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Jennifer Lewis
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Jennifer Lewis

JENIFER LEWIS is best known for her role as ‘Lana Hawkins', the no-nonsense receptionist who maintains order in the clinic, in Lifetime Television's hit drama series Strong Medicine.. Her innate ability to captivate an audience stems from her versatile voice, her bawdy sense of humor and her powerful acting performances honed largely in Broadway hits like Eubie, Comin' Uptown, Dreamgirls Rock and Roll, the First 5,00 Years, and Neil Simon's Promises Promises. It was her tour with Bette Midler as an infamous Harlotte however that got Hollywood's calling.

Once there, Lewis garnered two NAACP Image Award nominations as Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Tina Turner's mother, in WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT and in the romantic comedy THE PREACHER'S WIFE. Both earning her the endearing title of The Black Mother of Hollywood.

Lewis has appeared in over than 60 feature films, displaying her versatility as both a dramatic actress and comedic star such as THE ANTWONE FISHER STORY, directed by Denzel Washington; CORRINA CORRINA with Whoopi Goldberg; THE MIGHTY, RENAISSANCE MAN, SISTER ACT and SISTER ACT II, DEAD PRESIDENTS, BLAST FROM THE PAST, THE BROTHERS, MYSTERY MEN, POETIC JUSTICE and CASTAWAY with Tom Hanks. She has lent her unique voice to such animated features as SHARK TALES and Pixar's blockbuster hit CARS and is presently recording the voice of Mama Odie for Disney's upcoming animated film THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG.

Her over 70 television show appearances include The Temptations, Friends, Touched by an Angel, The Cosby Show, Murphy Brown, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boston Legal, Shark, Girlfriends and Courthouse. It was her role as Jackie Washington in Lifetime's cult movie Jackie's Back! however that firmly established her as a ‘Diva' and an icon. Recently, Lewis publicly disclosed being BiPolar by writing and starring in her successful one woman show BiPolar Bath and Beyond, which she followed up by appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show to encourage its diagnosis and proper treatment.

Lewis' recent stage work includes starring alongside Meryl Streep in Shakespeare in the Park's summer 2006 production of Mother Courage and her Children and she will be returning to her roots on Broadway in April 2008 to play ‘Motormouth Maybelle' in the hit musical ‘Hairspray'.

Lewis resides in Los Angeles with her adopted daughter Charmaine whom she met in the Los Angeles Big Brother/Big Sister Program and is a relentless supporter and activist to find a cure for Breast Cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.

Jennifer Lewis Facts

Birth Name Jenifer Jeanette Lewis
BirthdayJanuary 25, 1957 (66)
BirthplaceKinloch, Missouri, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.