Original DREAMGIRL, Sheryl Lee Ralph is a multifaceted jewel of a woman who sparkles in every area of life. An acclaimed show business “pro”, her award winning body of work in film, television and the Broadway stage includes originating and creating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her a Tony Award Nomination and a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress.
After Dreamgirls, Ms. Ralph turned her attention to music, television, and film. She scored a top-ten selling dance hit in the mid-eighties with the infectious anthem In the Evening. The video is a You Tube hit.
On television, she has starred in It's a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of loving step mom, Dee on the smash series Moesha and received numerous NAACP Image Award nominations for this role. In the SHOWTIME series, Barbershop, Sheryl broke new ground as the popular, post-operative transsexual, Claire. She brought a new face to the sufferings of war in the NBC hit series ER.
Her extensive film credits include Sister Act II, The Flintstones, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Mistress with Robert De Niro, and Eddie Murphy's Distinguished Gentleman. Sheryl Lee's performance with Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.
As a producer and AIDS activist, Ms. Ralph created the critically acclaimed Divas Simply Singing!, an evening of song and entertainment which has become one of the most highly anticipated AIDS benefits in Hollywood. She is also the founding creator of The Jamerican Film & Music Festival, which in five years gave birth to five SHOWTIME Filmmaker Finalists.
Sheryl Lee found new success in writing and directing with her award-winning film short Secrets. With an all-star cast, that includes Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard, Tina Lifford, Victoria Rowell, La Tanya Richardson, Robin Givens and Ralph herself. Secrets was a finalist in the HBO Film Short Competition, Showtime Filmmakers Series, Acapulco Black Film Festival, Hollywood Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Urban World Film Festival and “Audience Favorite” at Outfest Film Festival. Ms. Ralph has added a highly praised one-woman show Sometimes I Cry, written, directed and performed by Ralph herself, about the lives, loves, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to her list of outstanding credits. Around the world, Sometimes I Cry touches the heart leaving audiences deeply moved and encouraged to know their HIV status.
Ms. Ralph was awarded the first Red Ribbon Award at the UN for her unique use of the arts in battling HIV/AIDS. She is the founding director of the DIVA (AIDS) Foundation 501C3 which she created in memory of the many friends she has lost to HIV/AIDS. Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. she holds the distinction of being the first and youngest female graduate of Rutgers College (RU) at the age of 19. She also has a Doctorate in Humanities from Tougaloo College for her AIDS activism.
Sheryl Lee consistently creates a contagious positive energy with her spontaneous humor and quick wit, which has made her very popular as a talk show guest and on the speaking circuit. As a national speaker, Sheryl Lee Ralph has the magic to captivate and motivate audiences.
Mother of a blended family of four Sheryl Lee loves every moment of motherhood. Married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania in what Entertainment Tonight called, "The most elegant and romantic wedding!" she acknowledges love is the greatest gift to be given and shared.