Sharon Leal is an American actress and singer best known for her television roles as Dahlia Crede in Guiding Light (1996-1999), as Marilyn Sudor in Boston Public (2000-2004) and as Vanessa Lodge in Hellcats, from 2010-2011.
Named one of 2007's Breakout Stars by Entertainment Weekly, also starred in Tyler Perry's feature film Why Did I Get Married Too?, reprising the role of Diane, which she originated in the highly successful Why Did I Get Married?.
Prior to that, she starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac in the comedy, Soul Men, as well as This Christmas, opposite Regina King and Mekhi Phifer. Her performance in the latter project won her the 2008 Asian Excellence Award for outstanding Film Actress.
Leal received international attention in the Golden Globe Award-winning blockbuster film, Dreamgirls, starring opposite Beyoncé Knowles and Jamie Foxx. She portrayed Michelle Morris, the singer who replaced Effie White (played by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson) in the female trio, The Dreams. In Dreamgirls, she showcased her remarkable vocal skills and was heard on the popular movie soundtrack.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, and raised in Fresno, California, Leal began singing at an early age and eventually discovered her passion for acting while attending performing arts high school.
Her professional career began on stage in regional productions of Ain't Misbehavin', Into the Woods and Little Shop of Horrors. Soon thereafter, she moved to New York and landed major roles on Broadway in Miss Saigon and Rent.
She starred in the original musical, Bright Lights, Big City at the New York Theater Workshop, and was also featured on the production's soundtrack.
While in New York, she staged cabarets and continued to hone her skills when she workshopped an original production at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Stormy Weather, in which she starred as the legendary Lena Horne.
From the New York stage, Sharon easily made the transition into television and film. Her TV work includes four seasons as a series regular on David E. Kelley's hit series, Boston Public. Guest starring roles include episodes of Las Vegas, LAX, CSI: Miami and Private Practice.
Film roles include the independent features, Face the Music, Motives 2, Linewatch, and the short film, What Are the Odds, for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the New York Independent Film Festival.
Sharon resides in Los Angeles with her son, Kai (born 2001).