Lynn Whitfield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Lynn Whitfield
BornLynn Butler-Smith
(1953-05-06) May 6, 1953 (age 61)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1981—present
Spouse(s)

Vantile Whitfield (m. 1974; div. 1978)[1]

Brian Gibson (m. 1990; div. 1992)[2]
ChildrenGrace Gibson [3]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Lynn Whitfield
BornLynn Butler-Smith
(1953-05-06) May 6, 1953 (age 61)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1981—present
Spouse(s)

Vantile Whitfield (m. 1974; div. 1978)[1]

Brian Gibson (m. 1990; div. 1992)[2]
ChildrenGrace Gibson [3]

Lynn Whitfield (née Butler-Smith; born May 6, 1953) is an American actress.

Whitfield began her acting career in television and theatre, before progressing to supporting roles in film. She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special and a NAACP Image Award for her performance as Josephine Baker in the HBO movie The Josephine Baker Story (1991). She also won NAACP Image awards for her work in Touched by an Angel (1998), The Planet of Junior Brown (2000) and Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004).

Her film work includes performances in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), Eve's Bayou (1997), The Cheetah Girls (2003), Madea's Family Reunion (2006), and The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006). Kings Faith (2013)

Early life[edit]

Whitfield was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the daughter of Jean (née Butler), an officer of a finance agency, and Valerian Smith, a dentist.[4] Lynn Whitfield is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Career[edit]

Whitfield had a series of television appearances before her film career began, including playing Jill Thomas in the award-winning series Hill Street Blues. After gaining attention on stage in Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Whitfield appeared in supporting roles in such films as Doctor Detroit (1983) and Silverado (1985). She gained wider success by starring in the television films The George McKenna Story, Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBI, (both 1986), and the miniseries The Women of Brewster Place (1989).

Whitfield achieved international recognition in the title role of The Josephine Baker Story (1991), the HBO biopic requiring her to age from 18 to 68. She portrayed the American Folies Bergère star who became a Resistance fighter during WWII and civil rights activist. In a highly publicized casting call, Whitfield was chosen over more than 500 women. She won an Emmy Award for her role and said this gave her, "the greatest sense of accomplishment and realization of my vision. It absolutely called upon everything I thought I could do at that point." Around this time she also married the film's director, Brian Gibson. They had a daughter named Grace Gibson and divorced in 1992.

Whitfield worked as a regular in two ABC series (Heartbreak and Equal Justice) prior to playing Baker. She returned to a TV series opposite Bill Cosby in The Cosby Mysteries (NBC, 1994–95).

A Thin Line Between Love and Hate and Gone Fishin' (both 1996) increased her exposure. Whitfield then appeared in Eve's Bayou (1997), as the head of a prosperous, socially prominent black family in Louisiana. She returned to a similar milieu as snobby Martha's Vineyard matron Corinne Coles in the ABC miniseries The Wedding (1998). In recent years, she starred as Dorthea Garibaldi in both The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2. She also starred in Mama, I Want To Sing! with Ciara, and in 2006's film drama Madea's Family Reunion.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1981Hill Street BluesJill ThomasTelevision program
Episodes: "Chipped Beef"
"Fecund Hand Rose"
"Can World War III Be an Attitude?"
1982For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is EnufWoman in the bathAmerican Playhouse
Anthology series
1983Doctor DetroitThelma Cleland
1983Matt HoustonValTelevision program
Episode: "The Centerfold Murders"
1983–1985This Is the LifeNormaTelevision program
Episodes: "Certain Arrangements"
"How Shall We Then Live?"
1985Cagney & LaceyEleanor TaggartTelevision program
Episodes: "Who Says It's Fair: Part 1"
"Who Says It's Fair: Part 2"
1985Slugger's Wife, TheThe Slugger's WifeTina Alvarado
1985SilveradoRae
1985Miami ViceOdette RibaudTelevision program
Episode: "Bought and Paid For"
1985Fall Guy, TheThe Fall GuyJeanneTelevision program
Episode: "Escape Claus"
1986Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBIJohnnie Mae GibsonTelevision film
1986George McKenna Story, TheThe George McKenna StoryBobbie MaxwellTelevision film
1986New Mike Hammer, TheThe New Mike HammerDella MarvelTelevision program
Episode: "Harlem Nocturne"
1986Tall Tales & LegendsPollie AnnTelevision program
Episode: "John Henry"
1987Dead AimSheila Freeman
1987Jaws: The RevengeLouisa
1988St. ElsewhereAnnie CallanTelevision program
Episode: "Curtains"
1988HeartbeatDr. Cory BanksTelevision program
Episode: "Pilot"
1989Women of Brewster Place, TheThe Women of Brewster PlaceLucielaMiniseries
1990Zora Is My NameAmerican Playhouse
Anthology series
1990MatlockAngela PageTelevision program
Episodes: "The Informer: Part 1"
"The Informer: Part 2"
1991Trials of Rosie O'Neill, TheThe Trials of Rosie O'NeillTelevision program
Episode: "Domestic Silence"
1991Equal JusticeMaggie MayfieldTelevision program
5 episodes
1991Josephine Baker Story, TheThe Josephine Baker StoryJosephine BakerTelevision film
1991Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story, AA Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell StoryNatalaTelevision film
1992Stompin' at the SavoyEstherTelevision film
1993Taking the HeatCarolyn HunterTelevision film
1994In the Army NowSgt. Ladd
1994State of EmergencyDehlia JohnsonTelevision film
1994Thicker Than Blood: The Larry McLinden StoryBobbie MalloryTelevision film
1994–1995Cosby Mysteries, TheThe Cosby MysteriesBarbara LorenzTelevision program
Episodes: "Pilot"
"One Day at a Time"
"Home, Street Home"
"Last Tango"
1996Sophie & the MoonhangerSophieTelevision film
1996Thin Line Between Love and Hate, AA Thin Line Between Love and HateBrandi
1997MartinEllenTelevision program
Episodes: "Goin' Overboard: Part 1"
"Goin' Overboard: Part 2"
1997Touched by an AngelDr. Serena HallTelevision program
Episodes: "Amazing Grace: Part 1"
"Amazing Grace: Part 2"
1997Gone Fishin'Angie
1997Planet of Junior Brown, TheThe Planet of Junior BrownMrs. Brown
1997Eve's BayouRoz Batiste
1998StepmomDr. P. Sweikert
1998Wedding, TheThe WeddingCorinne ColesTelevision film
1999Color of Courage, TheThe Color of CourageMinnie McGheeTelevision film
1999Deep in My HeartCorinne BurrellTelevision film
1999Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson StoryLori JacksonTelevision film
1999Love SongsJean SimpsonTelevision film
2000Time for Dancing, AA Time for DancingLinda Derricks
2001Girl Thing, AA Girl ThingNia MorganTelevision film
2001Boston PublicLouanna HarperTelevision program
3 episodes
2002–2006Without a TracePaula Van DorenTelevision program
Episodes: "Suspect"
"Are You now or Have You Ever Been"
"Fallout: Part 1"
"Fallout: Part 2"
"Lost and Found"
"White Balance"
2003Head of StateDebra Lassiter
2003Cheetah Girls, TheThe Cheetah GirlsDorotheaTelevision film
2004Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams StoryBarbara BecnelTelevision film
2004Strong MedicineDr. MarshallTelevision program
Episode: "Race for a Cure"
2006Madea's Family ReunionVictoria
2006ConfessionsDr. Page
2006Cheetah Girls 2, TheThe Cheetah Girls 2DorotheaTelevision film
2006SharkAnita AstinTelevision program
Episode: "Pilot"
2008Kings of the EveningGracie
2008Women, TheThe WomenGlenda Hill
2011Mama, I Want to Sing!Lillian Winter
2011Rebound, TheThe ReboundLaura
2011FlashForwardAnastasia MarkhamTelevision program
Episode: "White to Play"
2011All Things Fall ApartBee
2012Somebody's ChildConstanceTelevision film
2012Battlefield AmericaMs. Parker
2012Prodigy BullyAngela WashingtonTelevision film
2012Redemption of a DogFrancine

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryTitleResult
1991Emmy Awards"Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special"Josephine Baker Story, TheThe Josephine Baker StoryWon
1992Golden Globe Awards"Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV"Josephine Baker Story, TheThe Josephine Baker StoryNominated
1993NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie"Josephine Baker Story, TheThe Josephine Baker StoryWon
1998NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture"Eve's BayouNominated
1998NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series"Touched by an AngelWon
1999NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series"Wedding, TheThe WeddingNominated
2000NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie/Miniseries/Dramatic Special"Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson StoryNominated
2000NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Performance in a Youth or Children's Series/Special"Planet of Junior Brown, TheThe Planet of Junior BrownWon
2000Black Reel Awards"Network/Cable - Best Actress"Love SongsNominated
2004Black Reel Awards"Television: Best Supporting Actress"Cheetah Girls, TheThe Cheetah GirlsNominated
2004BET Comedy Awards"Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Box Office Movie"Head of StateNominated
2004NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program"Cheetah Girls, TheThe Cheetah GirlsNominated
2004NAMIC Vision Awards"Best Dramatic Performance"Cheetah Girls, TheThe Cheetah GirlsNominated
2005Black Reel Awards"Best Actress, Network/Cable Television"Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams StoryWon
2005NAACP Image Awards"Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special"Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams StoryWon
2006Black Movie Awards"Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role"Madea's Family ReunionNominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shinhoster Lamb, Yvonne (2005-01-23). "Arts Administrator, Playwright Vantile Whitfield Dies". Washington Post (Washington, DC). "His marriages to Barbara Cobb, Barbara Grant Thomas and Lynn Whitfield, the actress and a former student, ended in divorce." 
  2. ^ "Lynn Whitfield Shimmies into the Skin of Sultry Josephine Baker". 
  3. ^ "Lynn Whitfield’s Daughter, Grace Gibson, Covers Adeles’ “Rumor Has It/Set Fire To The Rain”". 
  4. ^ "Lynn Whitfield Biography (1953?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 

External links[edit]