Loretta Devine is an American actress best known for her starring role as teacher Marla Hendricks on the television drama series Boston Public, from 2000-2004.
She is also known for her recurring role as Adele Webber on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy, for her starring roles in the drama series Eli Stone and The Client List.
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 Theatre.
Devine is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was initiated through the Epsilon Lambda Chapter located at the University of Houston.
Devine first captured attention in Dreamgirls, a Broadway musical loosely based on the history of the Supremes. 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 and 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 Peaches 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 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.