Jenifer Lewis

Biography

Date of Birth 25 January 1957, Kinloch, Missouri, USA Birth Name Jenifer Jeanette Lewis Jenifer Jeanette Lewis is an American film and television actress. She is perhaps best known for her portrayals of strong-willed, matronly characters. Soon after she arrived in NYC, Lewis began on Broadway in a small role in Eubie (1979), the musical based on the work of Eubie Blake. She next landed the role of Effie White in the workshop of the Michael Bennett-directed musical Dreamgirls, but when the show moved to Broadway, Bennett chose Jennifer Holliday for the role. Undaunted, Lewis accepted a position as a Harlette, a back-up singer for Bette Midler which led to Lewis' first TV appearances on Midler's HBO specials. She also landed her first screen role as a result, appearing as one of the buxom chorines in the 'Otto Titsling' production number in the Midler vehicle Beaches (1988). At the same time, Lewis was developing her nightclub act, The Diva Is Dismissed, an autobiographical comedy and music show in NYC cabarets. Word of mouth was quite good and she performed the show Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre. In 1988, Lewis relocated to Los Angeles and found herself in a decidedly dry spell, although she continued to hone her act. Finally, in 1992, she was cast as one of the back-up singers to Delores van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg) in Sister Act. Goldberg sponsored several performances of The Diva Is Dismissed as a possible HBO series. In 1992 to 1993, she played Dean Davenport in the sixth and final season of A Different World. She also had a recurring role as Will's occasionally-visiting Aunt Helen on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, as well as stints on a few episodes of In Living Color, reprising several of her characters from her nightclub act. Her breakout film role was her part as Michelle in Sister Act. Although she auditioned and wanted the role of Tina Turner in the biopic What's Love Got to Do with It? she landed the role of Turner’s mother and delivered a scene-stealing turn that garnered her attention. In 1994 she followed with other strong supporting roles followed, including Mrs. Coleman the Unemployment Office lady in Renaissance Man and as Whoopi Goldberg's sister in Corrina, Corrina. In 1995, she was cast in maternal roles to Kadeem Hardison in the explosive Panther and to Larenz Tate in Dead Presidents before she accepted the role of a lesbian judge on the short-lived CBS series Courthouse. Lewis returned to the big screen as Theresa Randle's telephone sex line boss in Spike Lee's Girl 6 . Although Lewis is only six years older than Whitney Houston she played her mother in Penny Marshall's The Preacher's Wife. In 1999, she starred in a Robert Townsend made-for-TV film "Jackie's Back," a mockumentary about the struggling comeback of a pop diva in turmoil. She recently appeared in The Cookout, Nora's Hair Salon, Shark Tale and Cars. She was in a few episodes of Friends as Monica's co-worker. Since 2000, she has played Lana Hawkins on the Lifetime television medical drama Strong Medicine, the show ended February 2006. In May 05, Jenifer discusses losing her beloved cousin and stylist Ronald Stewart to AIDS and her psychotherapy since being diagnosed as bipolar in 1997:

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Birth Name

Jenifer Jeanette Lewis

Birth Place

Kinloch, Misuri, Estados Unidos

Birth Date

1/25/1957
Known For
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The Wedding Ringer

Doris Jenkins

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Baggage Claim

Catherine

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The Cookout

Lady Em

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Dirty Laundry

Aunt Lettuce

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Jackie's Back (Chk Sen)

Jackie Washington

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Christmas on the Square

Margeline

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Little Richard

Muh Penniman

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Partners

Detective Lancy

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An Unexpected Life

Camille

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It Had to Be You

Reggie

Starring In
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This Is Me... Now

Gemini

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Christmas on the Square

Margeline

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The Addams Family

Great Auntie Sloom (voice)

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Cars 3

Flo (voice)

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The Wedding Ringer

Doris Jenkins

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It Had to Be You

Reggie

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Think Like a Man Too

Loretta

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Baggage Claim

Catherine

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Adventures In Zambezia

Gogo (voice)

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Think Like A Man

Loretta

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Five

Maggie

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Cars 2

Flo (voice)

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Hereafter

Candace

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The Princess and the Frog

Mama Odie (voice)

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Not Easily Broken

Mary 'Mama' Clark

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Prop 8: The Musical

Riffing Prop 8'er

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Meet The Browns

Vera

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Who's Your Caddy?

C-Note's Mom

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Redrum

Therapist

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Cars

Flo (voice)

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Madea's Family Reunion

Milay Jenay Lori

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Dirty Laundry

Aunt Lettuce

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Shark Tale

Motown Turtle (voice)

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Meet the Browns: The Play

Vera

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The Cookout

Lady Em

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Nora's Hair Salon

Nora

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Antwone Fisher

Aunt (uncredited)

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Juwanna Mann

Aunt Ruby

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The Brothers

Louise Smith

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Cast Away

Becca Twig

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Dancing in September

Judge Warner

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Partners

Detective Lancy

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Girlfriends - The Third Season

Veretta Childs / ... (7 episodes, 2002-2006)

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Little Richard

Muh Penniman

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Mystery Men

Lucille

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Blast from the Past

Dr. Aron

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Get Bruce - Mit der Lizenz zum Lachen

Herself

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Jackie's Back (Chk Sen)

Jackie Washington

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The Mighty

Mrs. Addison

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An Unexpected Life

Camille

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The Temptations

Mama Rose

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The Preacher's Wife

Margueritte Coleman

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Girl 6

Boss #1 - Lil

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Dead Presidents

Mrs. Curtis

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Panther

Rita

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Corrina, Corrina

Jevina

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Shake, Rattle & Rock!

Amanda

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Renaissance Man

Mrs. Coleman

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Deconstructing Sarah

Betty

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Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Vegas Backup Singer #1

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Undercover Blues

Cab Driver

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What's Love Got To Do With It?

Zelma Bullock

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Poetic Justice

Annie

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The Meteor Man

Mrs. Williams, Lewis' Mother

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Frozen Assets

Jomisha

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Sister Act

Michelle

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Beaches

Diva

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Red Heat

Judge Jenifer Lewis (uncredited)

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