Jenifer Lewis is an American actress best known for her role as Michelle in the 1992 movie Sister Act and as Lana Hawkins on the television drama Strong Medicine.
In the Tina Turner biopic, What's Love Got to Do With It, Lewis' critically acclaimed performance as Turner's mother, Zelma Bullock, garnered her an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
She also starred in Penny Marshall's romantic comedy The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, which also garnered her an Image Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
She also starred in the feature film The Brothers. Critics praised her for her role as the controversial lesbian Judge Rosetta Reide in the television series Courthouse.
In the theatre, her one-woman show, The Diva is Dismissed, which she also co-wrote, had a three-year run in Los Angeles and premiered at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre as part of the prestigious New York Shakespeare Festival.
Her performance earned her two NAACP Theatre Awards in the categories of Best Actress and Best Playwright. Immediately after one performance, In Living Color producers approached Lewis to recreate two of her childhood characters for the comedy series.
On Broadway, her credits include Eubie, Comin' Uptown, Dreamgirls and Neil Simon's musical Promises, Promises with Martin Short and Christine Baranski. She also starred in The Old Settler at the Pasadena Playhouse.
She starred in LIFETIME Television's Jackie's Back and was heard as the voice of Bebe in the Eddie Murphy produced animation The PJs.
Additional television credits include starring roles in the cable series Linc's, the movies-for-television Rituals and An Unexpected Life, as well as the miniseries The Temptations.
She has guest starred in the series For Your Love, Touched by an Angel, The Cosby Show, Parenthood, Friends, Living Single, Dream On, New York Undercover, Murphy Brown, Lois & Clark, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Girlfriends and Family Affair, starring Tim Curry.
She has had the added distinction of being Johnny Carson's final guest with her friend Bette Midler on the last taping of The Tonight Show.
On the motion picture side, Lewis was in Mystery Men, opposite Ben Stiller and William H. Macy.
Her other feature film credits include Castaway, The Brothers, Partners, Girl 6, Dead Presidents, The Mighty, Blast From the Past, Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Panther, Corrina, Corrina, Renaissance Man, Poetic Justice, Juwanna Mann and The Antwone Fisher Story, directed by Denzel Washington.