Lonette McKee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Lonette McKee
Born(1954-07-22) July 22, 1954 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Alma materThe New School
OccupationActress, Singer, Songwriter, Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Years active1971–present
Spouse(s)Leo Compton (m. February 1, 1983–1990)[1]
Website
Official website
Lonette McKee Twitter
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Lonette McKee
Born(1954-07-22) July 22, 1954 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Alma materThe New School
OccupationActress, Singer, Songwriter, Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Years active1971–present
Spouse(s)Leo Compton (m. February 1, 1983–1990)[1]
Website
Official website
Lonette McKee Twitter

Lonette McKee (born July 22, 1954 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American film, television and theater actress, music composer/producer/songwriter, screenwriter and director. She is most known for her role as Sister Williams in the original 1976 film Sparkle. She is also known for roles in such movies as The Cotton Club, ATL and Honey. She also appeared on the CW sitcom The Game as Mrs. Pitts, the mother of Jason (played by Coby Bell).

Early life and career[edit]

McKee was born in Detroit, Michigan, the second of three daughters[2] of Dorothy, a Scandinavian,[citation needed] and Lonnie McKee, an African American bricklayer and auto manufacturer employee.[3] McKee's career began in the music business in Detroit as a child prodigy, where she started writing music/lyrics, singing, playing keyboards and performing at the age of seven. At fourteen, she recorded her first record, which became an instant regional pop/R&B hit. McKee wrote the title song for the film Quadroon when she was fifteen. Several years later, McKee was launched to stardom with her critically acclaimed performance in the hit 1976 musical drama Sparkle.

She has written and produced three solo LPs, the most recent, Natural Love, for Spike Lee's Columbia 40 Acres and A Mule label. McKee scored the music for the well-received cable documentary on the Lower Manhattan African Burial Ground, as well as numerous infomercials. McKee has toured extensively throughout the world singing concert performances, including the JVC Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall. McKee studied film directing at The New School in New York and apprenticed directing with filmmaker Spike Lee. She also studied singing with Dini Clark and ballet with Sarah Tayir, both in Los Angeles.

McKee won critical acclaim for her Broadway debut performance in the musical The First in the early 1980s, co-starring in the role of Jackie Robinson's wife Rachel. She became the first African American to play the coveted role of Julie in the Houston Grand Opera's production of Show Boat on Broadway, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Her tragic portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in the one-woman drama with music, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill won critical acclaim, standing ovations and a Drama Desk Award nomination. She reprised the role of 'Julie' on Broadway in the most recent revival of the musical Show Boat directed by Hal Prince. McKee is currently developing plans to establish a performance arts center in the New York tri-state area. McKee performs her one-woman memoir with music on stages throughout the country. She is producing her first feature film Dream Street, which she wrote and will direct.

Filmography[edit]

Film
YearTitleRoleOther notes
2012LUVGrandma
2011Honey 2Connie
This Narrow PlaceMrs. Shaw
2010Dream Streetas Herself
2006ATLPriscilla Garnett
2004She Hate MeLottie Armstrong
2003HoneyMrs. Daniels
The Paper Mache ChaseLisashort film
2001A Day in Black and Whiteas Herself
LiftElanie
2000Men of HonorElla Brashear
Fast Food Fast WomenSherry-Lynn
1999Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 YearsMama DelanyTv movie
1998He Got GameMartha Shuttlesworth
Blind FaithCarol Williams
1997To Dance with OliviaOlivia 'Libby' StewartTV movie
1993QueenAliceTV mini-series
1992Malcolm XLouise Little
1991Jungle FeverDrew
1990Dangerous PassionMegTV movie
1989The Women of Brewster PlaceLorraineTV mini-series
1987Gardens of StoneBetty Rae
1986'Round MidnightDarcey Leigh
1985Brewster's MillionsAngela Drake
1984The Cotton ClubLila Rose Oliver
1982IllusionsMignon DupreeShort film
1979CubaTherese Mederos
1977Which Way Is Up?Vanetta
1976SparkleSister
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
2007The GameMaria PittsEpisode: It's Hard Being Kelly Pitts
20061-800-MissingMiss ChambersEpisode: Exposure
2006Half & HalfTanyaEpisode: The Big Thanks for Nothing Episode
1999-2003Third WatchMaggie Davis
2002Law & Order: Special Victims UnitMaggie's AttorneyEpisode: Chameleon
1993Tribecaas HerselfEpisode: The Loft
1991L.A. LawEpisode: There Goes the Judge
1989AmenTanya DuBoisEpisode: The Psychic (Part 1)
The Psychic (Part 2)
1986Miami ViceAlicia MenaEpisode: Stone's War
1985The EqualizerDr. Elly WaltonEpisode: Reign of Terror
Spenser: For HireHillaryEpisode: Blood Money

Personal life[edit]

McKee was married to youth counselor Leo Compton from 1983 to 1990. In the mid-'90s, she was living in an Upper East Side brownstone with her companion, musician Bryant McNeil. The two had met while they were working together on McKee's Natural Love album.[2] McKee teaches a master acting workshop at Centenary College of New Jersey, where she serves as an adjunct professor in the Theater Arts department.

References[edit]

External links[edit]