Freeman in the play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom in 2012
October 1, 1957 |
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Life and career
Freeman was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She later moved to New York City to pursue a career in graphic design. There she turned to acting on stage productions, before appearing of The Wiz and Ain't Misbehavin'. In same time, she also worked as a singer in nightclubs and performed in cabaret. In 1990, Freeman relocated to Los Angeles, and began appearing on television, in shows like Tales from the Crypt, Knots Landing, and L.A. Law.
Freeman is best known for her role as Haleh Adams, a registered nurse, on the NBC medical drama series, ER. She played the role from 1994 to series finale in 2009, appearing on the recurring basis in 184 episodes total. She is one of the longest serving recurring characters on the show, having appeared in every season since 1994, with her first appearance in the two-hour pilot episode. From 1997 to 1999, she also was regular on the NBC sitcom, Working, while still appearing in ER. In 2002, during ER summer hiatus, she lost 120 pounds and now speaks as a positive advocate for weight loss.
In 1999, Freeman released her debut album, A Tribute to Dinah Washington, after performing in the Off-Broadway production of Dinah Was She won the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress in 1998. In 2012, she played Ma Rainey, the Mother of the Blues in the Huntington Theatre Company production of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
In 2000s, Freeman had the recurring roles on the daytime soap operas Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful, and guest starred on Judging Amy, Boston Public, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In 2014, Freeman was cast as Irma, one of "The Golden Girls", in the Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black. Along with cast, Freeman received Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
|1990||Alien Nation||Helen||Episode: "The Touch"|
|1990||Ann Jillian||Gloria||Episode: "It's a Mall World After All"|
|1990||Dragnet||Witness||Episode: "The Torch"|
|1990||Doctor Doctor||Mrs. Cratchit||Episode: "Malpractice Makes Imperfect"|
|1991||Equal Justice||Clerk||Episode: "Courting Disaster"|
|1991||Switch||Mae the Maid|
|1991||Tales from the Crypt||Jury Forewoman||Episode: "The Trap"|
|1991||Step by Step||Doris||Episode: "Yo-Yo's Wedding"|
|1992||Knots Landing||Gwen||Episode: "Yo-Yo's Wedding"|
|1992||Just My Imagination||Mrs. DeWitt||Television film|
|1993||Camp Wilder||Teacher||Episode: "Career Day"|
|1993||Life Goes On||Nurse||Episode: "Bedfellows"|
|1993||Down the Shore||Sheriff||Episode: "Bedfellows"|
|1993||Sisters||Nightmare Host||Episode: "Sleepless in Winnetka"|
|1994||Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Feather||Episode: "Pros and Convicts"|
|1994||L.A. Law||Anelda Hightower||Episode: "Finish Line"|
|1995||Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest||Samantha|
|1995||The John Larroquette Show||Mrs. Wilson||Episode: "Night Moves"|
|1996||Norma Jean & Marilyn||Hazel Washington||Television film|
|1996||Living Single||Ms. Peabody||Episode: "The Engagement: Part 2"|
|1997-1999||Working||Evelyn Smalley||Series regular, 39 episodes|
|2000||Judging Amy||Claire Reeves||Episode: "The Burden of Perspective"|
|2000-2001||Boston Public||Gladys Crenshaw||Episodes: "Chapter Eight" and "Chapter Eleven"|
|2001||That's Life||Lawyer||Episode: "No Good Deed"|
|2001||The Tick||Thelma||Episode: "The License"|
|2002||The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina||Leola||Voice|
|2002||Presidio Med||Episode: "Good Question"|
|2005||Planting Melvin||Wanda Shepard|
|2007||Saving Grace||Toby McKees||Episode: "This Is Way Too Normal for You"|
|1994-2009||ER||Nurse Haleh Adams||Recurring role, 184 episodes|
|2009||The Revenant||Scientological Nurse|
|2010||Five Star Day||Social Worker|
|2008-2010||Days of Our Lives||Nurse Lesley||Recurring role|
|2010||Pretty Little Liars||School Administrator||Episode: "The Perfect Storm"|
|2009-2012||The Bold and the Beautiful||Dr. Lewis||Recurring role|
|2014||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Cynthia Hughes||Episode: "The Twin Paradox"|
|2014-2015||Orange Is the New Black||Irma||Recurring role, 9 episodes|
- Jason Ankeny. "Yvette Freeman - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- "Waist Management". Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- "Health". NBC 10 Philadelphia. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Leo Stanley. "Tribute to Dinah Washington - Yvette Freeman - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- "Yvette Freeman Sings the Blues in Huntington's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Opening March 14". Playbill. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- "8 Orange is the New Black Characters Who Ruled Season Two". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Michelle McCue. "BIRDMAN, DOWNTON ABBEY Big Winners At 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards". We Are Movie Geeks. Retrieved 12 June 2015.