Elizabeth Juliene Lacy
November 7, 1963
Elizabeth Juliene Mikel (née Lacy; born November 7, 1963) is an American actress and jazz vocalist from Dallas, Texas. She is best known for her role as Corinna "Mama" Williams, mother of star running back Brian "Smash" Williams, on the NBC television series Friday Night Lights.
Liz Mikel has been performing on stage for more than twenty years, including extended runs with the Dallas Theater Center and Theater Three. In 2007, the Dallas Morning News described Mikel as "a fixture on the Dallas theater scene". She stepped in for Oprah Winfrey in a special 2008 performance of The Vagina Monologues.
Her film credits include roles in The Quest for Freedom, It's in the Water, Detention (aka Learning Curve), Seventy-8, Carried Away, and as Ruthie Jenkins in Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins. Besides Friday Night Lights, television roles have included guest appearances on LAX, Prison Break, and Past Life plus a recurring role as Maggie on Sordid Lives: The Series.
Dallas Morning News theater critic Jerome Weeks once described Mikel's voice as "an immense, joyful force" and stated, "If a mountain range could belt a bawdy song, it would sound like Mikel."
Liz starred on Broadway in Lysistrata Jones, for which the New York Times praised her performance as "commanding."
Awards and honors
In 1998, Mikel received the Leon Rabin Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical" from the Dallas Theatre League. She has also been the recipient of the Sankofa Award for her "dedication to the Arts in the Community" and the Dallas Theater Critics Forum Award 2004 for her role in Ain’t Misbehavin. D Magazine named Mikel "Best Actress" in their 2004 "Best of Big D" issue. The Dallas Weekly featured her as "Queen of the Arts: The Face of Black Theater in Dallas" in March 2006. Mikel was awarded The 2008 Column Theater Award for "Best Actress in a Musical-Equity" for Caroline, or Change.
On January 7, 2010, the Holly Hills apartment complex in Dallas where Mikel lived burned to the ground, destroying all of Mikel's clothing, possessions, and memorabilia. The local arts community responded with a series of benefit concerts and the Dallas Theater Center announced they would donate "100 percent of all ticket sales" from the world-premiere performance of the musical, Give It Up!, in which Mikel appears.
- Amatangelo, Amy (April 11, 2007). "NBC's bright 'Lights'". Boston Herald.
- Taitte, Lawson (June 4, 2007). "Liz Mikel brings stature and star power to 'Caroline' at Theatre Three". Dallas Morning News.
- "Her old stomping grounds". Dallas Morning News. June 4, 2007.
- "Friday Night Lights Actress Liz Mikel Steps Into Oprah's Role For V-Day" (Press release). Billboard Publicity Wire. April 16, 2008.
- Weeks, Jerome (April 2, 1995). "'Empress' of all she surveyed". Dallas Morning News.
- Brantley, Ben. "'Lysistrata Jones' at Walter Kerr Theater - Review". NYTimes.com. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Chaffin, Cindy (January 8, 2010). "Art&Seek Q&A: Liz Mikel". KERA.
- "Best Actress: Liz Mikel". D Magazine. 2004.
- Wilonsky, Robert (January 8, 2010). "Give It Up For Liz Mikel". Dallas Observer.
- Visser, Nancy (January 8, 2010). "Tuckers' Blues is hosting fundraiser for diva Liz Mikel, whose home burned this week". Dallas Morning News.