Shop (2005) Cast
4.
 Dinosaur (2000) Voice Of Eema
5.
 Moving of Sophia Myles, The (2000) Sophia Myles
7.
 Secret Path, The (1999) Honey
9.
 Anya's Bell (1999) Anya Herpick
10.
 Emma's Wish (1998) Mona Washburn
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1938:
Began singing in church
1945:
Hired by Mahalia Jackson to sing in her group
:
Hostess and singer at Detroit's Flame Showbar
1953:
Moved to New York and sang with Erskine Hawkins Orchestra
1957:
Had first recording hit, "And That Reminds Me"; Made first of 20 appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show"
1958:
Made feature film debut as herself in "Let's Rock"
1959:
Released best-selling hit, "Don't You Know"
1969:
Hosted the syndicated "Della Reese Show"; made TV dramatic debut in episode of "The Bold Ones"
1973:
Made TV-movie debut, "The Voyage of the Yes"
:
Appeared as regular on "Chico and the Man" (NBC)
:
Was series regular on ABC sitcom "It Takes Two"
1986:
Joined cast of CBS sitcom "Charlie & Co." as Gladys Knight's aunt
1989:
Co-starred in feature "Harlem Nights"
:
Starred in the CBS sitcom "The Royal Family"
1994:
Cast as Roma Downey's angelic supervisor in CBS drama "Touched By an Angel"; in 2000, contributed a script for an episode of the series
1998:
After well-publicized battles with CBS, obtained three-year contract with a reported $60,000 per episode raise (from $40,000 to $100,000)
2005:
Appeared in the comedy "Beauty Shop" starring Queen Latifah
2006:
Introduced a fashion line for larger women dubbed Della Reese Fashions on the Home Shopping Network
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Wayne State University: Detroit , Michigan -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Vermont Adolphus Taliaferro. Divorced.
husband:
Leroy Basil Gray. Divorced.
husband:
Franklin Thomas Lett Jr. Producer. Managed Reese's career.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Deloreese Daniels Owens. Radio operator technician. Born c. 1959; adopted by Reeese in 1961; died on March 14, 2002.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Angels Along the Way: My Life With Help Along the Way" G.P. Putnam's Sons

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