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Jenifer Lewis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (9)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 25 January 1957Kinloch, Missouri, USA
Birth NameJenifer Jeanette Lewis

Mini Bio (1)

Jenifer Lewis was born and raised in Kinloch, Missouri. She holds a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Webster University in St. Louis. Jenifer has over 60 films and 200 TV appearances to her credit. Her uniquely recognizable voice is adored by fans, worldwide, in such animated roles as "Flo" in Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011) and as "Mama Odie" in The Princess and the Frog (2009). Jenifer earned the title, "Black Mother of Hollywood", thanks to memorable performances as Tina Turner's mother in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) and, alongside Denzel Washington, in The Preacher's Wife (1996). In 2010, she portrayed the distraught mother, "Candace", opposite Matt Damon, in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter (2010).

Jenifer is a series regular on NBC's The Playboy Club (2011). In October 2011, she plays a featured role on Lifetime's prestigious TV-movie, Five (2011), under the helm of first-time director, Alicia Keys. As an activist, Jenifer participates in mental health causes and, in 2007, Jenifer chose The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) as a platform to reveal that she has bipolar disorder.

Jenifer's versatility is at the heart of her long and diverse career. Her TV roles have ranged from regular appearances as "Aunt Helen" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) to guest star roles on Friends (1994), Boston Legal (2004) and Girlfriends (2000). For six seasons, Jenifer portrayed "Lana Hawkins" on Lifetime's number-one hit series, Strong Medicine (2000). Also on Lifetime, Jenifer achieved "Diva" status as star of the "mock-umentary", Jackie's Back! (1999).

For director Tyler Perry, Jenifer created unforgettable characters in Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and Meet the Browns (2008). She portrayed a small-yet-notable role as Tom Hanks' boss in Cast Away (2000).

Jenifer is highly respected in the theatre world with five Broadway shows to her credit, including "Hairspray", as "Motormouth Maybelle". In 2006, Jenifer co-starred opposite Meryl Streep, in the Shakespeare in the Park presentation of "Mother Courage and Her Children", in New York City. Jenifer has performed her acclaimed one-woman show, "The Diva is Dismissed", worldwide.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Representative

Trade Mark (1)

She often plays a character's mother or grandmother in movies or shows

Trivia (9)

Was once one of Bette Midler's Harlettes.
She began her career on Broadway in "Eubie".
She starred in and co-wrote a one-woman show called "The Diva is Dismissed." It earned her two NAACP Theater Awards.
Sang in her church choir at the age of five.
She is the youngest of seven children.
Has an adopted daughter named Charmaine.
Graduated from Webster University, Missouri.
Despite playing her mother in The Preacher's Wife (1996), Lewis was just 6 years older than Whitney Houston.
Despite playing her mother in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Lewis is just 1 year older than Angela Bassett.

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