Watching the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, you probably won’t forget Sheryl Lee Ralphs’s moving speech after her first and very much-deserved Emmy win. With a nearly five decades-long career, the star-studded night meant a lot more to this legendary actress than people think.
From selectively choosing the projects to work on to behind-the-scenes drama on her previous shows and mentoring young talents, Sheryl’s award meant a lot to different people in her life. She got her first award at the 74th Emmy awards for her entertaining acting in Abbott Elementary.
But she is finally getting the recognition from her peers that she deserves, and we are all here for it! So if you want to know more about this beautiful actress, here are ten things you didn’t know about Sheryl Lee Ralph:
1. Sheryl Lee Ralph was in Broadways Dreamgirls
Sheryl has been a superstar for decades, especially after starring in the broadway adaptation of Dreamgirls in 1982. Her work earned her a Tony nomination for her performance as Deena Jones. It was as if Sheryl was made for the role. Although she had done plenty of work on TV and film, broadway seemed to embrace the star that is Sheryl Lee Ralph entirely.
2. Sheryl was in Moesha
Although everyone is talking about Sheryl, she was more popular in the 90s because of her role in the popular sitcom Moesha, starring singer Brandy.
She played Moesha’s stepmother, Dee Mitchell, and instantly became a fan favorite.No surprise! Moesha aired from 1996-2001. For any of this show’s lovers, you’ll be happy to know that they are rebooting Moesha, and we’re just speechless.
3. She wrote the book ‘Redefining Diva.’
Sheryl Lee Ralph is the author of the book ‘Redefining Diva‘ because of her time on broadway and her acting career in Hollywood. You’ll be captivated by this book with secrets about life and love, just like her speech hooked you.
This multitalented woman also did several speaking engagements and was approached by a teacher after one of her sessions. During an interview, Ralph revealed that that same teacher insisted she should write a book. And she did. Don’t be afraid to pick up this book because it’s much more than another celebrity memoir.
4. She hopes to do a talk show one day
After that speech, Sheryl can take all our money and give us that talk show. Wouldn’t you love to see her on a daily talk show? During an interview, the actress revealed that considering how people in Philadelphia, where she’s from, like to talk, it’s a surprise she hadn’t been offered a talk show yet. And we know Sheryl Lee Ralph is a fantastic speaker and host, so why not?
5. Sheryl is married with kids
This beautiful actress is happily married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. The two tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in 2005.
Vincent and Sheryl were divorced and introduced to each other by a mutual friend. She gushed about her husband during an interview with Essence. Sheryl loves his strength and appreciates a great partner who she trusts. And to her, that partner is Vincent. The Abbott elementary actress also has two children.
6. The Bridesmaids at Sheryl Lee Ralph’s wedding
All women want to have their friends on that particular day. And Sheryl wasn’t any different. On her wedding day, she had a group of friends in her bridesmaid’s lineup that just happened to be famous. Her lineup included Nancy Nash, Patti Labelle, Loretta Devine, and Victoria Rowell. Although she was supposedly an hour late, it was worth it because she looked stunning, running fashionably late to her wedding.
7. Why did she leave Moesha?
A lot of drama happens behind the scenes of some of your favorite shows, like Moesha. Viewers only see the finished product, but it’s the actors who have to work and tolerate each other. So many people were shocked when Sheryl left Moesha after six seasons. It surprised many because there were no signs that Sheryl Lee Ralph was about to leave the 90s sitcom.
Sheryl left because she didn’t like that they made her on-screen husband have an affair that resulted in a lovechild. It didn’t sit well with the show’s vision, and she decided to leave Moesha. Another reason she left is that the sitcom was now more of a drama than a comedy which had worked to bring in viewers for the first couple of seasons.
8. The advice Robert De Niro gave her
Some things stick with you for a lifetime, that includes life-changing advice. Especially if it comes from another legendary and well-respected actor like Robert De Niro, Sheryl says that Robert gave her essential advice that she has held on to this day.
While filming the show Mistress with Robert in 1992, he told her, “You’re great. You’re really DGA — Damn Great Actress — but Hollywood’s not looking for you. They’re not looking for the Black girls. So you better wave that red flag and let them know you’re here because you deserve to be seen.”
We’re happy she took the advice because she is finally being seen like she always deserved to be.
9. She has an extensive acting career
Sheryl Lee Ralph is probably one of the most recognizable actresses on tv. The 65-year-old star is known for shows like Sister Act, Moesha, The Distinguished Gentleman, Proud Family, It’s a Living, Instant Mom, and Abbott Elementary. To name a few. She made her acting debut in 1977 in the comedy film, A piece of action which helped her land her historic role as Deena Jones in the broadway production of Dreamgirls.
10. Sheryl Lee Ralph won an Emmy for Abbott Elementary
The ABC hit comedy show Abbott Elementary has been on everyone’s lips, and as the second season rolls around, we all know why! It’s a funny mockumentary with a talented cast and a bright future if the ratings are anything to go by.
Sheryl plays a caring kindergarten teacher, Barbara Haward, and blends very well with the rest of the cast to bring out the emotion that keeps fans tuning in for more. If you’re curious about the show, here is more about the cast of Abbott Elementary. Sheryl Lee Ralph is one of only two black women to win an Emmy for the best-supporting actress on a comedy show.