With continued success on stage, screen, television and music along with her philanthropic endeavors, Sheryl Lee Ralph has never been one to rest on her laurels. A triple threat dream-girl, Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage. Her award-winning work includes creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” and earning Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. She returned to Broadway for a 12-month stint in the Tony-award winning musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” portraying the sassy chanteuse Muzzy Van Hossmere. Currently, Sheryl is a producer on the critically acclaimed, Broadway bound musical, “A Might Real” and on July 10, Ralph reunited with Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday for a sold out, one-night-only, “Dreamgirls” reunion celebrating the 35th anniversary. This year, Sheryl returned to Broadway and just finished her run as Madame Morrible in “Wicked.”
No stranger to television, Ralph’s past TV credits include “It's a Living,” “Designing Women,” “The District” and “Moesha.” For the last three years, she was a lead on the hit Nickelodeon series “Instant Mom,” opposite Tia Mowry and Michael Boatman. At the same time, she recurred for two seasons opposite Jon Voight in Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” In between, she snuck in episodes of “Two Broke Girls,” “Smash” and did an arc on “Criminal Minds” for CBS. Last May, Ralph shot the pilot “Crushed” opposite Regina Hall for Lionsgate Television and recurred as Mama Colton on CBS’s “MacGyver.” Most recently, she wrapped a season-long arc on Tig Notoaro’s critically acclaimed Amazon series “One Mississippi.”
On the big screen, Ralph has worked with some of Hollywood's leading and award-winning men with film credits that include “The Mighty Quinn” with Denzel Washington, “Mistress” with Robert de Niro, “To Sleep with Anger” with Danny Glover, and “The Distinguished Gentlemen” with Eddie Murphy. She picked up a win for Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards for her performance in “To Sleep with Anger.” Finding success in writing and directing, Ralph’s award-winning short film, “Secrets” co-starring award-winning actress Alfre Woodard and Robin Givens, was a finalist in the HBO Film Short Competition, Showtime's Filmmaker Award Series, and the BET Filmmaker Award Competition. The film was also selected as the audience favorite at the Outfest Film Festival and had screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival, Hollywood Film Festival, the Acapulco Film Festival and the Urban World Film Festival. She is also the creator of the Jamerican Film and Music Festival. Most recently, Ralph just finished two back-to-back films. She just did “Step Sisters” opposite Megalyn Echikunwoke and Naturi Naughton. Directed by Charles Stone, it was produced by Matt Alvarez, Lena Waithe and Benjamin Cory Jones. She also wrapped “Just Getting Started” opposite Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Rene Russo for Broad Green Pictures.
Ralph resides in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia with her husband, Senator Vincent Hughes.
In 1990, she founded the nonprofit The DIVA Foundation, as a memorial to the many friends she had lost to HIV/AIDS. The organization focuses on generating resources and coordinating activities to create awareness of and combat against HIV/AIDS. The DIVA Foundation utilizes music and entertainment as a vehicle to inform, educate and erase the stigma attached to this deadly disease.