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Leslie Uggams
Born May 25, 1943 (1943-05-25) (age 66)
New York City, New York, USA
Occupation Actor
Years active 1950s-present
Spouse(s) Grahame Pratt (1965-present)
Official website

Leslie Uggams (born May 25, 1943, New York City) is an American actress and singer, perhaps best known for her Tony Award-winning work in Hallelujah, Baby!

Uggams first started in show business as a child in 1950, playing the niece of Ethel Waters on the television series Beulah. She was a regular on Sing Along with Mitch, starring record producer/conductor Mitch Miller. In 1960, she sang, off-screen, "Give Me That Old Time Religion" in the film Inherit the Wind.

She would audition for the lead part in the film Cleopatra, but would lose out to Elizabeth Taylor. Dorothy Dandridge was also in the running, when director Rouben Mamoulian was to direct, but her part was lost when the director was taken off the project.[1][2]

The Leslie Uggams Show, a television variety show added to her list of credits and a lead role in Roots, as Kizzy. Uggams also starred in the 1975 film Poor Pretty Eddy (also called Poor Pretty Eddie, Black Vengeance and Redneck County), in which she played a popular singer who, upon being stranded in the deep South, is abused and humiliated by the perverse denizens of a backwoods town.

Uggams appeared on TV gameshow Hollywood Squares. After being asked if Roman legend says that God made the people of the world in a large oven, fellow contestant Paul Lynde looked at her and remarked "Looks like you were overcooked".

Uggams made a notable guest appearance on The Muppet Show during its third season in tandem with Big Bird. During the 1980s she appeared in Blues in the Night, Jerry's Girls, and replaced Patti LuPone as Reno Sweeney in the Lincoln Center revival of Cole Porter's musical Anything Goes. Later Broadway roles include Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Ethel Thayer in On Golden Pond at the Cort Theatre. In 1996, Uggams played the role of Rose Keefer on All My Children. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Early in 2009, Uggams made an appearance as the legendary jazz singer Lena Horne in a production of the stage musical "Stormy Weather" at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

References

  1. ^ Royster, Francesca. Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon. Mew York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2003. pg. 154.
  2. ^ Bogle, Donald. Dorothy Dandridge: A Biography. New York: Amistad. 1997. pgs. 488-89.

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