Pioneer actress Jenifer Lewis has appeared in several television comedies and films. However, Lewis has several other talents, she is a singer, comedian, skydiver, and puppeteer. Here are a few other amazing facts you should know about pioneer actress Jenifer Lewis.
1. Lewis is best known for playing roles of mothers in films What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993), The Preacher’s Wife (1996), The Brothers (2001), Think Like a Man and in the sequel Think Like a Man Too (2014), Baggage Claim (2013), and The Wedding Ringer (2015), as well as in The Temptations TV miniseries (1998).
2. On television, Lewis starred as Lana Hawkins in the Lifetime medical drama, Strong Medicine from 2000 to 2006. She also had the recurring roles on sitcoms A Different World, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Girlfriends.
3. Lewis was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a nurse’s aide mother and a factory worker father.
4. She attended Kinloch High School and then college at Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri.
5. Lewis has Bipolar Disorder.
6. She once took 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).
7. After Lewis relocated to Los Angeles, she began appearing on television sitcoms, include Murphy Brown, Dream On, In Living Color, Roc, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and Friends. From 1992 to 1993, she played Dean Davenport in the sixth and final season of NBC sitcom A Different World. She also had a recurring role as Will Smith’s Aunt Helen on NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1991 to 1996.
8. Lewis starred alongside Patricia Wettig in her short-lived legal drama Courthouse in 1995, playing Judge Rosetta Reide, the first main African American lesbian character on television.
9. In 2014, Lewis was cast as Ruby Johnson, Anthony Anderson’s character’s mother in the ABC comedy series, Black-ish.
10. In 2016, she received Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series nomination for her performance.