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17 Apr 2010

Impacters of Today

Impacters, Today No Comments

Phylicia Rashad

Actress. Born Phylicia Ayers-Allen on June 19, 1948 in Houston, Texas. The daughter of a dentist and graduate of Howard University, Rashad made her television debut in 1978’s The Wiz. She is best known to American audiences for her portrayal of mother and attorney Clair Huxtable on the seminal ‘80s hit The Cosby Show. She stayed with the sitcom for its eight-year run from 1984 to 1992.

Rashad continued to appear on television throughout the 1990s, often in made-for-TV movies that ranged from ill-conceived thrillers like The Babysitter’s Seduction to more dramatic fare that ran close to Rashad’s heart, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored.

Rashad has performed in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway shows throughout her career, including Jelly’s Last Jam and Dreamgirls. In 2003, she won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, becoming the first black woman to win the coveted honor for a dramatic lead role.

Rashad’s sister is choreographer and actress Debbie Allen. She was married to Village People member Victor Willis in 1975 and to Minnesota Viking and sports announcer Ahmad Rashad from 1985 to 2001.

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