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Loretta Devine
Born August 21, 1949 (1949-08-21) (age 60)
Houston, Texas, US
Occupation actress
Years active 1978-present
Spouse(s) LaVar Green (1973-2002)

Loretta Devine (born August 21, 1949) is a film and television actress known for her roles on Boston Public, Grey's Anatomy and Eli Stone. She also provided her voice for the stop motion animated television series The PJs. Devine is a five time NAACP Image Award winner.


Early life

Devine was born in Houston, Texas, She grew up in the Acres Home area of Houston. She was very active on the pep squad, and performed in talent shows, at George Washington Carver High School. Loretta would sing constantly, with that velvet voice, and awesome smile, saying, "one day I will be a star", She always shared what she had with others, including her knowledge. Loretta has a wonderful family, her mother is, Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), a beautician, and James Devine, a laborer.[1] Devine graduated from the University of Houston in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama and Brandeis University in 1976 with a MFA in Theater.[2] Devine is a member of The Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.


Devine appeared in the 1978 flop A Broadway Musical, which closed after one performance. She captured attention in Dreamgirls, a Broadway musical loosely based on the history of The Supremes, in which she originated the role of Lorrell Robinson (a fictional character based on Mary Wilson). It premiered on December 20, 1981 and ran for over 1500 performances; it eventually won six Tony awards. Minor roles for Devine followed in films such as Little Nikita and Stanley & Iris. She has a cameo performance in the film version of Dreamgirls.

She was a repertory character in the play The Colored Museum with Vickilyn Reynolds. They both went on to play sisters in the short-lived TV series Sugar and Spice. During the period between the play and the series, Devine appeared in the first season of the TV series A Different World as Stevie Rallen, dormitory director at fictional Hillman College.

In 1995, she landed a high-profile role as Gloria Matthews in Waiting to Exhale, joined in the cast by Whitney Houston, Gregory Hines, and Angela Bassett, among others. The role earned her an NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress, as did her next movie, The Preacher's Wife, her second movie with Houston and Hines.

In 2000, Devine took on the role of impassioned high school teacher Marla Hendricks on the Fox TV drama Boston Public. Devine won three more Image Awards for her work in the series. She also continued to work in film, playing prominent roles in Urban Legend, Urban Legends: Final Cut, and I Am Sam. Devine earned yet another Image Award nomination and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her work in the 2004 film Woman Thou Art Loosed. She also appeared in the 2005 Academy Awards Best Picture winning film Crash. She also plays Rochelle's mother, Maxine, who's always picking on her, on the sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris.

In 2007, she appeared in This Christmas, a Screen Gems production co-starring Delroy Lindo, Mekhi Phifer, and Regina King.

Devine also appeared in Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Richard Webber's wife, Adele Webber.

Devine played Patti on Eli Stone, an ABC television series which began airing in 2008.

In 2009, Devine played the character of Jeanette in the rejected pilot for the David E. Kelly television series that was supposed to air on NBC, Legally Mad. Devine also recently starred in Cold Case.

Personal Life

Devine married LaVar Green in 1973. She was 24 and he was 35. In 1980, they had their first and only child Jefferson Green. The couple separated in 1981 and divorced in 2002.

Devine's father James passed away in 2003. He was 84.

Devine became a grandmother in 2006 to her grandson James O'Neil Green. He was named after Devine's late father and her mother's maiden name.

Devine lives in Los Angeles and is very close to her son, daughter-in-law, and her mother.

Stage appearances

  • Minister, Godsong, La Mama Etc., New York City, 1977
  • (Broadway debut) Dionne, Hair—Revival, Biltmore Theatre, 1977
  • Soloist, Langston Hughes, AMAS Repertory Theatre, 1977
  • Title role, Karma, Richard Allen Center, New York City, 1977
  • Gloria, Verandah, New Dramatists, 1977
  • Soloists, Seasons Reasons, Henry Street Settlement Playhouse, NewYork City, 1977
  • Yenta lady, A Broadway Musical, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York City, 1978
  • Loretta, Miss Truth, Apollo Theatre, New York City, 1978
  • Bones, Circle in the Square, New York City, 1978
  • Ms. Dabney, Mahalia, Henry Street Settlement Playhouse, 1978
  • Virtue, The Blacks, Richard Allen Center, New York City, 1978
  • Young Mary, Comin' Uptown, Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1979
  • Jewel, Lion and the Jewel, Lincoln Center, New York City, 1980
  • Precious, Dementos, City Center, New York City, 1980
  • Lorell Robinson, Dreamgirls, Imperial Theatre, New York City, 1981
  • The Casting of Kevin Christian, Shepherd Street Art Gallery, 1983
  • Mermaid, Gotta Getaway!, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1984
  • Janeen Earl-Taylor, Long Time Since Yesterday, Henry Street Settlement Playhouse, New York City, 1985
  • Lilly, Big Deal, Broadway Theater, New York City, 1986
  • Lala, Wigs, and model, The Colored Museum, Public Theaters/Susan Stein Shiva Theater, New York City, 1986
  • Delia, Spunk, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1990
  • Billy Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Old GlobeTheatre, San Diego, CA, then Little Theatre, Phoenix, AZ, 1991
  • Holly Day, Rabbit Foot, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, 1991
  • Charlesetta, East Texas Hot Links, The Met, Los Angeles, 1991
  • Soloist, Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein Tribute, Embassy Theatre, 1991
  • Soloist, Big Moments on Broadway, Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, DC, 1991
  • Also appeared as Cissy, Woman from the Town, and in Midsummer Night's Dream and The Hot Mikado,1990.



External links



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