Jenifer Jeanette Lewis (born January 25, 1979) is an American actress, singer and activist. She portrays Ruby Johnson on Black-ish.


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Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood's most familiar faces with more than 300 appearances in film and television. Dubbed a "national treasure" by, Lewis currently stars on ABC's Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated comedy series Black-ish, where her hilarious portrayal of Ruby Johnson earned her a nomination for the 2016 Critics Choice Award.

Lewis' most recent movies include The Wedding Ringer, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too and Baggage Claim. She delivered legendary performances as Tina Turner's mother in What's Love Got to Do With It and in The Preacher's Wife as Whitney Houston's mother. Lewis starred opposite Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, and for director Tyler Perry, she created unforgettable characters in Madea's Family Reunion and Meet the Browns. In the movie Castaway, Lewis portrayed Tom Hanks' boss.

In animated films, her uniquely recognizable voice is adored by Disney fans worldwide in roles such as Flo in Cars, Cars 2 and Cars 3, and as Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog. In her latest Disney role, Lewis is the voice of Professor Granville in the Big Hero 6 television series.

Lewis' TV roles have ranged from regular appearances as Aunt Helen on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to guest star roles on Friends, Boston Legal and Girlfriends. For six seasons, she portrayed Lana Hawkins on Lifetime's hit series Strong Medicine.

Although best known for her Hollywood success, Lewis has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career in music and theater. She has performed in four Broadway shows, including Hairspray, in the role of Motormouth Mable. In 2014, she received an electrifying standing ovation at Carnegie Hall when she sang with the New York Pops orchestra. All told, Lewis has presented more than 200 concerts, performing in 49 states and on four continents.

Lewis' accomplishments as an entertainer and community activist have been recognized with an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Webster University, in St. Louis, and by the American Black Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award. Fans can follow Lewis on Instagram (@jeniferlewisforreal), Twitter (@JeniferLewis) and Facebook (@JeniferLewisForReal).

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