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Jenifer Lewis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (23)

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.

Personal Quotes (23)

A diva is someone who pretends to know who she is and looks fabulous doing it.
You think you can go into all those auditions not knowing who you are? The work came after I found my sense of self - when I wasn't so manic and desperate.
You are a black goddess when you come out the salon.
But a true diva has dismissed that drama. A true diva's heart is open, and she's ready to play by her own rules - rules that are gentle and kind.
I don't have any beauty shop memories. I remember the barber shop.
We didn't have a beauty shop as I grew up.
Apart from being Jenifer Lewis. The name pulls people in.
America has a relationship with Bobby and Whitney.
If you can find something you love, go for it everyday of your life, and it would be really good to you.
I had not starred in an independent film and it's about a woman who owned a hair salon.
Sometimes I think I take on a lot of work but that's me.
Saturday night is when my hair would be fixed up and that was my memory.
It's important to e alive in those moment, especially when you're doing something you love to do.
What if Whitney was at her top, and we brought in a name like Whitney Houston, it would sell.
Whoopi and I have been friends ever since she claimed she couldn't sing on the set of Sister Act.
You have to be a star to be in this business.
You never know when you start a project just how good it can be.
I still go to a salon where a gal does my hair, and I don't know if it's because I'm a celebrity but by the time I leave there, we are eating chicken and talking and screaming.
I've been burn when it comes to my hair that it ain't no joke.
If you just want to be a star, go away.
I want to co-produce again.
If you don't love it, don't touch it.
I'm in the moment. I'm always in the moment of life.

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