Who is the Real Jenifer Lewis?

Credit: @jeniferlewisforreal

When it comes to class, few people have more than Jenifer Lewis. She’s a star in every manner of speaking, but sometimes her story shocks those around her. She might be elegance personified, but she struggles just like anyone else, and her personal story is one that once held shame and fear, worry, and many things you’d never guess by looking at her. Who is Jenifer Lewis? She’s the actress responsible for the voice of Mama Odie in the sensational Disney film The Princess and the Frog. She’s also the talent behind Cast Away, Dead Presidents, and Black-Ish. She’s a star, and here is her story.

Who is Jenifer Lewis?

Jenifer Lewis is a woman who was born in a small town in Missouri on January 25, 1957. She grew up in a household filled with children, which often meant there was no time for boredom. She is the youngest of seven kids born to her mother and her father. Her father worked in a factory, and her mother as a nurse’s aide. She began singing in the choir in church when she was only five, and she had no idea at the time that it would be her first of many public appearances. Lewis knew she wanted to do something big with her life, so she headed straight to New York City when she left college, and it would turn into the best decision she ever made.

Credit: @jeniferlewisforreal

She Made Her Acting Debut on Broadway

Many people don’t realize that Jenifer Lewis’s first major acting job was on Broadway, though it was only a small role. It was 1979, and she had a small part in a production called Eubie. Following that, she was cast as Effie in Dreamgirls. However, she didn’t get to play the role when the show moved to Broadway. She was replaced, but she did not give up her dream of becoming a famous actress.

Instead, she became a backup singer for none other than Bette Midler. By the time the 90s rolled around, Lewis knew that New York City wasn’t where she needed to be. She moved clear across the country and began working on television shows in Los Angeles. The move was a good one for her, and it is likely what helped launch her career. The rest, as they say, is history. She’s done it all, and everyone in Hollywood knows her name and her face and they recognize her stellar talent.

Who is Jenifer Lewis, the Person, Not the Actress?

Here’s what fans really want to know about Jenifer Lewis. Who is she when she’s not on stage or interviewing for an article or some work she’s doing? Well, here’s what you might find shocking. Despite being the most elegant and among the loveliest women in Hollywood, Jenifer Lewis is a person who lives with bipolar disorder. She was diagnosed more than three decades ago in 1990, and she didn’t tell anyone about it.

She was ashamed of her diagnosis. No one talked about mental health in the 90s. No one understood mental health the way they do now. It was something that people kept swept under the rug, per se, and no one discussed it. Jenifer Lewis did not accept the fact that she was struggling with bipolar disorder for many years – seventeen of them, to be precise. She took meds for her disorder for a decade, and she spent 17 years in therapy before she decided to speak out about her diagnosis. She knows now the elegant want to deal with her own health battle is to help those who might be feeling so many of the same things she is feeling – and that’s what she’s been doing.

Credit: @jeniferlewisforreal

Jenifer Lewis in Her Own Words

According to Jenifer Lewis, she thought all of the things that came along with her bipolar disorder were her personality. She’s a larger-than-life kind of gal, and she thought that with that type of personality came a lot of mood swings. She thought addiction, mood swings, dramatic behavior, and so much more were just part of who she was, and she didn’t think she could help it. When her doctor came to her with her diagnosis, she thought her doctor was crazy.

“I associated mental illness with people who couldn’t function, with straitjackets. When the therapist explained the details, I gasped. You mean, there is a name for describing why I talk fast and walk fast and rage, create drama, and speed when I drive a car? Compulsive, you say? The doodling, the braiding and unbraiding my hair? The arguing with people and storming off?” She also spent years saying no to medication that her doctor wanted her to take. She was certain it would change her personality and turn her into a zombie, but she’s changed her mind over the years.

Jenifer Lewis thought she was who she was, and she didn’t want to take that away from herself. She’s learned so much, though, and she’s glad she listened to the medical professionals in her life. She’s changed her life, and she’s bigger, better, and more amazing than ever as a result.

Thanks for reading! How would you rate this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

/ 5.

Tell us what's wrong with this post? How could we improve it? :)

Let us improve this post!