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Wed, 05.06.1953

Lynn Whitfield, Actress born

Lyn Winfield

*Lynn Whitfield was born on this date in 1953. She is a Black actress.

From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Whitfield made her film debut in Dr. Detroit in 1983. Three years later, she played the title character in the fact-based TV movie Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBI, the story of the first Black female FBI agent. After gaining recognition for her work in several TV dramas, including The Women of Brewster Place (1990), Whitfield won an Emmy award and international acclaim for her starring performance in the HBO biopic The Josephine Baker Story 1991.

Whitfield subsequently split her efforts between TV and film, working in Eve's Bayou (1997) as a family matriarch struggling with her husband's infidelity. In 1999, she earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for her work in Oprah Winfrey Presents The Wedding. All Movie Guide Lynn Whitfield gained recognition in the landmark television production of Ntozake Shange's poetic panorama of the African American female experience "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf."

Supporting roles followed in "Doctor Detroit" (1982) and "Silverado" (1985). Real success came on television in "The George McKenna Story" (1986) and "The Women of Brewster Place" (1989) with Oprah Winfrey. With a talent for accents and dialect, Lynn epitomized the solid portrayal of Josephine Baker in the acclaimed HBO biography, "The Josephine Baker Story" (1991). Continuing with her strong performance in "Eve's Bayou" (1997). 

Whitfield also starred in several movies in the 2000s and 2010s. From 2016 to 2020, she starred as Lady Mae Greenleaf in the Oprah Winfrey Network dramatic series Greenleaf, for which she won critical acclaim and garnered two NAACP Image Awards and a Gracie Award. Whitfield has won a total of seven NAACP Image Awards. 

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