Jackée Harry: Wikis

  
  

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Jackée Harry

Harry, 1988
Born Jacqueline Yvonne Harry
August 14, 1956 (1956-08-14) (age 53)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Elgin Charles Williams (1996-2003)
Official website

Jackée Harry (born Jacqueline Yvonne Harry, August 14, 1956) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as Sandra Clark on the TV series 227 and as Lisa Landry in Sister, Sister.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Harry was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and raised in Harlem, New York, with her four siblings by her mother, Flossie Harry. Her father, Warren Harry, died when she was three, leaving her the youngest of five children. At the age of 14, Harry landed the lead role of the King of Siam in her school's production of The King and I. After graduating from New York City's High School of Music and Art, Harry attended the Long Island University C.W. Post Campus in Brooklyn, where she earned a B.A. in education. Harry began her career as a history teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School. After two years of teaching, she departed from her profession, claiming she did not have the knack for it. “They started whistling at me everyday. I was trying to teach them how to behave — it didn’t work,” she said of her experience.

Personal life

Harry has been divorced three times. Her first marriage stayed together for years from 1980-1984. After her departure from 227, she married a bass player and woke up the next morning knowing she needed to file for divorce. On December 1, 1996, Harry married a third time to Elgin Charles Williams, her hair dresser at Joyce’s Exquisite Styles & Hair Care and ministry student at Crenshaw Christian Center in South Los Angeles. The wedding took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the gardens of the historic hotel and the reception in the Crystal Room, with over 550 guests. Bishop E. Lynn Brown officiated, and Cheryl Lynn and Ali-Ollie Woodson of the Temptations sang for the couple.

"It was time," she said of the marriage. "I knew him for two years even before we started dating. And we dated for a year and a half. I thought he had a girlfriend with all those women in there!" The couple adopted a son, Frank, at the age of one. They divorced in 2003.

Career

Television

She began studying acting at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side in New York City and began a career on the New York stage. In 1973, she debuted with a small part in a play written by Richard Wesley. She then starred in A Broadway Musical as a chorus girl. In 1983, Harry made her television debut by acting opposite the then-relatively unknown Morgan Freeman in the daytime soap opera Another World. She carried this role from 1983 to 1986 as the prostitute Lily Mason alongside other African-Americans such as Petronia Paley and Michele Shay. In 2003, she was the surprise guest on the Another World Reunion that SOAPnet coordinated and aired. She appeared at former co-star and close friend Linda Dano’s request claiming Dano was the only one who calls her “Jack”.

In 1985, Harry found her signature role, starring as "Sandra Clark" on the NBC sitcom 227. Her mother, Flossie, celebrated her getting the part but died before the show aired.

When I got this audition I was doing a soap opera in New York called Another World; it’s now debunked. I played Lilly Mason; I was a lady of the night and I had been on there for two years. I was doing very well. I had a contract. And I got it and I read for the part of Rose. So they said ‘okay could you come back in and read for the part of Sandra?’. I went to the bathroom, changed into this red dress I had, red shoes, big ol’ gold earrings, and I put this lipstick on and I teased my hair. I came back in; I read for that part and they were rolling.

As the breakout star of the show, she became the first African American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Her performance on 227 inspired NBC producers to create a television pilot for her entitled Jackée. The pilot episode failed with audiences and is now shown as an episode of 227. For her portrayal of Sandra on the series, Maxim magazine awarded her #5 placement on their "TV's Best Nympho" list.

After leaving the cast of 227 in 1989, Harry starred opposite Oprah Winfrey in the adaptation of Gloria Naylor's novel, The Women of Brewster Place. In 1991, Harry was part of an all-star cast that included Redd Foxx and Della Reese when she played the role of "Ruth 'CoCo' Royal" in The Royal Family. From 1994 to 1999, Harry starred as the adoptive mother of Tia Mowry's character on the ABC/WB sitcom, Sister, Sister. "When I got the Sister, Sister offer to be the mother, I was like 'I don't want to be mama!' But, it turned out to be the best that could happen.” She won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for two consecutive years in 1999 and 2000.

Harry summed up the show’s plot outline by explaining-

Ray is anal retentive. He is stuffy and I'm fun-loving. He doesn't like her either. Lisa and her daughter end up moving into Ray's house and she (Lisa) wants to brighten up his house. He has a big old house and she just has a tiny apartment. She wants to bring in a cat. He hates cats. She will bring in anything that he hates. He hates all animals. He is very strict and she is not. The real bond is that both of them believe in good parenting.

The series moved to the WB network and Harry's character, Lisa Landry, became the center for the show’s final episode.

Other attempts were made for Harry to star in her own production with pilots for The Cheech Show and Friday Night Surprise (1988) as Sheila, and We'll Take Manhattan in 1990 as Yvonne. Harry has said, "I knew I would do something. I always had confidence but it was a big let down for me. There weren't even phone calls."

She just recently had a recurring role as Vanessa on the CW's Everybody Hates Chris.

She was a guest on The Wendy Williams Show.

Theatre

In 1994, Harry made her return to the theater by starring as Billie Holiday in the play Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill. Following that stage production, she fulfilled the role of "madam who runs a bordello" in the Broadway musical The Boys From Syracuse, a play based on William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.

"You can't be boring and do musical comedy," she said of the play. "Everything feels alive here, and that's how I like it. I'm back in my element."

In 1992, she starred as the assistant coach in Ladybugs. Harry served as a guest panelist on the 2000 revival of To Tell the Truth. She also was a semi-regular on the Tom Bergeron version of Hollywood Squares, mainly in 2003-04. Harry appeared on the second season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club 2 in 2005, where she lost 39 pounds over 100 days. Her achievement marked one of the top weight losses in the history of the show. She lost 19.3% of her body weight, dropping down to 163 pounds and keeping the weight off through exercise and a healthy diet.

In the mid-2000s, she appeared in small theater productions of The Sunshine Boys, Damn Yankees, and A Christmas Carol.

She is currently touring nationally in J.D. Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman.

Work

Theatrography

Year Title Role Notes
2008 JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman Jasmine Performer "Love Won't Let Me Love", "Bonus Track" narration on soundtrack
2008 The Sunshine Boys Registered Nurse
2007 U Got Me Bent And Twisted Mable Director
2007 Damn Yankees Sister Performer "Heart (Reprise)"
2006 Man Of Her Dreams Louise "I'm as usual. I wanted to be the quiet, happily married one, but they wouldn't hear of it."
2005 Too Good To Let Go
2004 A Christmas Carol Mrs. Fezziwig/Mrs. Dilbert Performer “Angels We Have Heard On High
2004 Not A Day Goes By Ava
2003 Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms Mother (Cheryl)
2002 The Boys from Syracuse Madam Bordello Performer “Sing For Your Supper”
2001 The Vagina Monologues
2000 For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf Woman in Blue Performer "Now I Love Somebody More Than", "Abortion Cycle #1", "I Used To Live In The World", "Sorry"
1994 Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grill Billie Holliday Performer "God Bless The Child", "T'Ain't Nobody's Biz-ness", and "Crazy He Calls Me"
1984 Diamonds Lady #3 Performer “He Threw Out The Ball”, “Hundreds Of Hats”, “Vendors”, “Stay In Your Own Back Yard”
1984 A…My Name Is Alice Understudy
1983 Adam Rachel Watts
1982 Rinestone Chicago Woman, Sara, Maid
1982 Colored People's Time Alberta/Corina Blues Singer
1981 Child Of The Sun Cassie
1980 One Mo Time Ma Reed Performer "Let Me Make Myself Plain", "Hindustan", "After You've Gone", "Muddy Water"
1979 The Good Ship Credit Musical
1979 Second Thoughts
1979 I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road Alice Performer "Natural High", "Smile", "Miss America", "Strong Woman Package", "Put In A Package And Sold"
1978 A Broadway Musical Melinda Bernard Performer "A Broadway Musical", "Smoke And Fire" (Back-up), "The 1934 Hot Chocolate Jazz Babies Revue", "You Gotta Have Dancing"
1977 The Wiz
1975 Eubie! Performer “My Handyman Ain’t Handy No More"
1973 Two Plays By Richard Wesley Nurse Performer "Going Through Changes"
1970 The King And I King Performer "A Puzzlement", "Finale, Act I", "Song Of The King", "Shall We Dance?"

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2009 GED Mama Release Date of Feb. 9th, 2009
2009 The Man of Her Dreams Louise Recorded Live, Released Direct-to-Video
2004 You Got Served Mama
1993 Living and Working in Space: The Countdown Has Begun Charmayne Released Direct-to-Video
1992 Ladybugs Julie Benson

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2006-2009 Everybody Hates Chris Vanessa Recurring Role
2007 The Last Day of Summer Lola The Lobster Nickelodeon TV-Movie
2006 All You've Got Butt Short Salesman MTV TV-Movie
2005 One on One Sherri St. Croix Episode: Waiting for Huffman
That's So Raven Dava Episode: Goin' Hollywood
2003 7th Heaven Ms. Beane Episode: It's Not Always About You
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Darcy Green Episode: Used Hearts
1994-1999 Sister, Sister Lisa Landry Image Award (won-2)
1996 Unhappily Ever After Ms. Blake Episode: Girls Who Wear Glasses
1995 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Bo Peep Voice Role
1994 Dave's World Estelle Episode: Saved by Estelle
1991-1992 The Royal Family Ruth 'CoCo' Royal
1992 Designing Women Vanessa Chamberlain Episode: Shades of Vanessa
1990 We'll Take Manhattan Yvonne
1988, 1989 Amen Roxanne Farley
Roxanne Farley
Florence Hawkins
Episode: A Slight Case of Murder (1)
Episode: A Slight Case of Murder (2)
Episode: Don't Rain on My Shower
1985-1989 227 Sandra Clark Primetime Emmy Award (won-1) (nominated-1)
Golden Globe Award (nominated)
1989 Double Your Pleasure NBC TV-Movie
Jackée Sandra Clark
The Women of Brewster Place Etta Mae ABC Miniseries
1988 Crash Course Edna Savage NBC TV-Movie
1987 Alf Loves a Mystery Countess
The Incredible Ida Early Ida Early TV-movie
1983-1986 Another World Lily Mason NBC Soap opera

References

External links








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