Merle Dandridge

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Merle Dandridge
Born (1975-05-31) May 31, 1975 (age 40)
Okinawa, Japan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994—present

Merle Dandridge (born May 31, 1975)[1] is an American actress and singer. She performed in a number of stage productions, include Broadway musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Spamalot, and Rent. Dandridge also known for her recurring role on television series such as Sons of Anarchy and The Night Shift. In 2015, she began starring as Grace Greenleaf in the upcoming Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf.

Early life[edit]

Dandridge was born in Okinawa, Japan.[1] Her father was an African-American US serviceman from Memphis and her mother was a local Okinawan of Korean and Japanese descent. As well as Okinawa, Dandridge has lived in Sacramento, California, at Beale Air Force Base, and later at Offutt Air Force Base (home to the then-Strategic Air Command) in Bellevue, Nebraska, where she spent the majority of her childhood. She attended Papillion La Vista High School and participated in the play production class and theater department there. She then attended the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University (currently called the Chicago College of Performing Arts) with a scholarship that she earned at the International Thespian Festival.[2]

Career[edit]

Dandridge began her career appearing in Chicago theatre productions. She has gained a wider audience as the voice of Alyx Vance in the award-winning action game Half-Life 2 and its sequels, Episode One and Episode Two, and also as Marlene in The Last of Us. On television, she guest starred on NCIS, 24, Criminal Minds, The Newsroom and Drop Dead Diva. Dandridge also had the recurring roles in the FX drama series, Sons of Anarchy as Rita Roosevelt, and short-lived The CW teen soap Star-Crossed in 2014. In 2015, she co-starred in the second season of NBC medical drama, The Night Shift as Gwen Gaskin.[3]

In 2015, Dandridge was cast as one of leads in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf opposite Lynn Whitfield. She plays the role of Grace Greenleaf, Greenleaf's estranged daughter.[4][5]

Filmography[edit]

Television and film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Angel Lacey Episode: "Home"
2003 The Edge Agent Angela Wells Pilot
2003 NCIS Marcy Carruthers Episode: "Sea Dog"
2005 Third Watch Nikki Episode: "Too Little, Too Late"
2005 All My Children Lois Recurring role
2005 Guiding Light Lawyer Episode: "July 21, 2005"
2007 I'm Paige Wilson Gloria Pilot
2008 Nothing But The Truth Celia
2010 The Deep End Jennifer Hutchins Episode: "An Innocent Man"
2010 24 Kristen Smith Episode: "Day 8, 12:00am– 1:00am"
2010 Matadors Brooke Comas Pilot
2010 CSI: Miami Stacy Garrett Episode: "Sleepless In Miami"
2011 Lie to Me D.A. Jill Ottinger Episode: "Saved"
2011 Love Bites Krista Episode: "How To..."
2011 Ringer Dr. Anabel Morris Episode: "Shut Up and Eat Your Bologna"
2012 Criminal Minds Agent Lynn Brooks Episode: "A Family Affair"
2011–2012 Sons of Anarchy Rita Roosevelt Recurring role, 6 episodes
2013 Company Town Louise Pilot
2013 Nikita Zoe Episode: "Inevitability"
2012—2013 The Newsroom Maria Guerrero Episodes: "Amen" and "One Step Too Many"
2014 The Mentalist Lydia Faulk Episode: "Il Tavolo Bianco"
2014 Star-Crossed Vega Recurring role, 7 episodes
2014 Drop Dead Diva Nadine Comer Episode: "Afterlife"
2014 Stalker Dean Lisa Miner Episode: "Pilot"
2014 NCIS: Los Angeles CIA Officer Nicole Borders Episode: "Reign Fall"
2015 Perception Robyn Sherman Episode: "Meat"
2015 Suits Leah Episode: "Intent"
2015 - Present The Night Shift Gwen Gaskin Recurring role, 13 episodes
2016 Greenleaf Grace Greenleaf Series regular

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Theatre
1994 Once on this Island Performer Chicago, IL
1994 Robber Bridegroom Rosamund Roosevelt University Chicago, IL
1994 As You Like It Rosalind Roosevelt University Chicago, IL
1997 Balm in Gilead Ann Gilead Theatre Chicago, IL
1997 The Kentucky Cycle Performer Truman College (Chicago, IL)
1997 Company Kathy Chicago, IL
1997 Sweet and Hot Performer Theatre Building Chicago, IL
1998 Heart and Soul Andrea Chicago, IL
1998 Richard II Performer Gilead Theatre Co. Chicago, IL
1998 Ain't Misbehavin' European Tour
1998 Smokey Joe's Cafe Swing National Tour
2000 Jesus Christ Superstar Mary Magdalene Ford Center for the Performing Arts (Broadway)
2001 Aida Nehebka National Tour
2002 Aida Aida (Replacement) Palace Theatre Broadway
2002-2008 Rent Joanne Jefferson (Replacement) Nederlander Theatre Broadway
2003 Showtune: Celebrating the Words & Music of Jerry Herman Woman 2 Pasadena Playhouse Pasadena, CA
2006-2007 Tarzan Kala Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway
2008 Monty Python's Spamalot The Lady of the Lake Shubert Theatre Broadway
2009-2010 Rent Joanne USA National Tour

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Half-Life 2 Alyx Vance
2006 Half-Life 2: Episode One Alyx Vance
2007 Half-Life 2: Episode Two Alyx Vance
2007 The Orange Box Alyx Vance Compilation
2013 The Last of Us Marlene
2013 Dota 2 Legion Commander
Winter Wyvern
2015 Everybody's Gone To The Rapture Kate Collins

References[edit]

External links[edit]