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, 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 hit 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. Ralph then reunited with Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday for a sold out, one-night-only, Dreamgirls reunion celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show. In 2016, Ralph returned to Broadway as Madame Morrible in Wicked, making her the first African American actress to take on the classic role on Broadway.
No stranger to television, Ralph’s past TV credits include “It’s a Living,” “Designing Women,” “The District” and “Moesha.” She also spent three years as a lead on the hit Nickelodeon series “Instant Mom” opposite Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Michael Boatman. At the same time, Ralph recurred as Claudette for two seasons opposite Jon Voight in Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” In between all of that, she appeared in “Two Broke Girls,” “Smash” and an arc on “Criminal Minds.” She can also be seen recurring as Mama Colton on CBS’s “MacGyver” and on TNT’s “Claws.” Last year, she starred as one of the leads in the CBS comedy “Fam” opposite Nina Dobrev, Tone Bell, Odessa Adlon, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. She is currently reprising her role as Claudette on “Ray Donovan” and will recur in the new Freeform series “Motherland.”
On the big screen, Ralph has worked with some of many of Hollywood’s leading and award- winning men, including Denzel Washington in The Mighty Quinn, Robert De Niro in Mistress, Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger, and Eddie Murphy in The Distinguished Gentlemen. Ralph 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 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 was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as the Hollywood Film Festival, the Acapulco Film Festival and the Urban World Film Festival. Ralph is also the creator of the Jamerican Film and Music Festival. In 2017 and 2018, she did four back-to-back movies, Just Getting Started opposite Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rene Russo, “Christmas at Holly Lodge” for Hallmark Channel, Netflix’s Step Sisters, with Naturi Naughton, and “No Sleep ’Til Christmas” for Freeform. Last year she appeared in the made-for-TV movie “Christmas Hotel,” and two series “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “Young Justice.”
Ralph resides in Los Angeles and Philadelphia with her husband, Senator Vincent Hughes.