Sheryl Lee Ralph
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|Sheryl Lee Ralph|
December 30, 1956 |
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Vincent Hughes (2005–present)
Eric Maurice (1990–2001) (divorced) 2 children
Life and career
Raised between Mandeville, Jamaica, and Long Island, Sheryl Lee Ralph was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, to an African- American father and a Jamaican mother. According to a DNA analysis, she descended, mainly, from people of Cameroon. Sheryl attended Uniondale High School in Uniondale, NY. She starred in the High School musical Oklahoma! and played Ado Annie. Sheryl graduated in 1972. In 1973, she was crowned Miss Black Teen-age New York. At 19, Ralph was the youngest woman to ever graduate from Rutgers University. Also that year she was named as one of the top 10 college women in America by Glamour magazine. Initially she hoped to study medicine, but after dealing with cadavers in a premed class and winning a scholarship in a competition at the American College Theater Festival, she quit medicine for the performing arts. Many years later, she served as the commencement speaker at Rutgers for the Class of 2003. Ralph is married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes.
Ralph began her career on the stage and was nominated in 1982 for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls. In 1984, Ralph released her only album In the Evening, in which the title track hit peaked at #6 on the Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart that same year. In 1988, she starred in the Disney movie Oliver & Company providing the speaking voice of Rita. Her first film leading role came as Denzel Washington's wife in The Mighty Quinn. In 1992, she starred as Robert De Niro's mistress in Mistress. During the 1990s she also had roles in The Flintstones, Deterrence and Unconditional Love.
On television, she is known for playing Ginger St. James on It's a Living, Etienne Toussaint-Bouvier on Designing Women, and later Dee Mitchell on Moesha and the supervillainous Cheetah in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Ralph produced Divas Simply Singing, which has become an important AIDS fundraiser. In June 2000, Ralph sued The National Enquirer for one million dollars over a piece they had written about her and her husband. She was voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of step mom Dee on the number-one rated television series Moesha. She also appeared on the Showtime series, Barbershop, as the popular, post-operative transsexual, Claire. Recently, Sheryl brought a new face to the sufferings of war in the NBC hit series ER.
Ralph's 2002 project, Baby of the Family, concerns a young child who is born with a caul over her head; enabling her to see ghosts and the future. Ralph was also recently featured with son Etienne on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 and BET's Baldwin Hills, as well as an episode of Clean House that also featured her two children, Etienne and Ivy-Victoria aka "Coco" (named after Ralph's mother).
In July 2004, Ralph was inducted as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority at the 47th National Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. In May 2008, Ralph was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Tougaloo College after giving the commencement address.
On June 16, 2009 it was announced that Ralph would join the cast of the Broadway-bound musical The First Wives Club as Elyse. She replaced Adriane Lenox, who withdrew from the show due to health concerns.
On February 9, 2013, Ralph appeared at the 2013 Columbus Middle School youth rally in Columbus, Mississippi.
- A Piece of the Action (1977)
- Oliver & Company (1988) (voice)
- The Mighty Quinn (1989)
- The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)
- Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
- The Flintstones (1994)
- White Man's Burden (1995)
- Lover's Knot (1996)
- Bogus (1996)
- Jamaica Beat (1997)
- Unconditional Love (1999)
- Personals (1999)
- Deterrence (1999)
- Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel (2000)
- Baby of the Family (2002)
- Frankie D (2007)
- The Cost of Heaven (2010)
- Blessed and Cursed (2010)
- Christmas in Compton (2012)
- Secrets (1998) (also director and producer)
- He Knows My Heart (2012)
- Good Times (1978) - J.J and the Plumber's Helper.
- Wonder Woman (1979)
- The Neighborhood (1982)
- Search for Tomorrow (cast member from 1983–1984)
- V: The Series (1984)
- Code Name: Foxfire (1985) (canceled after a few episodes)
- Hunter (1985–1986) - The Return of Typhoon Thompson episode.
- Pros and Cons (1986)
- It's a Living (cast member from 1986–1989)
- Sister Margaret and the Saturday Night Ladies (1987)
- New Attitude (1990) (canceled after a few episodes)
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991)
- Designing Women (cast member from 1992–1993)
- George (1993) (canceled after a few episodes)
- Witch Hunt (1994)
- Moesha (1996–2001)
- Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (Season 3, Episode 14 "What Price Harvey)"
- The Jennie Project (2001)
- Justice League (2001) - Cheetah
- Da Kink in My Hair (2004)
- BarberShop: The Series (2005)
- Flavor of Love 3 (2008) - Guest Star
- My Super Sweet 16 (2008)
- Hannah Montana (2008)
- Baldwin Hills - (recurring, Etienne's Mom, season 3, 2009)
- Zevo-3 (2010-11)
- Young Justice (2011) - Amanda Waller
- Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2011) - Felicia Starr
- Smash (2013) - Cynthia
- Ray Donovan (2013) - Claudette
- Instant Mom (2013) - Maggie Turner (Recurring Role)
- 2 Broke Girls (2014) - Genet Bromberg (ep "And the Not Broke Parents")
- Reggae (1980)
- Swing (1980)
- Dreamgirls (1981)
- Identical Twins from Baltimore (1987)
- Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002)
- Applause (2005)
- The First Wives Club (2009)
In the Evening (1984, The New York Music Company)
- "You're So Romantic" (4:38)
- "In the Evening" (3:50)
- "Give Me Love" (3:34)
- "Evolution" (4:02)
- "Back to Being in Love" (3:01)
- "Be Somebody" (3:35)
- "I'm Your Kind of Girl" (3:55)
- "B.A.B.Y." (3:15)
- "Ready or Not" (3:46)
- "I'm So Glad That We Met" (3:56)
Produced and arranged by Trevor Lawrence
- "When I First Saw You" (1983) - US R&B #50
- "In the Evening" (1984) - US Hot Dance Music/Club Play Singles #6; UK #64
- "You're So Romantic" (1985) - US Club Play #37; US R&B #84
- "In the Evening" (remix) (1996)
- "Evolution" (remix) (1998)
- "Here Comes the Rain Again" (1999) (cover of Eurythmics song) - US Club Play #37; US R&B #44
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzE3bOh52Fk&feature=related Growing Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph Proud of Her Cameroon Ancestry
- Collier, Aldore, "Sheryl Lee Ralph Talks About Her New TV Series And How She Kept A String On Her Finger Until She Found The Right Man", pp 56-58, August 27, 1990, Jet magazine, retrieved via Google Books on February 10, 2010
- "The New York Times". The New York Times.
- "Tell Us, Miss Jones: Sheryl Lee Ralph Will Be Part of First Wives Club", playbill.com, June 16, 2009
- "Dreamgirls Sheryl Lee Ralph to Guest Star as Jennifer Hudson's Mother in NBC's Smash Season 2!". BroadwayWorld.com. August 14, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Allmusic.com / Billboard Singles
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 449. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Official Page of Sheryl Lee Ralph
- Sheryl Lee Ralph at the Internet Movie Database
- Sheryl Lee Ralph at the Internet Broadway Database