Dawnn Jewel Lewis
August 13, 1961
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Miami (BM)|
(m. 2004;div. 2006)
|Awards||1990, 1991, 1992 – BMI TV Music Award (A Different World)|
Dawnn Jewel Lewis(born August 13, 1961) is an American actress. Lewis is best known for her role as Jaleesa Vinson–Taylor on the NBC television sitcom A Different World from the series beginning in 1987 until the end of its fifth season in 1992, in addition to being on the show; Lewis co–wrote the theme song.
Lewis's other notable roles include portraying Robin Dumars on the ABC sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooperfor its first season (1992–93) and as Cheryl Spade in the 1988 film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka . Since then, Lewis has appeared in numerous TV series, including other sitcoms, and has also performed on stage.
Dawnn Lewis was born on August 13, 1961in Brooklyn, New York City, to Carl and Joyce Lewis, who are of African-American and Guyanese descent, She began singing at the age of four and acting at eleven. At sixteen, Lewis graduated from the High School of Music & Art in New York City, now known as Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. In college, she majored in musical theatre with a minor in journalism, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1982.
From August 1, 1985 to July 6, 1986, Lewis performed and understudied in the National Tour of the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid under the name "Dawnn J. Lewis".
Lewis appeared for the first five of the six-season run as Jaleesa Vinson (later Vinson–Taylor) from 1987 until 1992. Lewis co-wrote the theme song to A Different World , with Bill Cosby and Stu Gardner, and co-performed the song for the first season. In A Different World, Although her character was married to another of the main characters on the show, her character disappeared from A Different World without explanation, like Chuck Cunningham of Happy Days . Lewis appeared in a special week-long segment of A Different World called the Hillman College Reunion airing on Nick at Nite, along with Lisa Bonet, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Darryl M. Bell, Cree Summer, and Sinbad. On her Super Password appearance in 1988, she was paired with Dallas star Ken Kercheval, not any of her co-stars.
In September 1992, Lewis began starring in ABC's Hangin' with Mr. Cooper alongside Mark Curry and Holly Robinson. Lewis appeared in 20 of the 22 episodes of the first season as Robin Dumars, Mark's childhood best friend and roommate. Lewis did not appear on the two shows concurrently – she left A Different World to star in Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Lewis and Holly Robinson, along with R&B quartet En Vogue, performed the theme song for season one of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Sometime before the end of season one, The show producers decided to scale back on the updated version of the 1970s ABC sitcom Three's Company concept. Lewis left the show after the conclusion of the first season due to the producers deciding to change the direction of the show, replacing her character with a mother and child; Mark's cousin Geneva Lee (portrayed by Saundra Quarterman) and her daughter Nicole (portrayed by Raven-Symoné).
Lewis provided additional voices in the video game, True Crime: New York City .She portrayed Deloris Van Cartier in Peter Schneider's Sister Act the Musical , which opened at the Pasadena Playhouse on October 24, 2006. Lewis has voiced Storm of the X-Men in three games, most recently Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 . She also voiced Granny Grim on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy , and voiced the female Shokan (Sheeva) in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm . Lewis has also done voice work as LaBarbara Conrad, wife of Hermes Conrad, in the animated TV series Futurama , Detective Terri Lee on Spider-Man:The Animated Series , villainess Di Archer on Bruno the Kid , and voiced a number of characters on The Boondocks . Additionally, she voiced the character Sharona on King of the Hill .
Lewis co-starred in two Disney Channel Original Movies, The Poof Point as Marigold Ballord, and as Gail DeBarge in Let It Shine . In 2000, Lewis played Blabberwort the Troll in the five-episode NBC miniseries The 10th Kingdom .
In 2006, Lewis starred as Melba Early in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls . Lewis released her debut CD, entitled Worth Waiting For, in 2006. She played Addaperle in The Wiz with New York City Center's Encores! In 2009, Lewis played Denise Fields on One Tree Hill . In 2010, Lewis played a minor recurring role as Lauren's mother in The Secret Life of the American Teenager . In 2012, she voiced Malora in Strange Frame . She also appeared as Dr. Knapp on Days of Our Lives in 2012–2013. In 2014 Lewis starred in The Divorce along with Vanessa Bell Calloway, Tatyana Ali & Freda Payne. As of 2015, Lewis is playing a recurring role on Major Crimes as Patrice, a love interest for Lt. Provenza, whom he met during a case. In that same year, she also voiced Ruby's mother Helen Hanshaw in one episode of Sofia The First .
In March 2016, Lewis was cast in Disney Junior's animated series Doc McStuffins as the voice of Grandma McStuffins.In 2017 she provided the voice of Maybelle Mundy in the film Bunyan and Babe . In 2018 she began voicing Fannie Granger on DreamWorks’s Spirit Riding Free and Dr. Jones in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters , while in 2019 began voicing The Chief on Netflix’s animated Carmen Sandiego . She voiced Attorney General’s special agent Lenora Carter in The Simpsons episode “The Fat Blue Line” in 2019.
On November 7, 2019 Lewis began portraying Zelma, Tina Turner's mother in Tina on Broadway and working under the name "Dr. Dawnn Lewis."
From August 2020 she stars as the voice of Captain Carol Freeman in the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks .
|1988||I'm Gonna Git You Sucka||Cheryl Spade|
|1992||Stompin' at the Savoy||Ella Fitzgerald||TV Movie|
|A Cool Like That Christmas||Jarvis (voice)||TV Movie|
|1994||Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad||Minnie||TV Movie|
|1996||Bruno the Kid: The Animated Movie||Di Archer (voice)||Video|
|The Cherokee Kid||Stagecoach Mary, Love Gang||TV Movie|
|1997||Bad Day on the Block||Officer Sandy Tierra|
|1999||The Wood||Woman in Cleaners|
|The Poof Point||Marigold Ballard||TV Movie|
|2002||Endgame: Ethics and Values in America||Alison||TV Movie|
|2003||Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure||Bessie / Female Judge (voice)||Video|
|2006||The Adventures of Brer Rabbit||Mom (voice)||Video|
|Holly Hobbie and Friends: Christmas Wishes||Carolyn Baker (voice)||Video short|
|2007||Holly Hobbie and Friends: Secret Adventures||Carolyn Baker (voice)||Video short|
|The Last Sentinel||Angel - Tallis' Rifle (voice)|
|Futurama: Bender's Big Score||LaBarbara Conrad (voice)||Video|
|Hell on Earth||Amber / Jesse||TV Movie|
|2009||Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder||LaBarbara Conrad / Womens' Prison Warden (voice)||Video|
|2011||Billion Dollar Freshmen||Melanie||TV Movie|
|2012||Strange Frame: Love & Sax||Malora (voice)|
|Let It Shine||Gail DeBarge||TV Movie|
|Dino Time||Additional Voices|
|2013||Second Chances||Maria||TV Movie|
|Monsters University||Additional Voices|
|Toy Story of Terror!||Delivery Lady (voice)||TV Short|
|WHOA! Comedy Short||Kate Sterling||Short|
|2014||The Divorce||Yolanda Massey||TV Movie|
|Mom and Dad Undergrads||Diane||TV Movie|
|2015||Megachurch Murder||Lucille Williams|
|Inside Out||Additional Voices|
|2017||Bunyan and Babe||Maybelle Mundy (voice)|
|The Legend of Master Legend||Tana||TV Movie|
|2020||Codependent||Nina James||TV Movie|
|Be the Light||Gladys|
|Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal||Chief (voice)||Short|
|2021||The Good, the Bart, and the Loki||Ravonna Renslayer (voice)||Short|
|1990||Kid 'n Play||Lela (voice)||TV Series|
|1987-92||A Different World||Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor||Main Cast: Season 1-5|
|1992-93||Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Robin Dumars||Main Cast: Season 1|
|1995||ABC Weekend Special||Temba's Sister||Episode: "Jirimpimbira: An African Folk Tale"|
|Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Princess Songe (voice)||Episode: "The Valiant Little Tailor"|
|The Savage Dragon||Voices||Main Cast: Season 1|
|1996||Dream On||Rema Hort||3 Episodes|
|The Faculty||Mrs. Lowman||Episode: "Daisy's Secret"|
|C Bear and Jamal||Grandma (voice)||Recurring Cast|
|Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm||Sheeva (voice)||3 Episodes|
|1995-97||Spider-Man||Detective Terri Lee (voice)||13 Episodes|
|1996-97||Bruno the Kid||Di Archer (voice)||3 Episodes|
|1997||The Steve Harvey Show||Alise Peyton||Episode: "Coming to Chicago"|
|Sliders||Dr. Natalie Sylvius||Episode: "The Breeder"|
|Die Gang||Stella Tumbrell||Episode: "Das Duell"|
|The Burning Zone||Dr. Janice Rhodes||Episode: "Elegy for a Dream"|
|Waynehead||Cheetah||Episode: "Rebel Without a Paw"|
|The Parent 'Hood||Bernadette||Episode: "Father Wendell"|
|The Incredible Hulk||Agent Diana (voice)||Episode: "Mission: Incredible"|
|1997-99||King of the Hill||Sharona Johnson (voice)||2 Episodes|
|1998||The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs||Additional Voices (voice)||Episode: "Hair/Homework"|
|1999||The Jamie Foxx Show||Dr. Kanella||Episode: "Scareder Than a Mug"|
|Nash Bridges||Winifred Holt||Episode: "Resurrection"|
|Early Edition||Gayle Clark||Episode: "Number One with a Bullet"|
|1999-12||Futurama||LaBarbara Conrad / Various Voices (voice)||13 Episodes|
|2000||The 10th Kingdom||Blabberwort the Troll||Main Cast|
|Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||Mary (voice)||Episode: "Panic on Bathyos"|
|2000-02||Any Day Now||Gail Williams||Recurring Cast: Season 3-4|
|2001||The Legend of Tarzan||Naoh (voice)||Episode: "Tarzan and the Eagle's Feather"|
|2001-02||Heavy Gear: The Animated Series||Sonja Briggs (voice)||8 Episodes|
|2002||Andy Richter Controls the Universe||Jackie||Episode: "We're All the Same, Only Different"|
|2002-07||Grim & Evil||Various Voices||3 Episodes|
|2003||Strong Medicine||Detective Wright||Episode: "Risk"|
|Ozzy & Drix||Cilia Tyson (voice)||2 Episodes|
|Girlfriends||Linda Dent||2 Episodes|
|2004||Static Shock||Brickhouse (voice)||Episode: "Army of Darkness"|
|Medical Investigation||Dr. Burton||Episode: "Little Girl"|
|NYPD Blue||Jocelyn Barker||Episode: "The 3-H Club"|
|2005-14||The Boondocks||Various Voices||3 Episodes|
|2007||Handy Manny||Tanya (voice)||Episode: "Musica/Ice Cream Team"|
|2008-09||One Tree Hill||Denise Fields||3 Episodes|
|2008-12||The Life & Times of Tim||The Boss' Wife (voice)||3 Episodes|
|2009||Nick Jr. IDs||Voice||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2009-10||Glenn Martin, DDS||Nurse (voice)||2 Episodes|
|2010||The Secret Life of the American Teenager||Lauren's Mom||4 Episodes|
|2010-12||The Cleveland Show||Various Voices||3 Episodes|
|2011||Reed Between the Lines||Trishelle||Episode: "Let's Talk About College Boys"|
|2012||CSI: Miami||Stacy McCann||Episode: "At Risk"|
|Breaking In||Janet Jenkins||Episode: "The Blind Sided"|
|2012-13||Days of Our Lives||Dr. Knapp||5 Episodes|
|Regular Show||Various Voices||2 Episodes|
|2013||The Soul Man||Erica||2 Episodes|
|Turbo Fast||Queen Bananica (voice)||Episode: "African Queen/Mega Snails"|
|2014||Castle||Yvonne||Episode: "That '70s Show"|
|Survivor's Remorse||Vanessa Miller||Episode: "How to Build a Brand"|
|Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories||Agent||Episode: "The Endorsement"|
|2014-18||Major Crimes||Patrice Perry||Recurring Cast: Season 3-6|
|2015||Better Call Saul||Judge||Episode: "Hero"|
|Sofia the First||Helen Hanshaw (voice)||Episode: "Buttercup Amber"|
|2015-21||Rick and Morty||Assimilated Alien #1 (voice)||2 Episodes|
|2016||Kirby Buckets||Mayor||Episode: "Call of Doodie"|
|Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh||Guppa (voice)||Episode: "Wrinkly Humans People/Piggy Piggy"|
|2016-20||Doc McStuffins||April McStuffins (voice)||Recurring Cast|
|2017||Stitchers||Arlene Grant||Episode: "Dreamland"|
|2017-21||The Simpsons||Various Voices||9 Episodes|
|2018||This Is Us||Rosemary||2 Episodes|
|iZombie||Mama "Renegade" Leone||Recurring Cast: Season 4|
|Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters||Dr. Jones (voice)||Episode: "Rise of the Tech Men"|
|Bravest Warriors||Jeanette (voice)||4 Episodes|
|2018-19||Spirit Riding Free||Fannie Granger (voice)||2 Episodes|
|Apple & Onion||Various Voices||6 Episodes|
|2018-20||Curious George||Mrs. Parker (voice)||2 Episodes|
|2019||Veronica Mars||Marcia Langdon||Starring Cast: Season 4|
|Spirit Riding Free: Pony Tales||Fannie Granger (voice)||Episode: "The Healing Tree"|
|2019-21||Carmen Sandiego||Chief (voice)||Main Cast|
|The Rich and the Ruthless||Beth||Main Cast: Season 3-4|
|2020||Cleopatra in Space||Professor Klabrax V (voice)||2 Episodes|
|Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy||Fannie Granger (voice)||2 Episodes|
|The Boys||Valerie||Episode: "Nothing Like It in the World"|
|2020-21||Star Trek: Lower Decks||Carol Freeman (voice)||Main Cast|
|Duncanville||Episode: "Crimes and Misters Demean Her"|
|HouseBroken||Various Voices||4 Episodes|
|2004||World of Warcraft||Additional Voices|
|2005||X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse||Storm|
|2006||True Crime: New York City||Additional Voices|
|Marvel: Ultimate Alliance||Storm|
|2007||Spider-Man 3||Additional Voices|
|2008||The Rise of the Argonauts||Additional Voices|
|2009||Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2||Storm|
|2017||Tacoma||Evelyn Victoria St. James|
|2018||Fallout 76||Kesha McDermott / Mayor Barbara / Clara Davis|
|2020||World of Warcraft: Shadowlands||Additional Voices|
Thomas Edward Bosley was an American actor, television personality and entertainer. Bosley is best known for portraying Howard Cunningham on the 1970s ABC sitcom Happy Days, and the title character on the NBC/ABC series Father Dowling Mysteries. He also was featured in a recurring role on Murder, She Wrote. He originated the title role of the Broadway musical Fiorello!, earning the 1960 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.
Jean Louisa Kelly is an American actress. After making her film debut as Tia Russell in Uncle Buck (1989) alongside John Candy, she appeared in a wide range of other films including The Fantasticks (1995) and Mr. Holland's Opus (1995). From 2000 to 2006, she portrayed Kim Warner on the CBS sitcom Yes, Dear.
Cree Summer Francks is an American actress and singer.
Jane Elizabeth Leeves is an English actress. She played Daphne Moon on the NBC television sitcom Frasier from 1993 until 2004, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. She is also known for her role as Joy Scroggs on TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland.
A Different World is an American sitcom television series that aired for six seasons on NBC from September 24, 1987 to July 9, 1993. The series originally centered on Denise Huxtable and the life of students at Hillman College, a fictional historically black college in Virginia. It was inspired by student life at historically black colleges and universities. After Bonet's departure in the first season, the remainder of the series primarily focused more on Southern belle Whitley Gilbert-Wayne and math whiz Dwayne Cleofis Wayne.
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper is an American television sitcom that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 1992, to August 30, 1997, starring Mark Curry and Holly Robinson. The show took place in Curry's hometown of Oakland, California. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper was produced by Jeff Franklin Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, having been produced by Lorimar Television for the first season before being absorbed, and also became produced by Bickley-Warren Productions by the third season. The show originally aired on Tuesdays in prime time after sister series Full House, also created by Jeff Franklin and set in the San Francisco Bay Area. The show found its niche as an addition to the TGIF Friday night lineup on ABC, and was part of the lineup from September 1993 to May 1996.
Roxie Albertha Roker was an American actress who portrayed Helen Willis on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons (1975–1985), half of the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time television. Roker was the mother of rock musician Lenny Kravitz and the grandmother of actress Zoë Kravitz.
Mark Linn-Baker is an American actor and director who played Benjy Stone in the film My Favorite Year and Larry Appleton in the television sitcom Perfect Strangers.
Jenifer Jeanette Lewis is an American actress, singer, comedian and activist. She began her career appearing in Broadway musicals and worked as a back-up singer for Bette Midler before appearing in films Beaches (1988) and Sister Act (1992). Lewis is known for playing roles of mothers in the films What's Love Got to Do With It (1993), Poetic Justice (1993), The Preacher's Wife (1996), The Brothers (2001), The Cookout (2004), Think Like a Man (2012) and in the sequel Think Like a Man Too (2014), Baggage Claim (2013) and The Wedding Ringer (2015), as well as in The Temptations miniseries (1998).
Doug E. Doug is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and film director. He started his career at age 17 as a stand-up comedian. He played the role of Griffin Vesey on the CBS sitcom Cosby, Sanka Coffie in the film Cool Runnings, and the voice of Bernie in the animated film Shark Tale.
Marcus G. Curry, known professionally as Mark Curry, is an American actor, comedian, and host. Curry is best known for his role as Mark Cooper, ex–basketball player turned teacher on the ABC sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper which originally aired from 1992 to 1997. Curry also served as one of the various hosts of the syndicated series It's Showtime at the Apollo during the early 1990s. Curry co-starred in all three seasons of See Dad Run, Nick At Nite's first original live-action family comedy series, from 2012 to 2015.
Vicki Lewis is an American singer and actress of film, stage, and television. She is best known for her role as Beth in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio.
Holly Elizabeth Robinson Peete is an American actress and singer. She is known for her roles as Judy Hoffs on the Fox TV police drama 21 Jump Street, Vanessa Russell on the ABC sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and Dr. Malena Ellis on the NBC/WB sitcom For Your Love. She also served as one of the original co-hosts of the CBS Daytime talk show, The Talk.
Kathleen Freeman was an American film, television, voice, and stage actress. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, she portrayed acerbic maids, secretaries, teachers, busybodies, nurses, and battle-axe neighbors and relatives, almost invariably to comic effect. In film, she is perhaps best remembered for appearing in 11 Jerry Lewis comedies in the 1950s and '60s, The Blues Brothers (1980) and its sequel, and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994).
Megan Kathleen Hilty is an American actress and singer. She rose to prominence for her roles in Broadway musicals, including her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: The Musical, and her Tony Award-nominated role as Brooke Ashton in Noises Off. She also starred as Ivy Lynn on the musical-drama series Smash, on which she sang the Grammy Award-nominated "Let Me Be Your Star", and portrayed Liz on the sitcom Sean Saves the World.
Renée Adorée Taylor is an American actress, screenwriter, playwright, producer and director. Taylor was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the screenplay for the film Lovers and Other Strangers (1970). She also played Sylvia Fine on the television sitcom The Nanny (1993–1999).
Ellen Jane Carr is an English stage, film and voice actress. She is well known for her first film role as Mary McGregor in drama The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and the voice role of "Pud'n" on the animated The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. She also played a character called "Pudding" in the Jilly Cooper-penned BBC sitcom It's Awfully Bad For Your Eyes, Darling.
The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, located on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, United States, is the student theatre of the University of Miami.
Yvette Denise Lee Bowser is an American television writer and producer. She wrote and produced the TV shows Half & Half and Living Single, and early in her career, worked on The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World. With Living Single, she became the first African-American woman to develop her own prime-time series.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dawnn Lewis .|