Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood’s most familiar faces, with more than 300 appearances in film and television. Dubbed a “national treasure” by TVGuide.com, Jenifer currently stars on the Emmy-nominated hit show “Black-ish,” where her hilarious portrayal of Ruby Johnson earned Jenifer a nomination for the 2018 Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV comedy series.
Jenifer released her bestselling memoir, The Mother of Black Hollywood, in 2017 and the audiobook reached number one on Amazon.
Jenifer delivered legendary performances as Tina Turner’s mother in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and in “The Preacher’s Wife” as the mother of Whitney Houston’s character. Jenifer starred opposite Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” and for director Tyler Perry, Jenifer created unforgettable characters in “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Meet the Browns.” In the movie “Castaway,” Jenifer portrayed Tom Hanks’ boss.
In animated films, Jenifer’s uniquely recognizable voice is adored by Disney fans worldwide in roles such as Flo in “Cars,” “Cars 2” and “Cars 3,” and as Mama Odie in “The Princess and the Frog.” In her newest Disney role, Jenifer is the voice of Professor Granville in the “Big Hero 6” television series.
Jenifer’s TV roles have ranged from regular appearances as Aunt Helen on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to guest star roles on “Friends,” “Murphy Brown,” and “Girlfriends.” For six seasons, Jenifer portrayed Lana Hawkins on Lifetime’s hit series “Strong Medicine.”
Although best known for her Hollywood success, Jenifer has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career in music and theater. Jenifer has performed in four Broadway shows, including “Hairspray,” in the role of Motormouth Mabel. In 2014, she received an electrifying standing ovation at Carnegie Hall when she sang with the New York Pops orchestra. All told, Jenifer has presented more than 200 concerts, performing in 48 states and five continents.
Jenifer’s accomplishments as an entertainer and community activist have been recognized by the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatre, the American Black Film Festival Career Achievement Award, the Human Rights Campaign Ally Award and an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Webster University in St. Louis.
Fans can follow Jenifer on Instagram (@jeniferlewisforreal), Twitter (@JeniferLewis) and Facebook (Jenifer Lewis For Real.)