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Dawnn Lewis
Born August 13, 1961 (1961-08-13) (age 48)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Johnny Newman (2004–2006)

Dawnn Lewis (born August 13, 1961) is an American actress and singer, perhaps best known for her roles on sitcoms such as A Different World and in the first season of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.



She co-wrote the theme song to A Different World. In A Different World, Lewis appeared for the first five of the six season run as "Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor" (1987–1992). Although her character was married to one of the main characters on A Different World, 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.

In Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Lewis appeared in the first of the five seasons as "Robin Dumars" (1992). She didn't appear on the two shows concurrently - she left A Different World to star in Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. She and Holly Robinson Peete, along with R&B quartet En Vogue, performed the theme song for Season 1 of Mr. Cooper.

Since then, she has appeared in numerous TV series (including Futurama as LaBarbara), sitcoms, and has done voice-over work. In 2000 Lewis played Blabberwort the Troll in the miniseries The 10th Kingdom.

Lewis portrayed Deloris Van Cartier in Peter Schnieder's Sister Act the Musical, which opened at the Pasadena Playhouse on October 24, 2006. She has voiced Storm in three games, most recently Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. She can currently be seen as Melba Early in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls. 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.


In 2006, Lewis released her debut CD entitled Worth Waiting For. She is currently playing Addaperle in The Wiz with New York City Center Encores!


Lewis was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Joyce and Carl Lewis [1]. She was briefly married to former NBA player Johnny Newman. They are now divorced due to his physical abuse of her.


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