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      Jenifer Lewis

      Jenifer Lewis

      Highest Rated: 100% Finding Kendrick Johnson (2021)

      Lowest Rated: 5% The Cookout (2004)

      Birthday: Jan 25, 1957

      Birthplace: Kinloch, Missouri, USA

      Nicknamed the Black Mother of Hollywood, Jenifer Lewis played dozens of maternal figures during a prolific screen career, most notably Zelma Bullock in Tina Turner biopic "What's Love Got to Do With It" (1993) and Ruby Johnson in socially-conscious sitcom "Black-ish" (ABC, 2014-). Born in St. Louis, MO in 1957, Lewis studied theatre at Webster University before moving to New York to pursue a performing career. After making her Broadway debut in "Eabie," she was invited to join Bette Midler's backing band, The Staggering Harlettes, who performed with the star on various HBO specials and in "Beaches" (1988). Switching her focus to acting, Lewis played a judge in "Red Heat" (1988), back-up singer in "Sister Act" (1992) and college dean in "A Different World" (NBC, 1987-1993), and in 1991 joined "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" cast (NBC, 1990-96) as Aunt Helen. Her breakthrough came when she portrayed Tina Turner's real-life mother in "What's Love Got to Do With It" (1993). Lewis subsequently played maternal figures in "Poetic Justice" (1993), "The Meteor Man" (1993), "Panther" (1995), "Dead Presidents" (1995) and "The Preacher's Wife" (1996), but proved there was more to her talents when she became the first actress to play an African-American lesbian character in legal drama "Courthouse" (CBS, 1995). There were also memorable supporting roles as Whoopi Goldberg's sister in "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), sex line boss Lil in "Girl 6" (1996) and school principal Mrs. Addison in "The Mighty" (1998). After adding "An Unexpected Life" (1998), "Blast from the Past" (1999) and "Mystery Men" (1999) to her credits, she enjoyed a rare leading role in "Jackie's Back" (1999), a mockumentary about an aging soul diva's comeback attempt, played Tom Hanks' boss in "Cast Away" (2000) and voiced Bebe Ho in "The PJs" (Fox, 1999-2002). She landed her longest-recurring role when she was cast as receptionist Lana Hawkins in "Strong Medicine" (Lifetime, 2000-06). During her six-year stint on the medical drama she also performed the theme tune to, Lewis returned to motherly roles in "Little Richard" (2000), "The Brothers" (2001) and "Girlfriends" (UPN, 2002-08), and played aunts in "Juwanna Mann" (2002), "Antwone Fisher" (2002) and "Dirty Laundry" (2006). She also assumed the titular role in "Nora's Hair Salon" (2004) and voiced the Motown Turtle in "Shark Tale" and Flo in "Cars" (2006). Lewis then showed up in Tyler Perry's "Madea's Family Reunion" (2006) and "Meet the Browns" (2008), played mom in "Who's Your Caddy?" (2007), "Not Easily Broken" (2009), "Hereafter" (2010), "Think Like A Man" (2012) and "Baggage Claim" (2013), and voiced Mama Odie in "The Princess and the Frog" (2009) and Gogo in "Zambezia" (2012). There was also a recurring role as seamstress Pearl in "The Playboy Club" (NBC, 2011) and supporting parts in "Five" (2011), "Playin' for Love" (2013), "Secrets of the Magic City" (2014), "The Wedding Ringer" (2015) and "It Had To Be You" (2015). Lewis also became a regular prime-time face again when she was cast as Anthony Anderson's overbearing mother Ruby Johnson on "Black-ish" (ABC, 2014-).

      Highest rated movies

      What's Love Got to Do With It
      This Is Me... Now: A Love Story
      The Mighty
      Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square
      The Brothers
      The Preacher's Wife Think Like a Man
      Dirty Laundry

      Photos

      Jenifer Lewis Jennifer Lewis at arrivals for 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Presented by SAG AFTRA - ARRIVALS 1, Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles, CA January 29, 2017. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection Jennifer Lewis at arrivals for THE WEDDING RINGER Premiere, TCL Chinese 6 Theatres (formerly Grauman''s), New York, NY January 6, 2015. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection Jennifer Lewis at arrivals for THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB Premiere, The Cinerama Dome at Arclight Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA March 10, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection Jennifer Lewis at arrivals for THINK LIKE A MAN TOO Premiere, TCL Chinese 6 Theatres (formerly Grauman''s), Los Angeles, CA June 9, 2014. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, Mama Odie (voice: Jenifer Lewis), 2009. ©Walt Disney Co. Black-ish, Jenifer Lewis, 'Black Nanny', Season 2, Ep. #18, 03/23/2016, ©ABC Black-ish, Laurence Fishburne (L), Jenifer Lewis (R), 'Dr. Hell No', Season 2, Ep. #3, 10/07/2015, ©ABC THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, Mama Odie (voice: Jenifer Lewis), 2009. ©Walt Disney Co. Black-ish, Miles Brown (L), Jenifer Lewis (C), Marsai Martin (R), 'Any Given Saturday', Season 2, Ep. #17, 03/16/2016, ©ABC MEET THE BROWNS, Jenifer Lewis, Lamman Rucker, Margaret Avery, Frankie Faison, Tamela Mann, David Mann, 2008. ©LionsGate THE PREACHER'S WIFE, Jenifer Lewis, Denzel Washington, 1996, (c)Buena Vista Pictures THE COOKOUT, Storm P, Jenifer Lewis, Frankie Faison, 2004, (c) Lions Gate THE PREACHER'S WIFE, Jenifer Lewis, 1996, (c)Buena Vista Pictures SISTER ACT, Charlotte Crossley, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenifer Lewis, 1992. (c) Buena Vista Pictures. GIRL 6, Spike Lee, Jenifer Lewis, Theresa Randle, 1996. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.. Black-ish, Jenifer Lewis, 'Black Santa/White Christmas', Season 1, Ep. #10, 12/10/2014, ©ABC Black-ish, Jenifer Lewis, 'Parental Guidance', Season 1, Ep. #16, 03/04/2015, ©ABC Black-ish, Anthony Anderson (L), Jenifer Lewis (C), Yara Shahidi (R), 'Any Given Saturday', Season 2, Ep. #17, 03/16/2016, ©ABC Black-ish, Jenifer Lewis, 'The Leftovers', Season 2, Ep. #19, 04/06/2016, ©ABC

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      76% 84% This Is Me... Now: A Love Story Gemini (Character) - 2024
      100% 71% Finding Kendrick Johnson Narrator,
      Executive Producer
      - 2021
      64% 51% Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square Margeline (Character) - 2020
      45% 69% The Addams Family Great Auntie Sloom (Voice) $673.0K 2019
      29% 63% The Wedding Ringer Doris Jenkins (Character) $64.5M 2015
      No Score Yet No Score Yet It Had to Be You Reggie (Character) - 2015
      24% 59% Think Like a Man Too Loretta (Character) $65.1M 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Playin' for Love Alize Gates (Character) - 2013
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Magic City Aunt Valerie (Character) - 2013
      25% 44% Zambezia Gogo (Voice) - 2012
      54% 79% Think Like a Man Loretta (Character) $91.5M 2012
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Zambezia 3D Gogo (Voice) - 2012
      No Score Yet 74% Five Pearl (Character) - 2011
      40% 49% Cars 2 Flo (Voice) - 2011
      85% 74% The Princess and the Frog Mama Odie (Voice) - 2009
      31% 67% Not Easily Broken Mary "Mama" Clark (Character) $10.6M 2009
      33% 90% Meet the Browns Vera (Character) $41.9M 2008
      No Score Yet 38% Redrum Therapist (Character) - 2007
      50% 68% Dirty Laundry Lettuce (Character) $20.1K 2006
      26% 93% Madea's Family Reunion Milay Jenay Lori (Character) $63.2M 2006
      5% 37% The Cookout Lady Em (Character) $11.5M 2004
      No Score Yet 70% Nora's Hair Salon Nora (Character) - 2004
      10% 39% Juwanna Mann Aunt Ruby (Character) $13.6M 2002
      63% 84% The Brothers Louise Smith (Character) $27.5M 2001
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Ponder Heart Narcissa Wingfield (Character) - 2001
      No Score Yet 68% Little Richard Muh Penniman (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Partners Detective Lancy (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet 73% Dancing in September Judge Warner (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet 87% Jackie's Back! Jackie Washington (Character),
      Producer
      - 1999
      75% 79% The Mighty Mrs. Addison (Character) $2.6M 1998
      No Score Yet No Score Yet An Unexpected Life Camille (Character) - 1998
      39% 36% Girl 6 Lil (Character) $4.6M 1996
      62% 43% The Preacher's Wife Margueritte Coleman (Character) $48.1M 1996
      49% 78% Dead Presidents Mrs. Curtis (Character) $24.1M 1995
      25% 75% Panther Rita (Character) $6.3M 1995
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan Denice Cooper (Character) - 1995
      No Score Yet 50% Shake, Rattle and Rock! Amanda (Character) - 1994
      37% 69% Corrina, Corrina Jevina (Character) $20.2M 1994
      37% 67% Undercover Blues Cab Driver (Character) $12.0M 1993
      97% 88% What's Love Got to Do With It Zelma Bullock (Character) $38.9M 1993
      No Score Yet 73% Star Tours Unknown (Character) - 1987

      TV

      Credit
      74% 44% Night Court Erika Ellis (Guest Star) 2024
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Guest 2022
      No Score Yet 10% The View Guest 2017 2022
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen Guest 2022
      81% 87% I Love That for You Patricia (Character) 2022
      92% 57% black-ish Ruby (Character),
      Unknown (Guest Star),
      Unknown (Voice)
      2014-2022
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Talk Guest 2018 2022
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Celebrity Family Feud Guest 2020
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Elena of Avalor Tornado (Guest Voice) 2019
      No Score Yet No Score Yet To Tell the Truth Guest 2019
      No Score Yet 29% The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Guest 2018
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Doctors Guest 2013 2018
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Match Game Guest 2018
      21% 25% The Playboy Club Pearl (Character) 2011
      No Score Yet 91% American Dad! Lessie (Guest Voice) 2011
      No Score Yet 65% The Cleveland Show Receptionist/Middle-Aged Woman (Guest Voice) 2011
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns Unknown (Guest Star) 2009
      86% 94% Boston Legal Judge Isabel Fisher (Guest Star) 2008
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Courthouse Judge Rosetta Reide (Character) 1995 2006
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Strong Medicine Unknown (Character) 2005-2006
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Girlfriends Unknown (Guest Star) 2002-2005
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Cracking Up Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
      No Score Yet No Score Yet That's So Raven Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
      No Score Yet 42% The Proud Family Aunt Spice (Guest Voice) 2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The PJs Bebe Ho (Voice) 1999-2001
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Moesha Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
      33% No Score Yet Grown Ups Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Unknown (Voice) 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jamie Foxx Show Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet For Your Love Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Parent 'Hood Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Touched by an Angel Unknown (Guest Star) 1997
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Cosby Unknown (Guest Star) 1996
      No Score Yet 91% The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Unknown (Guest Star) 1991-1993 1995-1996
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Living Single Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
      78% 93% Friends Paula (Guest Star) 1994
      86% 84% Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Unknown (Guest Star) 1994