Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Education|| University of Houston (1971, BA)|
Brandeis University (1976, MFA)
Loretta Devine is an American actress and singer.
Devine is known for numerous roles across stage and screen. Her most high profile roles include Lorrell Robinson in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls , the long-suffering Gloria Matthews in the film Waiting to Exhale , and her recurring role as Adele Webber on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy , for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2011.
Loretta Devine was born in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), was a beautician, and her father, James Devine, worked as a laborer.She grew up in the Acres Homes area of Houston, where her mother was a single mother to six children. She was very active on the pep squad, and performed in talent shows at George Washington Carver High School.
In 1971, Devine graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama.In 1976, she received a Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Brandeis University.
She was initiated into the Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Devine has worked extensively on Broadway. Her Broadway debut was in 1978 in a musical called A Broadway Musical , which closed after 14 previews and only one performance on December 21, 1978. She captured attention in her second Broadway show, called Comin' Uptown, which featured Gregory Hines.
She rose to stardom in Dreamgirls , a smash 1981 Broadway musical loosely based on the history of The Supremes, in which she originated the role of Lorrell Robinson (a fictional character based on Mary Wilson). The story of Dreamgirls was created during workshops that were carried out in six-week workshops over the period of three years, which Devine, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Jennifer Holliday developed via improv.She also received raves in the 1995 Apollo revival of The Wiz as Glinda the Good Witch of the South.
While rehearsing for Dreamgirls with a little girl in 1981, Devine was cast in Jessie Maple's Will , the first independent feature-length film directed by an African-American woman.For her featured role in the low-budget film, Devine earned $500.
Minor roles for Devine followed in films such as Little Nikita and Stanley & Iris . She has a cameo performance in the film version of Dreamgirls .
In 1995, she landed a major role as Gloria Matthews in Waiting to Exhale , opposite Whitney Houston, Gregory Hines, and Angela Bassett. The role earned her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, as did her next movie, The Preacher's Wife , her second movie with Houston and Hines. She later co-starred opposite Alfre Woodard in Down in the Delta (1998) and Funny Valentines (1999).
Devine played roles as a repertory character in the play The Colored Museum with Vickilyn Reynolds. Devine and Reynolds both went on to play sisters in the short-lived TV series Sugar and Spice . During the period between the play and the series, Devine appeared in the first season of the TV series A Different World as Stevie Rallen, a dormitory director at the fictional Hillman College.
From 2000 to 2004, Devine starred as high school teacher Marla Hendricks on the Fox drama series Boston Public . Devine won three more Image Awards for her work in the series. She also continued to work in film, playing prominent roles in Urban Legend , Urban Legends: Final Cut , and I Am Sam . Devine earned yet another Image Award nomination and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her work in the 2004 film Woman Thou Art Loosed . She also appeared in the 2005 film Crash . In 2007, she appeared in This Christmas , and in the next year had a series regular role on the ABC comedy-drama Eli Stone . Devine also was part of the ensemble casts of two Tyler Perry-directed films For Colored Girls and Madea's Big Happy Family . In 2008, she was featured prominently on George Michael's remake of "Feeling Good." She also appeared in First Sunday , Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Jumping the Broom .
Devine had a recurring role in the Shonda Rhimes drama series Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Richard Webber's first wife, Adele.In 2011 she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance. She was nominated for a second time for her performance in 2012. Devine also won Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Feature Role for Grey's Anatomy in 2012.
In 2011, she also starred on the short-lived ABC Family comedy State of Georgia . In 2012, she was part of Being Mary Jane cast. She also played Hallie, a nurse, on Playhouse Disney's Doc McStuffins . Later that year she began starring in the Lifetime series The Client List , playing the role of Georgia Cummings, the owner of the massage parlor where the lead character Riley Parks works. The series was cancelled after two seasons.Devine also played Cynthia Carmichael on the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show .
|1983||Anna to the Infinite Power||Ms. Everett Benson|
|1988||Little Nikita||Verna McLaughlin|
|1988||Sticky Fingers||Diane Cooley|
|1989||Heart and Soul||Tonia Harris||Short film|
|1990||Stanley & Iris||Bertha Simmons|
|1990||Sugar and Spice||Loretta Fontaine|
|1990||Cop Rock||Juror Devine|
|1991||Livin' Large||Nadine Biggs|
|1992||Caged Fear||Judy Jane|
|1993||Amos & Andrew||Ula|
|1994||The Hard Truth||Rose Maxwell|
|1995||Waiting to Exhale||Gloria Matthews||NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
|1996||The Preacher's Wife||Beverly||NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
|1997||The Price of Kissing||Jackee Blaine|
|1998||Urban Legend||Reese Wilson|
|1998||Down in the Delta||Zenia|
|1999||Operation Splitsville||Principal Edna Fields|
|1999||Funny Valentines||Dearie B.|
|2000||Urban Legends: Final Cut||Reese Wilson|
|2000||What Women Want||Florence "Flo" Glover|
|2001||Kingdom Come||Marguerite Slocumb||Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
|2001||I Am Sam||Margaret Calgrove|
|2002||Baby of the Family||Delores Evans|
|2002||Book of Love||Mary Baker|
|2003||Zoe Busiek: Wild Card||Marie Bookerson|
|2004||Woman Thou Art Loosed||Cassey Jordan||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female |
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
|2004||Crash||Shaniqua Johnson||Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|2005||King's Ransom||Miss Gladys|
|2007||This Christmas||Shirley Ann "Ma'Dere" Whitfield||Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
|2008||First Sunday||Sister Doris|
|2008||Beverly Hills Chihuahua||Delta (voice)|
|2008||Spring Breakdown||Dr. Marguerite Tyson|
|2009||My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?||Miss Willheima Roberts|
|2010||Death at a Funeral||Cynthia|
|2010||Lottery Ticket||Grandma Dorothy Carson|
|2010||For Colored Girls||Juanita Sims / Green|
|2010||Politics of Love||Shirlee Gupta|
|2011||Jumping the Broom||Pamela Taylor|
|2011||Madea's Big Happy Family||Shirley|
|2013||Khumba||Mama Veronica aka Mama V (voice)|
|2014||You're Not You||Marilyn Jo|
|2015||Welcome to Me||Mary the Lawyer|
|2016||Norm of the North||Tamecia (voice)|
|2016||Caged No More||Aggie James|
|2016||Grandma’s House||Grandma Margie|
|2016||No Regrets||Mrs. Carey|
|2017||My Other Home||Mabel Marbury|
|2018||Sierra Burgess Is a Loser||Ms. April Thomson|
|2018||Jingle Belle||Emory Simons|
|2019||The Trap||Mama Jay|
|2019||A Family Reunion Christmas||M'Dear||Netflix film|
|2021||Queen Bees||Sally Heart|
|TBA||Mack & Rita||Sharon||Post-production|
|1987||CBS Summer Playhouse||Cheryl||Episode: "Sirens"|
|1987–1988||A Different World||Stevie Rallen||10 episodes|
|1988||The Murder of Mary Phagan||Annie Maude Carter||Television film|
|1988||Amen||Lydia Cummings||Episode: "Court of Love"|
|1989||Parent Trap III||Thelma Pardrige||Television film|
|1990||Murphy Brown||Nurse Diana Hawking||Episode: "The Bitch's Back"|
|1991||Great Performances||Janine Wills||Episode: "The Colored Museum"|
|1991||Reasonable Doubts||Valerie Hall||Episode: "Hard Bargains"|
|1992–1993||Roc||Cynthia Raine||5 episodes|
|1993||The American Clock||Irene Mack Shaw||Television film|
|1995||Picket Fences||Marla Melrose||Episode: "Close Encounters"|
|1995||Ned and Stacey||Mrs. Sally Duncan||Episode: "Reality Check"|
|1996||Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault||Miss Mary Johnson||Television film|
|1997||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||The Mother||Episode: "The Golden Goose"|
|1997||Touched by an Angel||Tonya Hawkins||Episode: "Amazing Grace: Part 1"|
|1997||Promised Land||Tonya Hawkins||Episode: "Amazing Grace: Part 2"|
|1997||Clover||Everleen Moore||Television film|
|1997||Don King: Only in America||Connie Harper||Television film|
|1999–2002||The PJs||Muriel Stubbs (voice)||43 episodes|
|1999||Moesha||Gwen "Stephanie" "Steph" Watkins||Episode: "It Takes Two"|
|1999||Clueless||Phyllis Holiday||Episode: "Graduation"|
|1999||Funny Valentines||Dearie B.||Television film|
|1999||Jackie's Back||Snookie Tate||Television film|
|1999||Introducing Dorothy Dandridge||Ruby Dandridge||Television film|
|2000–2004||Boston Public||Marla Hendricks||81 episodes|
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2001, 2003–04)
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television Series (2003–04)
|2000||Family Law||Gloria Rivers||Episode: "Playing God"|
|2000||Ally McBeal||Nora Mills||Episode: "I Will Survive"|
|2000||Freedom Song||Evelyn Walker||Television film|
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
|2000||Best Actress||Connie Travers||Television film|
|2003||The System||Mrs. Marsha Waters||Unsold TV pilot|
|2003||Half & Half||Erika Duke||2 episodes|
|2004–2005||Wild Card||M. Pearl McGuire||19 episodes|
|2005–2013||Grey's Anatomy||Adele Webber||22 episodes|
Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
|2005, 2017||Supernatural||Missouri Moseley||2 episodes|
|2005–2006||Girlfriends||Judge Vashti Jackson||2 episodes|
|2006||Boston Legal||Annabelle Carruthers||Episode: "The Nutcrackers"|
|2006||Life Is Not a Fairy Tale||Addie Collins||Television film|
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
|2006–2007||Everybody Hates Chris||Maxine Rock||3 episodes|
|2007||Boston Legal||Judge Victoria Thomson||Episode: "Oral Contracts"|
|2008–2009||Eli Stone||Patti Dellacroix||26 episodes|
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
|2009||Cold Case||Chandra Patterson '09||Episode: "Soul"|
|2009||Legally Mad||Jeanette Woods||Unaired pilot|
|2010||Party Down||Diane Ellison||Episode: "James Ellison Funeral"|
|2011||Glee||Sister Mary Constance||Episode: "Original Song"|
|2011||State of Georgia||Aunt Honey||12 episodes|
|2012–2020||Doc McStuffins||Hallie Hippo/Nurse Hattie (voice)||115 episodes|
|2012||The Game||Grandma Donna Mack||Episode: "There's No Place Like Home"|
|2012||The Cleveland Show||Shirley (voice)||Episode: "Mama Drama"|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself||Episode: "Snatch Game"|
|2012||Shake It Up||Judge Marsha Elliott||Episode: "Judge It Up"|
|2012–2013||The Client List||Georgia Cummings||25 episodes|
|2014||Psych||Melba Birdson||Episode: "1967: A Psych Odyssey"|
|2014–2015||Sirens||Rosemary St. Claire||3 episodes|
|2015||Being Mary Jane||CeCe Robinson||6 episodes|
|2015–2017||The Carmichael Show||Cynthia Carmichael||32 episodes|
|2016||Dinner in America with Brett Gelman||Herself||TV special|
|2018||Dear White People||Sorbet||Episode: "Volume 2: Chapter VII"|
|2018||Living Biblically||Estelle Williams||Episode: "Never Let Loyalty Love You"|
|2018||Love Is||Rose Marie||2 episodes|
|2019–present||Family Reunion||M'Dear||Main cast|
|2019||A Black Lady Sketch Show||Pastor Rosetta Daniels||Episode: "Your Boss Knows You Don't Have Eyebrows"|
|2019||Black-ish||Lynette Mae||Episode: "Pops the Question"|
|2020||P-Valley||Grandma Ernestine||2 episodes|
|2021||The Loud House||Gayle McBride (voice)||Episode: "Resident Upheaval"|
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