Whitfield, Lynn 1954–

views updated May 14 2018

Lynn Whitfield 1954


Southern Upbringing

Acted on NY StageWest Coast

Josephine Baker Biography

Scarce Roles for Black Actresses


Lynn Whitfield has enjoyed a busy career in film, television, and theatre. She is best known for her Emmy Award winning portrayal of legendary nightclub entertainer Josephine Baker in the 1991 cable television film The Josephine Baker Story; She also drew rave reviews for her performance as a sophisticated businesswoman tossed aside by a womanizing Martin Lawrence in the popular 1996 comedy-thriller A Thin Line Between Love and Hate Whitfields performance is one of the memorable features of the film. As the psychotic woman scorned by Martins character Darnell, Whitfield skillfully weaves a character whose increasingly violent behavior is both startling and evokes sympathy, wrote a reviewer for the Oakland Post.

Southern Upbringing

Whitfield was born Lynn Smith in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1954. Her father, Valerian, was a dentist. Her mother, Jean, was an officer at the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency. The family included Whitfields two younger sisters and a younger brother. Whitfield credited her Southern upbringing with giving her poise. Theres more glamour in the South. There, grace, ease, and charm are prized, and social life and lifestyle are more closely related, Whitfield told Town and Country. Whitfields interest in acting developed during her early childhood. My grandmother used to watch those old black-and-white movies with Bette Davis and Audrey Hepburn, and I knew thats what I wanted to do. Later, of course, I would fall in love with the acting of Dorothy Dandridge, Diahann Carroll, and Diana Sands, Whitfield told Patrik Henry Bass of BET Weekend Magazine. From the start, Whitfield was focused on not simply being an actress, but becoming a star. When I saw Breakfast at Tiffanys I didnt think that I couldnt do the Audrey Hepburn role. It did not occur to ne. That kind of naivete is just so wonderful. You step into the fire and that naivete keeps you from getting burned, Whitfield explained to Darrell I. Hope of Venice

Whitfield received her introduction to performing from her parents. During his after-work hours, Whitfields father organized a community theatre in Baton Rouge. Her mother was an accomplished amateur musician and

At a Glance

Born Lynn Smith on February 15, 1954, in Baton Rouge, LA; daughter of Valerian (a dentist) and Jean (maiden name Butler, an officer of a finance agency) Smith; married Vantile Whitfield (an artistic director; divorced), married Brian Gibson (a director) in 1990 (divorced, 1992); children: Grace (from second marriage). Education: Howard University, B.F.A, 1975.

Career: Film, television, and stage actress. Film credits include Doctor Detroit, 1983; Silverado, 1985; The Sluggers Wife, 1985; Jaws: The Revenge, 1987; Mace, 1987; Dead Aim, 1990; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, 1996; The Planet of Junior Brown, 1997; fives Bayou, 1997, Cone Fishin, 1997. Television work includes regular roles on the series Heartbeat, ABC, 1988-89, Equal lustice, ABC, 1990-91, and The Cosby Mysteries, NBC, 1994; Appeared in the tv films The George McKenna Story, 1986; Johnnie Mae Gibson: F.B.I., 1986; The Women of Brewster Place, 1989; A Triumph of the Mean: The Ricky Bell Story, 1991; The Josephine Baker Story, 1991; Stompin at the Savoy, 1992; Sophie and the Moonhanger, 1996; The Wedding, 1998. Other tv appearances include Zora is My Name!, American Playhouse, 1990. Stage credits include Owens Song, Kennedy Center, 1974-75; Showdown, New Federal Theatre, NY, 1976; The Great MacDaddy, Theatre de Lys, NY, 1977; and Tamer of Horses, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tom Bradley Theatre, 1986-87.

Awards: Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special, and a CableACE Award for The Josephine Baker Story, 1991; Howard Univ. Alumni Achievement Award, 1992; NAACP Image Award, actress in a drama series, for Stompin at the Savoy, 1992.

Addresses: AgentInternational Creative Management, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Publicist Baker, Winokur, Ryder, 250 W. 57th St., Suite 1610, New York, NY, 10167.

costume designer. Whitfields stable, middle-class parents had always viewed their artistic pursuits as leisure activity and were disappointed when their daughter chose a career in show business. No, it wasnt acceptable to primarily be an artist and to have no other form of income. It was very frightening, it was not encouraged, Whitfield told Jacqueline Trescott of the Washington Post After spending a year at Southern University in Louisiana, Whitfield transferred to Howard University in Washington, DC, becoming the third generation of her family to attend Howard, one of the countrys premiere traditionally black colleges.

While a student at Howard, Whitfield acted with the D.C. Black Repertory Theatre in several productions including the musical Owens Song, and the play Changes, in which she played a waitress at a soul food restaurant. During this time she married Vantile Whitfield, a founder of the D.C. Black Repertory, who was more than twenty years her senior. The marriage lasted about five years. The first time I saw her I was struck by her presence. A lot of people dont come to the art form knowing this is what they want to do. They are try-it-type people. This is what Lynn wanted, Vantile Whitfield told Trescott.

Acted on NY StageWest Coast

After earning her bachelors degree from Howard, Whitfield moved to New York City. She gained further stage experience in off-Broadway productions such as The Great MacDaddy, a musical covering African-American life in Los Angeles from the 1920s to the 1970s, and Showdown, a retelling of Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew in a contemporary black neighborhood in Philadelphia. A national tour of Ntozake Shanges For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, co-starring Alfre Woodard and Mary Alice, brought Whitfield to Los Angeles. In 1983, she made her screen debut in a small role as a prostitute in the comedy Doctor Detroit starring Dan Ackroyd. Her next film was the 1985 Lawrence Kasdan-directed western Silverado, in which she played Danny Glovers sister. It was a magical experience because everywhere I looked there were people I respected, Whitfield told Trescott about her work in Silverado.

For the next few years, Whitfield maintained an active career in films and television. She appeared with Denzel Washington in the 1986 TV movie The George McKenna Story, about a high school principal straightening out disruptive students in South Central Los Angeles, and had a role as a young mother who tragically loses her child in the acclaimed 1989 TV mini-series The Women of Brewster Place, co-starring and produced by Oprah Winfrey. Having to go all the way to a victim place, to sustain that, was good training for me. I was able to relieve myself of some of my need to be a victimever, Whitfield said to Trescott about her role in The Women of Brewster Place. Whitfield had the title role in The Johnnie Mae Gibson Stoty, which told the story of the first female African-American FBI agent. During the 1988-89 TV season, Whitfield played a doctor on the ABC medical drama series Heartbeat, and in 1990-91 had a recurring role as an investigative television reporter on the ABC legal drama series Equal Justice Her feature film roles included parts in The Sluggers Wife in 1985, Jaws: The Revenge in 1987, and Dead Aim in 1990.

Josephine Baker Biography

Whitfields breakthrough came in the HBO cable television film The Josephine Baker Story in 1991. Dozens of well-known actresses were considered to play the highly coveted role, including Diahann Carroll, Irene Cara, Jody Watley, and Whitney Houston. To land the part, Whitfield submitted a twenty-minute video audition to director Brian Gibson. Although Gibson was impressed with Whitfields video, he asked her to audition again. Angered by Gibsons request, Whitfield arrived at the second audition in a fighting mood. She was like another woman, and it wasnt Josephine Baker. It was more like Revenge of the Dragon Lady. She gave a powerful performance, but we werent auditioning for Medea, Gibson told Tim Allis and Lois Armstrong of People Despite this rocky start, Whitfield got the part. One of the most lavish and highly publicized made-for-cable films at the time of its release, The Josephine Baker Story was filmed on location in Budapest, which substituted for many locations of Bakers real life, including Paris, New York City and North Africa. Baker was famous for her semi-nude dances and the role required Whitfield to appear in extremely revealing outfits. At first, Whitfield was nervous about taking off her clothes for the camera, but she reassured herself with photos of young African women with, as she told Allis and Armstrong, their breasts kissing the sky, their heads held high. If you do it in pride and joy, what people feel from you is difficult to misinterpret.

During the filming, Whitfield and director Gibson became attracted to each other. They married in London soon after the film was completed in the summer of 1990. If wed dated and gotten intellectual about it, we probably would have backed out I decided that if I found a soul I could walk with, I was going to do that without a lot of prejudgments, Whitfield told Allis and Armstrong. The Josephine Baker Story premiered on HBO in March 1991. Critics gave the film mixed reviews, but most agreed that Whitfields performance was excellent. Whitfield takes charge from the very beginning. Even though the film plunges forward at breakneck speed, with many scenes too short to take hold, Whitfield gets the most out of even the fleeting moments, wrote Tom Shales of the Washington Post Robert S. Rothenberg of the magazine USA Today called Whitfields performance luminous. Whitfield won an Emmy Award and a CableACE award for her portrayal of Baker.

In 1991, Whitfield gave birth to her daughter Grace. Having Grace was absolutely the most rewarding and best thing I have ever done in my life, Whitfield told Carol Schatz and Nancy Matsumoto of People Her marriage to Gibson, however, foundered and the couple divorced in 1992. We didnt know each other. It was like two strangers saying Okay, lets set up a perfect home right now. It was just two people walking blindly into something, and we just as blindly walked out of it, out of fear, Whitfield explained to Schatz and Matsumoto.

Scarce Roles for Black Actresses

Following her award-winning performance in The Josephine Baker Story, Whitfields career experienced a slow period which she attributed to a lack of substantive roles for black actresses. One gets so tired of talking about the fact that there are so few interesting characters for women, and, more particularly, African American women, to play. Weve not had our Breakfast at Tiffanys or our Big Chill Its not that I see it with any hostility, its simply the roles just dont exist, Whitfield explained to Hope. The lack of sophisticated comedic roles for black actresses is particularly regrettable to Whitfield. They dont allow us to do the Simonesque, Allenesque sort of things. I am not good at slapstick, I dont have an interest in it. But there is no reason why I couldnt do Andie MacDowell in Green Card I want to begin to jockey around for that sort of thing I think we need to be more active in that arena, Whitfield told Trescott.

In 1992, Whitfield won an NAACP Image Award for her performance in Stompin at the Savoy, a television film about a group of African-American women in the 1930s who work as domestics by day and, in the evenings, find excitement at a local dance hall. The film, in which Whitfield co-starred with Vanessa Williams, Jasmine Guy, and Vanessa Bell Calloway, was directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen. In 1994, Whitfield secured a regular role as a physical therapist on the short-lived television series The Cosby Mysteries

Whitfield landed a substantial role when she appeared in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, a comedie take-off on the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction The film was written and directed by Martin Lawrence, who also co-starred. Whitfield played Brandi Webb, a successful real estate broker who is dumped by Lawrences womanizing character, Darnell, and takes drastic measures to let him know she will not be tossed aside. Working with someone like Emmy Award winner Lynn Whitfield was most challenging, since her range of talent is so exceptional, Lawrence told Shirlane Hendrickson of Everybodys: The Caribbean-American Magazine

Some commentators found Whitfields presence in the raunchy comedy something of a surprise. Lynn Whitfield has spent most of her 41 years perfecting an image of a woman youd think would turn up her nose at a Martin Lawrence movie. And now shes in a Martin Lawrence movie, wrote Sonia Murray of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution in 1996. Whitfield explained her decision to appear in the film to Talies D. Moorer of the Amsterdam News, To have a license to be a bona fide madwoman and have no one judge you is what excited me about the role. Thats what actors live for, something meaty and challenging. Brandi lives in a castle of insanity. She is interesting because she is a bright, independent, attractive, successful functional psychotic and on the surface theres no hint that she would have a problem with her love life.

After completing A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Whitfield appeared in another comedy, Gone Fishin, with Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, and Rosanna Arquette. Lynn Whitfield is amazing. Not only is she beautiful but she has a kind heart and wonderful spirit, Glover told Bass. Whitfields part in the film was not specifically written for a black actress. Whitfield told Kim Green of YSB that such casting is a natural progression. Gone Fishin was not well-received by the public or by critics. It started off to be a story that was very interesting for the women but ended up not being very interesting at all for the women, Whitfield told Rachelle Unreich of Movieline

Soon after her performance in Gone Fishin, Whitfield starred in the highly acclaimed Eves Bayou, a drama about a young daughter in a prosperous black family in 1960s Louisiana whose life is shattered when she stumbles upon her father, played by Samuel L. Jackson, in a tryst with a party guest. Whitfield played the girls distraught, overprotective mother. This powerfully acted supernatural fever dream, which suggests Tennessee Williams filtered through Oprah, with a dash of voodoo, explores the ties that bind the women of the Batiste family, an affluent black clan who live what at first appears to be a robust fairy-tale existence in a steamy paradise, wrote Stephen Holden of the New York Times John Petrakis of the Chicago Tribune gave the film similar praise, adding that the cast is solid across the board, especially Jackson as the philandering husband and Whitfield as the superstitious wife. Eves Bayou was written and directed by Kasi Lemmons. It was great working with Lynn. Shes a professional and has a great sense of humor. I would work with her again in a minute, Lemmons told Bass.

Whitfield has not remarried since her 1992 divorce. She told Bass, Im dating. But honey, I call having dinner with my daughter a date. Im a romantic and an idealist. Im looking for the right person who carries the right energy. Someone with a sense of humor I have so many dreams. I think that things can be so much better. There are so many things I want to do.



BET Weekend Magazine, November 1997, pp. 8-10.

Chicago Tribune, November 7, 1997, sect. 7, p. H.

Detour, September 1997, p. 64.

Everybodys: The Caribbean-American Magazine, March 31, 1996, p. 18.

Los Angeles Sentinel, August 15, 1996, p. A6.

Movieline, December 1996.

New York Beacon, April 17, 1996, p. 26.

New York Amsterdam News, April 13, 1996, p. 21.

New York Times, February 19, 1976, p. 44; April 14, 1977. p. C20; March 10, 1991, sect. 2, p. 35; November 7, 1997, p. E14; May 31, 1997, p. 20.

Oakland Post, April 7, 1996, p. 4.

People, March 25, 1991, pp. 87-89; February 13 1995, pp. 161-162.

Town and Country.

US, May 1996, p. 36.

USA Today Magazine, November 1991, p. 97.

Variety, October 13, 1997, p. 101.

Venice, April 1996, p. 33.

Washington Post, March 16, 1991, pp. Dl, 8-9; November 7, 1997, p. G1.

YSB, July 31, 1996, p. 19.


Information also provided by Baker, Winokur, Ryder Publicists.

Mary Kalfatovic

Whitfield, Lynn 1953(?)- (Lynn C. Whitfield)

views updated May 17 2018

Whitfield, Lynn 1953(?)- (Lynn C. Whitfield)


Born May 6, 1953 (some sources cite February 15, 1954), in Baton Rouge, LA; daughter of Valerian (a dentist, composer, conductor, and playwright) and Jean (a finance officer and fashion coordinator; maiden name, Butler) Smith; married Vantile Whitfield (an artistic director), c. 1974 (divorced, c. 1978); married Brian Gibson (a producer, director, and writer), July 4, 1990 (divorced, 1992); children: (second marriage) Grace. Education: Attended Southern University; Howard University, B.F.A., 1974.


Agent—Innovative Artists Talent and Literary Agency, 1505 10th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401. Manager—Danielle Allman-Del, Allman/Rea Management, 141 Barrington, Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90049.


Actress. Black Repertory Theatre, Washington, DC, actress; Links, Inc., member.

Awards, Honors:

Emmy Award, best actress in a miniseries or special, 1991, Golden Globe Award nomination, best actress in a television miniseries or movie, 1992, Image Award, outstanding actress in a drama series, miniseries, or television movie, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1993, and Annual CableACE Award, National Cable Television Association, all for The Josephine Baker Story; Image Award, outstanding actress in a television movie, miniseries, or drama special, 1992, for Stompin' at the Savoy; Alumni Achievement Award, Howard University, 1992; Image Award, outstanding actress in a drama series, miniseries, or television movie, 1994, for I'll Fly Away; Image Award, outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, 1998, for Touched by an Angel; Image Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a motion picture, 1998, for Eve's Bayou; Image Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a television movie, miniseries, or drama special, 1999, for The Wedding; Image Award, outstanding performance in a youth or children's series or special, 2000, for The Planet of Junior Brown; Black Reel Award nomination, best network or cable television actress, 2000, for Love Songs; Image Award nomination, outstanding actress in a television movie, miniseries, or dramatic special, 2000, for Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson Story; Image Award nomination, outstanding performance in a youth or children's program, and Black Reel Award nomination, best supporting actress on television, both 2004, for The Cheetah Girls; BET Comedy Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress in a box-office movie, Black Entertainment Television, 2004, for Head of State; Image Award, outstanding actress in a television movie, miniseries, or dramatic special, and Black Reel Award, best network or cable television actress, both 2005, for Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story; Black Movie Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress, 2006, for Madea's Family Reunion.


Television Appearances; Movies:

Bobbie Maxwell, The George McKenna Story (also known as Hard Lessons), CBS, 1986.

Title role, Johnnie Mae Gibson: F.B.I. (also known as Agent Gibson: Undercover FBI, Johnnie Gibson F.B.I., and The Johnnie Gibson Story), CBS, 1986.

Natala Bell, A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story, CBS, 1991.

Title role, The Josephine Baker Story, HBO, 1991.

Esther Tolbert, Stompin' at the Savoy, CBS, 1992.

Carolyn Hunter, Taking the Heat, Showtime, 1993.

Dehlia Johnson, State of Emergency, HBO, 1994.

Bobbie Mallory, Thicker than Blood: The Larry McLinden Story (also known as The Larry McLinden Story), CBS, 1994.

Sophie Cooper (title role), Sophie & the Moonhanger, Lifetime, 1995.

Mrs. Brown, The Planet of Junior Brown (also known as Junior's Groove), 1997.

Minnie McGhee, The Color of Courage, USA Network, 1999.

Corrine Burrell, Deep in My Heart, CBS, 1999.

Lori Jackson, Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson Story, Lifetime, 1999.

Jean, "A Love Song for Jean and Ellis," Love Songs, Showtime, 1999.

Dorothea Garibaldi, The Cheetah Girls, Disney Channel, 2003.

Barbara Becnel, Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story, FX Network, 2004.

Dorothea Garibaldi, The Cheetah Girls 2, Disney Channel, 2006.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(As Lynn C. Whitfield) "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf," American Playhouse, PBS, 1982.

Behind the Scenes with "Jaws: The Revenge," 1987.

"Zora Is My Name!" American Playhouse, PBS, 1990.

19th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1992.

Intimate Portrait: Josephine Baker, Lifetime, 1998.

Intimate Portrait: Patti LaBelle, Lifetime, 1998.

Host, An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of Educational Excellence, NBC, 2000.

"Martin Lawrence: Comic Trip," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Ciel, The Women of Brewster Place, ABC, 1989.

Corinne Coles, The Wedding (also known as Oprah Winfrey Presents: "The Wedding"), ABC, 1998.

Nia Morgan, A Girl Thing, Showtime, 2001.

Television Appearances; Series:

Dr. Cory Banks, Heartbeat (also known as Private Practice and Women's Medical), ABC, 1988-89.

Maggie Mayfield, a recurring role, Equal Justice, ABC, 1990-91.

Paula Van Doren, a recurring role, Without a Trace (also known as W.A.T.), CBS, between 2002 and 2006.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Dr. Cory Banks, Heartbeat, ABC, 1988.

Barbara Lorenz, The Cosby Mysteries (also known as Guy Hanks I), NBC, 1994.

Bellaridere, Lost in Oz, The WB, 2002.

Dorothea, The Cheetah Girls, Disney Channel, 2004.

Anita Astin, Shark, CBS, 2006.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Jill Thomas, "Can World War III Be an Attitude?," Hill Street Blues, 1981.

Jill Thomas, "Fecund Hand Rose," Hill Street Blues, 1981.

Jill Thomas, "Chipped Beef," Hill Street Blues, 1981.

"The Centerfold Murders," Matt Houston, 1983.

Norma, "Certain Arrangements," This Is the Life, 1983.

"How Shall We Then Live?," This Is the Life, 1985.

Eleanor Taggart, "Who Says It's Fair: Parts 1 & 2," Cagney & Lacey, 1985.

Odette Ribaud, "Bought and Paid For," Miami Vice, NBC, 1985.

Jeanne, "Escape Claus," The Fall Guy, 1985.

Della Marvel, "Harlem Nocturne," Mike Hammer (also known as Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer" and The New Mike Hammer, CBS, 1986.

Bustin' Loose, syndicated, 1987.

Pollie Ann, "John Henry," Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends (also known as Shelley Duvall Presents: American Tall Tales and Legends and Tall Tales and Legends), Showtime, 1987.

Annie Callan, "Curtains," St. Elsewhere, 1988.

Angela Page, "The Informer: Parts 1 & 2," Matlock, NBC, 1990.

"Domestic Silence," The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, 1991.

ABC in Concert, ABC, 1991.

Barbara Lorenz, "One Day at a Time," The Cosby Mysteries, NBC, 1994.

Barbara Lorenz, "Home, Street Home," The Cosby Mysteries, NBC, 1994.

Ellen, "Goin' Overboard: Parts 1 & 2," Martin, Fox, 1997.

Dr. Serena Hall, "Amazing Grace: Part 1," Touched by an Angel, CBS, 1997.

Louanna Harper, "Chapter Twenty-Six," Boston Public, Fox, 2001.

Louanna Harper, "Chapter Twenty-Eight," Boston Public, Fox, 2001.

Louanna Harper, "Chapter Twenty-Nine," Boston Public, Fox, 2001.

"Head of State," HBO First Look, HBO, 2003.

Dr. Marshall, "Race for a Cure," Strong Medicine, Lifetime, 2004.

"Tyler Perry: Madea's Family Reunion," The Tyra Banks Show, UPN, 2006.

Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2006.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1991.

The 13th Annual ACE Awards, TNT, 1992.

Presenter, The 1995 ESPY Awards, ESPN, 1995.

Presenter, The 16th Annual CableACE Awards, TNT, 1995.

The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 1996.

Presenter, The 28th NAACP Image Awards, 1997.

Presenter, The 29th NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 1998.

Cohost, Essence Awards, Fox, 1998.

Presenter, The 30th NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 1999.

5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, TNT, 1999.

Host, The 2000 Trumpet Awards, TBS, 2000.

The 2006 Black Movie Awards, 2006.

The 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2006.

Film Appearances:

Thelma Cleland, Doctor Detroit, Universal, 1983.

Rae Johnson, Silverado, Columbia, 1985.

Tina Alvarado, The Slugger's Wife (also known as Neil Simon's "The Slugger's Wife"), Columbia, 1985.

Louisa, Jaws: The Revenge (also known as Jaws 4), Universal, 1987.

Sheila Freeman, Dead Aim (also known as Mace), 1987, Double Helix, 1990.

Sergeant Ladd, In the Army Now (also known as You're in the Army Now), Buena Vista, 1994.

Brandi Web, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, New Line Cinema, 1996.

Angie, Gone Fishin', Buena Vista, 1997.

Roz Batiste, Eve's Bayou, Trimark Pictures, 1997.

Dr. P. Sweikert, Stepmom, TriStar, 1998.

Linda Derricks, A Time for Dancing, East of Doheny, 2000.

Debra Lassiter, Head of State, DreamWorks, 2003.

Victoria, Madea's Family Reunion, Lions Gate Films, 2006.

Dr. Page, Confessions (also known as Confessions of a Call Girl), Codeblack Entertainment, 2007.

Gracie, Kings of the Evening, Picture Palace Films, 2007.

Lillian Winter, Mama, I Want to Sing!, Bigger Picture, 2007.

Stage Appearances:

Owen's Song, Black Repertory Theatre, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1974-75.

Showdown, New Federal Theatre, New York City, 1976.

Leionah, The Great MacDaddy (musical), Negro Ensemble Company, Theatre de Lys (now Lucille Lortel Theatre), New York City, 1977.

Georgiane, Tamer of Horses, Tom Bradley Theatre, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, 1986-87.

White Chocolate, Century Center for the Performing Arts, New York City, 2004-2005.

Appeared in Changes, Black Repertory Theatre; also appears in benefit performances.

Major Tours:

Toured in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide (When the Rainbow Is Enuf), U.S., British, and Australian cities, and The Great MacDaddy, U.S. cities.



Appeared in the music video "Cheater (to all the Girls)" by Wyclef Jean.



Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 18, Gale, 1998.

Notable Black American Women, Book 3, Gale, 2002.


BET Weekend, November, 1997, pp. 8-10.

Ebony, May, 1999, p. 72.

Essence, February, 1991, p. 72.

People Weekly, March 25, 1991, p. 87; February 13, 1995, p. 161.

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