Lynn Whitfield is a popular black American actress and producer whose career took off after she won the Primetime Emmy Award in the category of outstanding leading lady for her portrayal of Josephine Baker in the 1991 biography entitled The Josephine Baker Story. She later starred in other equally successful projects including A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Head of State, Eve’s Bayou, Madea’s Family Reunion, and others. In the latter part of her career, she was given a recurring role in the drama series “Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)” entitled “Greenleaf”, in which she plays the cruel lady Mae. Read on for more interesting facts.
Lynn Whitfield- Bio, Age
Lynn Whitfield was born on May 6, 1953, in Baton Rouge. After earning a third-generation BFA degree from Howard University, she studied and performed with the Black Repertory Company in Washington, D.C. In 1981 Lynn Whitfield made her professional debut as an actress in the NBC-produced serial drama Hill Street Blues, where she was cast as Jill Thomas. Two years later she played the role of Thelma Cleland in the 1983 comedy Doctor Detroit.
Her follow-up projects were The Slugger’s Wife and Jaws: The Revenge and Silverado. After that Lynn got the opportunity to play in a television series – The George McKenna Story – with Jonnie Mae Gibson and Denzel Washington alongside Jonnie Mae Gibson and Denzel Washington. She also starred alongside Cicely Tyson and Oprah Winfrey in the ABC mini-series The Women of Brewster Place. In 1988 she starred in the medical drama series Heart Beat, which focuses on women, alongside top actresses such as Gail Strickland, Laura Johnson, and Kate Mulgrew.
More Movies And Television Roles
She received the greatest recognition for her work in 1991 when she was cast for the title role of “Josephine Baker Story”. She beat over a hundred other talented actors and actresses to get the role in which she was to embody the figure of the American woman who became a civil rights activist, a French resistance fighter in World War II, and a Folies Bergère star. Lynn Whitfield also had a good career in the 2000s and some of her most credible works include Head of State, Madea’s Family Reunion, The Rebound, and others.
She has also accepted roles in a number of low budget films, including films for the Disney Channel, The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2, in which she played the role of Dorothea Garibaldi. In 2015, Lynn Whitfield’s acting skills were put to good use to take on the role of the treacherous Lady Mae Greenleaf in the Oprah Winfrey Network’s television series Greenleaf. The series boasts characters like Merle Dandridge, Kim Hawthorne, Keith David, and the media mogul herself, Oprah Winfrey.
Family – Parents, Siblings
Lynn Whitfield was born the son of a Creole father, Valerian Smith, a dentist, and an African-American mother, Jean Smith (née Butler), who worked as an employee of a finance agency. Lynn Whitfield happens to be the oldest of her parents’ four children. Her father was a prominent figure who supported the establishment of community theaters in Baton Rouge, where she was born. For this reason, Lynn began to take an interest in acting as a profession.
Personal Life – Daughter, Husband
The beautiful Lynn Whitfield had a few romantic relationships in her life, some of which ended in marriage, while most were short-lived. In 1973 she began dating director, actor, and playwright Vantile Whitfield. The following year, 1974, they entered into a marriage. Unfortunately, the couple separated shortly after four years of marriage. Lynn remained single for a long time after their divorce until she met director, Brian Gibson. They later married in 1990, and on August 2, 1991, the couple welcomed a daughter, whom they named Grace Gibson. Like their previous marriage, their relationship with Brian Gibson ended in divorce in 1992.
No doubt, Lynn Whitfield is a veteran who has contributed her own quota to what Hollywood is today. Having worked extensively in both television series and films over the years, she has earned not only fame but also a fortune, increasing her net worth to an impressive $3 million. Although her acting opportunities have diminished greatly due to her age and the influx of new talent into the film industry, she manages to maintain a good financial standing with her investments and some acting jobs she gets from time to time.