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 dreamgirl, 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. Ralph reunited with Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday for a sold out, one-night-only Dreamgirls reunion celebrating the 35th anniversary. Last year, she returned to Broadway as Madame Morrible in Wicked, making Ralph the first African-American actress to take on the classic role on Broadway.
No stranger to television, Ralph’s past credits include "It's a Living," "Designing Women," "The District" and "Moesha." She then spent three years as a lead on the hit Nickelodeon series “Instant Mom,” opposite Tia Mowry and Michael Boatman. At the same time, she recurred as Claudette for two seasons, opposite Jon Voight, in Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” In between all of that, she snuck in episodes of “Two Broke Girls,” “Smash” and an arc on “Criminal Minds” for CBS. She also has recurring roles on CBS’s “MacGyver” and on TNT’s “Claws.” Last year, Ralph starred as one of the leads in the CBS comedy “Fam,” opposite Nina Dobrev, Tone Bell, Odessa Adlon and Brian Stokes Mitchell. She recently reprised her role as Claudette on “Ray Donovan” for the seventh and final season and is currently recurring as President Kelly Wade on Freeform’s “Motherland.” She can next be seen in the upcoming ABC series, “Abbott Elementary.”
On the big screen, Ralph has worked with some of Hollywood's leading and award-winning actors 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. 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 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. Secrets 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. She is also the creator of the Jamerican Film and Music Festival.
Most recently, Ralph 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 produced by Lena Waithe, and “No Sleep Til Christmas,” for Freeform.
Ralph resides in Los Angeles and Philadelphia with her husband, Senator Vincent Hughes.