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Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirlby Sheryl Lee Ralph
Synopses & Reviews
Secrets about love, life, and Hollywood from the Tony Award-winning actress from the Broadway production of Dreamgirls —in the role recently made famous by Beyonce—timed to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the original Broadway show.
Sheryl Lee Ralph was the original Deena Jones in Broadways production of Dreamgirls and the show was a Broadway sensation from its inception. Now, the star of film, television, and Broadway, known for her talent and fearlessness, shows readers how to find—and own—their inner divas.
Sheryl rose to international fame after her performance in Dreamgirls, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress and going on to star in movies with Denzel Washington and Robert DeNiro and capture Americas heart as televisions favorite mom Die in the #1-rated series Moesha . But it wasnt an easy task. From her legendary catfight with Diana Ross to her controversial exit from Moesha, Sheryl Lee Ralph is a woman who does not fade in the background—and she reveals how and why she has remained in the spotlight for decades.
Sheryl is a hip, modern Miss Manners who inspires women with her wit, strength, and call-it-like-it-is courage. Using her own experiences as a guide—and dishing the truth behind all the rumors—Sheryl reveals her rules for living. This is Divahood A-Z—from the practical to the spiritual, featuring advice on everything from relationships to fashion to success in the business world. So, the next time someone calls you a diva, youll just smile and say “Thank you!”
"Actress Ralph, self-described diva, offers advice to future divas, stressing the word 'Diva' as a positive role model: 'My kind of Diva is woman enough to love herself to the core of her being.' In Hollywood, Ralph was directed by Sidney Poitier, filmed with Bill Cosby, and won parts on Good Times and The Jeffersons, but rejected roles that might 'disgrace her race.' Eventually, she landed the role of Deena in the Broadway show of Dreamgirls. In Ralph's sharp account of the stage performance, she reveals intimate views of Nell Carter, Quincy Jones, Jennifer Holliday, and especially Michael Bennett, the show's director and choreographer. Bennett's vision is theater history, but his methods drove Ralph to misery, illness, and inner turmoil. She offers stories about Diana Ross, adding new drama to the Dreamgirls saga. Ralph's involvement in children's charities, politics, and her own Diva Foundation, which promotes AIDS awareness, portrays a deeply compassionate woman. Readers will welcome her honesty. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
You may think that Sheryl Lee Ralph earned a legion of devoted fans and the title of Ultimate Diva by being a star of Broadway, film, and television, but Sheryl Lee believes a Diva is something far more special.
• A Diva loves the woman she sees in the mirror.
• A Diva owns her talent and her strength.
• A Diva knows the first step on the road to fame is respecting herself.
SHERYL LEE RALPHS superstar performance as the original Deena in Broadways groundbreaking musical Dreamgirls didnt happen overnight. First came a grueling Hollywood apprenticeship, where roles for young black women at the time were often offensive and demeaning. Sheryl Lee, however, held stubbornly to the values of her mother and grandmother: she wouldnt take any part she couldnt be proud of. Even after joining Dreamgirls—where she helped create a role that grew from her own life story—she would invest years of sweat and tears before the play finally opened to instant acclaim.
In these highly personal reflections, Sheryl Lee Ralph reveals her take on her supposed feuds with Diana Ross and Jennifer Holliday, on auditioning for Sidney Poitier, on why she exited so controversially from the TV series Moesha, and how she signed away her rights to Dreamgirls for a dollar. She uses her life story to illustrate her vision: black, white, or any other color of the rainbow, a true Diva is a person of strength, character, and a beauty that radiates from within. Not just a memoir, Redefining Diva will inspire every woman (and man) who reads it to examine the potential in their own life.
About the Author
Original DREAMGIRL, Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage.
Her award winning body of work includes creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress.
On television, Sheryl Lee has starred in It's a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was also voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of step mom Dee on the number-one rated television series Moesha.
Her extensive film credits include Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg, The Flintstones with Rosie O'Donell, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Mistress with Robert De Niro, and Eddie Murphy's Distinguished Gentleman. Sheryl Lee's performance with Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Mother of two, Sheryl Lee Ralph loves every moment of raising her children. Recently married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania in what Entertainment Tonight called, "The most elegant and romantic wedding of the summer!" she acknowledges that love is the greatest gift to be given and shared.
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