Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph


Emmy award-winning actress, producer, and advocate


Sheryl Lee Ralph is an Emmy Award-winning actress known for her infectious positivity and a career that’s spanned nearly four decades, taking her from Hollywood to Broadway and back again. She stars as "Barbara" on ABC's smash hit comedy series Abbott Elementary and earned her first Emmy award for that role at the age of 65. Her passion for education ultimately led her to take on her Abbott Elementary role.

Her long list of credits includes the multi-Tony Award-winning Broadway play Dreamgirls, film credits such as Sister Act 2 and The Distinguished Gentleman, and television credits including Instant Mom, Wonder Woman, The Jeffersons, and Good Times.

She is a passionate health advocate and honored AIDS activist as the founding director of the DIVA (Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed) Foundation 501(C)3, which she established in memory of the many friends lost to HIV/AIDS. She also created the critically acclaimed “Divas Simply Singing!”—an evening of song and entertainment that is the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the country. Sheryl was awarded the first Red Ribbon Award at the UN for her unique use of the arts in HIV/AIDS activism and was recently appointed as an AIDS Ambassador for Jamaica’s Ministry of Health.