Sheryl Lee Ralph Actress, Singer, Author & Activist
Original Dreamgirl Sheryl Lee Ralph is an American actress, singer, author, and activist, who made her screen debut in the 1977 comedy film A Piece of the Action. She then landed her breakthrough role in the Broadway Musical Dreamgirls as Deena Jones in 1981. Ralph’s portrayal earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
She has starred in numerous television shows, including, It’s a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the popular comedy show Designing Women. She was voted one of TV’s Favorite Moms for her portrayal as Dee, a loving step-mother, on the hit series Moesha, which also earned her NAACP Image Award nominations.
Some of Ralph’s film credits include The Distinguished Gentleman with Eddie Murphy, To Sleep with Anger with Danny Glover, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Just Getting Started with Morgan Freeman, and Mistress with Robert De Niro.
Ralph’s credits as writer and director include her award-winning short film Secrets, co-starring Alfre Woodard and Robin Givens. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hollywood Film Festival, the Acapulco Film Festival, and the Urban World Film Festival. Secrets was a finalist in BET’s Filmmaking Contest, the HBO Film Short Competition, and Showtime’s Filmmaker Award series.
In 1990 she founded The Diva Foundation to help bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS crisis. By using the transformational power of arts and entertainment, DIVAS Simply Singing brings together celebrities from around the world to raise funds and eradicate the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.