January 28, 1962 |
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Diop Kamau (m. 1992)|
Life and career
Ferrell was born in Houston, Texas. She moved from Houston to New York after high school and began her career on stage including roles on Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music (1981) and Ain't Misbehavin on Broadway. She made her screen debut in a small role in the 1981 comedy film So Fine, and later appeared in Lady Beware, School Daze, The Mighty Quinn, and The Exorcist III. On television, she guest-starred in Hill Street Blues, The Twilight Zone, and Quantum Leap, and had recurring roles on Square One Television, The Bronx Zoo, and Thirtysomething. In 1990, Ferrell was regular cast member on the short-lived CBS sitcom City starring Valerie Harper.
In 1991, Ferrell played supporting roles in the films Boyz n the Hood and Jungle Fever. In the same year, she was listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1991" in John A. Willis' Screen World. The following year, she starred alongside Wesley Snipes in the comedy film White Men Can't Jump, and later had supporting roles in Equinox, Poetic Justice and The Perfect Score. Ferrell also played the leading role alongside Mare Winningham in the 1993 Lifetime Television movie Better Off Dead. In 1994, she had the recurring role as Dr. Sarah Langworthy during the first season of the NBC medical drama ER, and from 1996 to 1997 she co-starred alongside Corbin Bernsen on the syndicated science fiction series The Cape.
In 2000, Ferrell co-starred alongside Khandi Alexander in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries The Corner. She later guest-starred on Soul Food, The Shield and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2004, she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for her role in the ABC television film NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323. She returned to acting ten years later with the leading role in Tasha Smith's directorial debut, Boxed In. In 2015, Ferrell was cast in a recurring role on the second season of Fox's prime-time soap opera Empire.
|1984||Gimme an 'F'||Rocket Rafferty|
|1988||Side by Side||Rita Gold||Television film|
|1989||The Mighty Quinn||Isola|
|1991||The Exorcist III||Nurse Blaine|
|1991||Jungle Fever||Orin Goode|
|1991||Boyz n the Hood||Brenda Baker|
|1991||The Neon Empire||Samantha||Television film|
|1992||White Men Can't Jump||Rhonda Deane|
|1992||You Must Remember This||Ricki Sewell||Television film|
|1993||Better Off Dead||Cutter Dubuque||Television film|
|2004||Coochie||Olivia Potter||Short film|
|2004||The Perfect Score||Desmond's Mother|
|2004||NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323||Jessamyn||Television film
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
|1985||Hill Street Blues||Jonelle Robinson||Episode: "Somewhere Over the Rambo"|
|1985||Moonlighting||Hooker||Episode: "Knowing Her"|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Maid||Episode: "Dead Woman's Shoes/Wong's Lost and Found Emporium"|
|1986||Hunter||Marguerite Montero||Episode: "Love, Hate, and Sporty James"|
|1987||Mathnet||Ginnie Carlson||Episode: "The Problem of the Missing Baseball"|
|1987||Square One Television||Ginnie Carlson||Recurring role, 3 episodes|
|1987-1988||The Bronx Zoo||Roberta Hughes||Recurring role, 11 episodes|
|1988||Mr. Belvedere||Cashier||Episode: "Hooky"|
|1989||Quantum Leap||Delilah 'Lila' Berry||Episode: "So Help Me God - July 29, 1957"|
|1990||Full House||Miss Petrie||Episode: "Bye, Bye Birdie"|
|1989-1990||Thirtysomething||Ricky Bianca||Recurring role, 4 episodes|
|1990||City||Wanda Jenkins||Series regular, 13 episodes|
|1990||The Trials of Rosie O'Neill||Loni Sanders||Episode: "An Act of Love"|
|1994||ER||Dr. Sarah Langworthy||Recurring role, 6 episodes|
|1997||Early Edition||Dr. Marks||Episode: "Faith"|
|1996-1997||The Cape||Mission Specialist Tamara St. James||Series regular, 17 episodes|
|2000||The Corner||Ella Thompson||Miniseries|
|2000||Soul Food||Frances Lester||Episode: "Truth Be Told"|
|2002||The Shield||Karen Mitchell||Episode: "Two Days of Blood"|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Bethany Taylor||Episode: "Futility"|
|2015||Empire||Roxanne Ford||Recurring role|
- Tyra Ferrell
- "Tyra Ferrell". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows
- "Biography for Tyra Ferrell". IMDB.com.
- "Obscure Black C-Listers: Tyra Ferrell - What Would Thembi Do?". Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323 (2004)(TV)". IMDB.com.
- "Tasha Smith Makes Directorial Debut with 'Boxed In' at 2015 ABFF (WATCH)". EURweb. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
- Denise Petski. "Tyra Ferrell Cast In Fox's 'Empire' - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved June 27, 2015.