Veteran character actress Rhoda Griffis has played everyone from Jacqueline Kennedy to Lady MacBeth, but she counts the scheming Lenore Ludwig Baker on "Army Wives" (Lifetime, 2007-14) as one of her favorite roles. The North Carolina native began performing when she was just a child and followed her interest in drama to the North Carolina School of the Arts. After making her TV debut in 1991 on NBC's "In the Heat of the Night" (1988-1995), Griffis portrayed the beloved First Lady in "Love Field" (1992) and made an appearance as the title baseball player's distant mother in "Cobb" (1994). Despite small but memorable roles in the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line" (2005) and the sports drama "We are Marshall" (2006), Griffis never left the stage lights for long and continued acting in repertory groups in Atlanta, St. Louis and New Hampshire. Since being cast on "Army Wives" as the feisty Baker, Griffis has been featured in the surprise hit "The Blind Side" (2009) and returned to Lifetime on "Drop Dead Diva" (2009-14). Having worked with such big-name stars as Tommy Lee Jones, Harrison Ford and Barbra Streisand, Rhoda Griffis' career is anything but routine.
Born in 1965 in Raleigh, NC, Griffis always knew she would be an actress. Her passion for performing led her to North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied drama and acted in local productions. After graduating from the school with a BFA, Griffis appeared on the primetime "In the Heat of the Night" and quickly landed the pivotal role in "Love Field" as Michelle Pfeiffer's unlikely object of obsession. Her brief turn as Ty Cobb's emotionally estranged mother was followed by nearly a decade of steady supporting work in TV series and made-for-TV movies such as "The Madam's Family: The Truth about the Canal Street Brothel" (CBS, 2004). It wasn't always the most glamorous of projects, but her ongoing theater work in repertory companies around the country balanced things out.
In 2005 Griffis landed a big-screen role as a beleaguered five-and-dime manager in "Walk the Line," which she followed up with a performance as a distraught mother in the football drama "We are Marshall." Two years later she landed a rare recurring role as Lenore Baker, the vindictive wife of an Army general, on the first and second seasons of the popular "Army Wives," and shared a scene with Sandra Bullock in the wildly successful "The Blind Side." Since being cast in the reincarnation sitcom "Drop Dead Diva," Griffis has appeared as Barbra Streisand's cranky violin teacher in "Parental Guidance" (2012) and been cast alongside Harrison Ford and TR Knight in 2013's "42," about Jackie Robinson's landmark signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made her TV debut on NBC's "In the Heat of the Night"
Played Jacqueline Kennedy in "Love Field"
Cast as Tommy Lee Jones' mother in "Cobb"
Featured in "Walk the Line"
Portrayed an Army general's wife on Lifetime's "Army Wives"
Cast in "The Blind Side"
Featured on "Drop Dead Diva"