Jenifer Lewis
Actress, singer
Jenifer Lewis
Jenifer Jeanette Lewis is an American film and television actress and singer.
Jenifer Lewis's personal information overview.
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The 'Barbershop' writers took great pains to make 'The Next Cut' current and to avoid worn-out tropes
LATimes - 11 months
The formula for so-called black films is both specific and ill-defined: Jenifer Lewis, Lynn Whitfield or Loretta Devine lead a mostly black cast, with Taye Diggs or Morris Chestnut in there somewhere; Spike Lee or Tyler Perry is writer, director and star; every character hides their purse around...
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LATimes article
Jenifer Lewis: 'The Stigma Of Mental Illness Runs Rampant In Our Community'
Huffington Post - over 1 year
The urgency of addressing mental health in the black community is an important theme running throughout R. Malcolm Jones’ film, “The Secrets Of Magic City” -- one which actress Jenifer Lewis says makes it her proudest film role yet.  Released this month on DVD, the film stars Lewis, Keith Davis and Jamie Hector and follows two young girls abandoned by their mother, which forces them to find ways to survive in the streets of Liberty City, Florida. Lewis’ character, Aunt Valerie, takes in her niece for the summer while her niece's mother, who is a drug addict, addresses her substance abuse issues. Her character also looks after her brother who is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While Lewis has starred in various roles including "What's Love Got to Do with It," "Sister Act," and more recently "Black-ish," she says portraying Aunt Val is the role that she is "most proud of" due to the film's depiction of how a black family addresses mental illness. “R Malcolm Jone ...
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Huffington Post article
Issa Rae Backs New Webseries That Aims To Show Black Women As More Than Stereotypes
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Our favorite 'Awkward Black Girl' Issa Rae is on a roll dishing out project after project. Not only is she working on an HBO series, and starring in a few webseries, she's also producing and curating content on her YouTube channel. The latest project she's behind is entitled "Black Actress," and falls right in line with an issue that hits close to home for African-American actresses and creatives trying to make it in Hollywood. The webseries, created, written by and starring actress Andrea Lewis, features cameos and commentary from the likes of Tatyana Ali, Naturi Naughton, Essence Atkins, and Jenifer Lewis. "My channel started off with 'Awkward Black Girl' but I always wanted to be a curator of great content, so when I saw "Black Actress" it was just like 'wow this story is hilarious.' I know so many women that have gone through this as an actress," said Rae. The mockumentary style series centers around “Kori Bailey,” played by Lewis, as she "struggles with the pursuit of getting ...
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Huffington Post article
Dear Artists, Jenifer Lewis Has A Few Words Of Advice For You
Huffington Post - over 3 years
I was hoping someone in the theater recorded and uploaded this to the web, so that it could be shared; and thankfully, someone did just that!
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Huffington Post article
Myrdith Leon Mccormack: Keith David: The Distinguishing Voice of a Legend
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Keith David. Pure Magic. The sound of his voice. The rhythm of his walk. The manner in which he demands you do a double take. Mr. David is a proud man and you can get that from the way he carries himself. It's not the kind of pride that is detrimental to a person. It's the rare kind of pride that one has for his ability to do a great job because it matters to him. The kind of pride that causes you to seek higher ground to promote the greater good for one's community. We had the opportunity to take a couple of minutes to talk to David at The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami, and it was truly rewarding. His lead role is Mr. Daniels in the independent film, Magic City. The cast included The Wire star, Jamie Hector, and Jenifer Lewis among other great talent and a few brilliant newcomers. The great history of David spans a few decades. His movie titles include Crash, There's Something About Mary, Barbershop, Riddick, Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Arm ...
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Huffington Post article
Jenifer Lewis Makes Her Return To Broadway!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
This week marks Jenifer Lewis’ much anticipated return to Broadway in support of her special cabaret show at New York’s intimate nightspot, 54 Below. During her limited seven show stint, which takes place July 24 - 28, Tony and Emmy Award-winning composer Marc Shaiman will assist in providing the musical soundtrack for the former Webster University student’s first show in 20 years, according to Playbill. While starring in NBC’s short-lived series “The Playboy Club,” the legendary actress and singer opened up on making her eventual return to the Great White Way. “I would like to return one day to Broadway in either an original musical or play,” she revealed during an interview with the Huffington Post. “Two of my dream roles would be to play Dolly Levi in ‘Hello Dolly’ and Momma Rose in ‘Gypsy.’ It's a great role for a powerful singer and a powerful personality. Most certainly I would love to tackle that.” In addition to revealing the roles that are on her wish lis ...
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Huffington Post article
CS Video: The Cast of Think Like a Man
Coming Soon - almost 5 years got a chance to talk to the cast of Think Like a Man and you can now watch the interviews below! Based on Steve Harvey's best-selling book, Think Like a Man follows four interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Harvey's book and start taking his advice to heart. When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book's insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own. The film stars Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, Jenifer Lewis, Romany Malco, Gary Owen and Gabrielle Union.
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Coming Soon article
ARLINGTON | BRIEFS: Walk to benefit housing group
Boston Globe - almost 5 years
More than 150 participants are expected in the Housing Corporation of Arlington’s 11th annual Walk for Affordable Housing. The fund-raising walk will begin at 1 p.m. April 29 at the historic Jason Russell House, at Massachusetts Avenue and Jason Street. The Hot Tamale Brass Band and children’s entertainer Molly the Clown will perform during the event. For more information, visit the nonprofit organization’s website,, or call Jennifer Lewis-Forbes at 781-316-3451. - Brock Parker
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Boston Globe article
Naturi Naughton: I Want A Career Like Whitney's
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
Following her short-lived role as Playboy Bunny Brenda on NBC's drama series "The Playboy Club," Naturi Naughton has scored another television role on Lifetime's "The Client List." Based on the network's 2010 original film of the same name, the new series follows Jennifer Love Hewitt's character, Riley Parks, as she pursues a job at day spa in Texas. During a recent interview with The Huffington Post, the former 3LW singer and "Notorious" actress discussed starring opposite Love Hewitt, her thoughts on the abrupt cancellation of "The Playboy Club" and her aspiration for a music career similar to Whitney Houston's. What's the synopsis of the "Client List"? Jennifer Love Hewitt is starring in it, and it's essentially about her as a young mother who's kind of struggling, living alone with two kids. Her husband has left her as a single mom, so she somehow lands on this spa called The Rub, and it takes place in Belmont, Texas. So The Rub is where I work, and I come into ...
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Huffington Post article
TELEVISION REVIEW; Cigars? Cigarettes? Catty Rivalries?
NYTimes - over 5 years
At the end of the first episode of ''The Playboy Club'' on NBC Hugh Hefner, in voice-over, delivers a thesis statement: ''It was the early '60s, and the Bunnies were some of the only women in the world who could be anyone they wanted to be.'' Who knew that way back then they wanted to be Gina Gershon and Elizabeth Berkley in ''Showgirls''? ''Mad
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NYTimes article
Everything's Coming Up Rosie: Behind the Scenes at O'Donnell's New Talk Show - Chicagoist
Google News - over 5 years
Jeff Rieck: Her guests were Melissa Gilbert—who Rosie calls “Missy G,” and Jenifer Lewis, who will star in the new NBC series “The Playboy Club,” which of course takes place in Chicago. Both guests, according to Rosie, have been her close,
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Google News article
'The Playboy Club' set to stir up some sexy drama on NBC - Accidental Sexiness
Google News - over 5 years
Pearl (Jenifer Lewis, Strong Medicine) is the club's seamstress who's been there since day one and knows all the ropes to surviving. Behind all the magic is general manager Billy Morton (David Krumholtz, Superbad) who holds a close relationship with
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Google News article
Romantic Comedy 'The Heart Specialist' Coming Out On DVD Oct.4 - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The film also stars Maria Gibbs, Jasmine Guy, Method Man, Jenifer Lewis, Leon, Nephew Tommy (will someone please again tell me just who in the hell is this Nephew Tommy guy is?) Mya, and Terrence J (yet someone else of whom I'm clueless about)
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Google News article
Daily guide - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
Jenifer Lewis. R (2004) Pitch Black 8 pm (TMC) A spaceship crash-lands on a remote planet. Vin Diesel. R (2000) Sophie's Choice 8 pm (FLIX) Meryl Streep as a Polish refugee with a horrible secret. R (1982) Battlestar Galactica 9 pm,
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Google News article
Alicia Keys' 'Five' trailer release -
Google News - over 5 years
Alicia is only one of the directors in the mini-series, which stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Rosario Dawson and Jenifer Lewis. Check out the trailer for Five below! Former Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest is getting ready to get down on ABC
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Google News article
Jenifer Lewis Joins a New Club - The Root
Google News - over 5 years
Jenifer Lewis turns up everywhere. After launching her career as a vocalist in the Broadway hits Ain't Misbehavin' and Dreamgirls, the Missouri-born dynamo turned her attention to TV, winning roles in A Different World, Murphy Brown, The Fresh Prince
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jenifer Lewis
  • 2016
    Age 59
    In 2016, she received Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series nomination for her performance.
    More Details Hide Details She has also been featured on various TV advertising commercials.
  • 2015
    Age 58
    In 2015, she starred in The Wedding Ringer.
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  • 2014
    Age 57
    In 2014, Lewis was cast as Ruby Johnson, Anthony Anderson's character's mother in the ABC comedy series, Black-ish.
    More Details Hide Details She was upped to regular as of second season.
  • 2013
    Age 56
    In 2013, she played Paula Patton's mother Baggage Claim.
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  • 2012
    Age 55
    Lewis was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a nurse's aide mother and a factory worker father. She has a daughter name Charmaine Lewis from a previous relationship. In 2012, she married Arnold Byrd who is a retired Marine 1st Sargent.
    More Details Hide Details She attended Kinloch High School and then college at Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri. She has Bipolar disorder. Soon after, she arrived in New York City, Lewis debuted on Broadway in a small role in Eubie (1979), the musical based on the work of Eubie Blake. She next landed the role of Effie White in the workshop of the Michael Bennett-directed musical Dreamgirls, but when the show moved to Broadway, Bennett chose Jennifer Holliday for the role. Lewis accepted a position as a Harlette, a back-up singer for Bette Midler which led to Lewis' first TV appearances on Midler's HBO specials. She also landed her first screen role as a result, appearing as one of the buxom chorines in the 'Otto Titsling' production number in the Midler vehicle Beaches (1988). At the same time, Lewis was developing her nightclub act, The Diva Is Dismissed, an autobiographical comedy and music show in New York City cabarets. She performed the show off-Broadway at the Public Theater.
  • 2010
    Age 53
    In 2010, Clint Eastwood cast Lewis in his fantasy film Hereafter.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, she starred alongside Rosario Dawson and Tracee Ellis Ross in Five, for which she received another NAACP Image Award nomination. She also co-starred in the short-lived NBC series, The Playboy Club. She played Terrence J's overbearing mother in box-office hit Think Like a Man (2012), and in its sequel Think Like a Man Too (2014).
    In June 2010, Lewis' distinctive voice was in fine form as she told The Jazz Joy and Roy syndicated radio show, "I just did a production of 'Hello Dolly' at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and it had to be one of the greatest productions that I have ever done, because I got to just do a character, Dolly Levi, and it was just great."
    More Details Hide Details In 2012 Lewis began working with Shangela on the online reality show parody, "Jenifer Lewis and Shangela," where she acts as herself alongside Shangela, a "drag queen living in her basement." She later appeared in Shangela's music video for "Werqin Girl (Professional)."
  • 2008
    Age 51
    On April 22, 2008, Lewis replaced Darlene Love as Motormouth Maybelle in Broadway's Hairspray.
    More Details Hide Details On television, she guest starred on That's So Raven and Boston Legal. Lewis also had number of voice over roles, include Walt Disney's animated musical The Princess and the Frog (2009), for which she received Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production nomination.
  • 2006
    Age 49
    In 2006, she had a featured role as the wedding planner in Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, and also appeared in Perry's 2008 comedy-drama Meet the Browns as Vera Brown.
    More Details Hide Details She also appeared in Juwanna Mann, The Cookout, Nora's Hair Salon, Dirty Laundry and Not Easily Broken.
  • 2001
    Age 44
    In film, she appeared as Morris Chestnut's mother in the 2001 romantic comedy The Brothers.
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  • 2000
    Age 43
    Also in 2000, she began starring as Lana Hawkins on the Lifetime television medical drama Strong Medicine.
    More Details Hide Details The show ended in February 2006. Lewis also performed the theme song for Strong Medicine. She also had a recurring role as Veretta Childs (Toni's mother) in the UPN sitcom Girlfriends.
    In 2000, Lewis had supporting role in the adventure drama film Cast Away directed by Robert Zemeckis.
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  • 1996
    Age 39
    In 1996, Lewis appeared as Theresa Randle's telephone sex line boss in Spike Lee's comedy-drama, Girl 6.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, she went to play Whitney Houston's character's mother in Penny Marshall's romantic comedy-drama, The Preacher's Wife. She received another NAACP Image Award nomination for her role in The Preacher's Wife. She also has had roles in The Mighty (1998), The Temptations TV miniseries (1998), Mystery Men (1999) and Blast from the Past (1999), before landing the leading role on mockumentary comedy Jackie's Back about the struggling comeback of a diva in turmoil.
  • 1995
    Age 38
    In 1995, she was cast in maternal roles to Kadeem Hardison in Panther and to Larenz Tate in Dead Presidents.
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  • 1994
    Age 37
    In 1994, she followed with other comedic supporting roles, including Mrs. Coleman the Unemployment Office lady in Renaissance Man and as Whoopi Goldberg's sister in Corrina, Corrina.
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  • 1992
    Age 35
    In 1992, Lewis was cast as one of the back-up singers to Whoopi Goldberg in comedy film Sister Act.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, Lewis played the mother of Tupac Shakur's character in drama film Poetic Justice, and as Zelma Bullock, Tina Turner’s mother in the biopic What's Love Got to Do With It starring Angela Bassett. Lewis originally auditioned to play Tina Turner. Lewis is only one year older than Bassett. For her performance, she received her first NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture nomination.
  • 1991
    Age 34
    She also had a recurring role as Will Smith's Aunt Helen on NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1991 to 1996.
    More Details Hide Details As regular, Lewis starred alongside Patricia Wettig in her short-lived legal drama Courthouse in 1995, playing Judge Rosetta Reide, the first main African American lesbian character on television.
  • 1987
    Age 30
    In 1987, Lewis was hired as the Pre-Show announcer on the Star Tours ride at Disneyland.
    More Details Hide Details After Lewis relocated to Los Angeles, she began appearing on television sitcoms, include Murphy Brown, Dream On, In Living Color, Roc, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and Friends. From 1992 to 1993, she played Dean Davenport in the sixth and final season of NBC sitcom A Different World.
  • 1957
    Age 0
    Born on January 25, 1957.
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