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Lynn Whitfield

Lynn Whitfield

Celebrated for her award winning portrayal of the world's first black international star, Josephine Baker, in The Josephine Baker Story (1991), Lynn Whitfield has enjoyed a busy career in film, television, and theatre since beginning acting in the early 1980s.

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lynn Whitfield admired Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis as a child. After earning her bachelor's degree at Howard University, she appeared in off-Broadway productions in New York City. In the early 1980s, Whitfield received early acclaim for her role on stage in Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf."

Throughout the next few years, Whitfield maintained an active career in films and television. She appeared with Denzel Washington in The George McKenna Story, (1986) and co-starred with Oprah Winfrey in the acclaimed miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place (1989). Her feature film roles included parts in The Slugger's Wife (1985) and Dead Aim (1990).

1991 catapulted Lynn Whitfield to fame with her Emmy award winning performance in The Josephine Baker Story. Whitfield won the highly publicized search for the role of Baker, beating out more than 500 women worldwide. The competition rivaled that of the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. She also received an NAACP Image Award in 1992 for her role in the drama series, Stompin' at the Savoy. Whitfield has since appeared in the Martin Lawrence comedy A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, the ABC miniseries, The Wedding (1998), and the film Eve's Bayou. Most recently Whitfield appeared in the film, Head of State (2003), with actors Chris Rock and Bernie Mac and Redemption with Jamie Foxx a film chronicling the life The Crips, (a Los Angeles street gang) founder Stan Tookie Williams.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Lynn Whitfield Facts

BirthdayMay 6, 1953 (69)
BirthplaceBaton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Selected Filmography

Prayer Never Fails
Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion
The North Star
George McKenna Story
Act Like You Love Me
A Thin Line Between Love & Hate
Eve's Bayou
Jaws 3-Movie Collection
My Other Mother
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