- Mother Vivian Ayers is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet.
- Debuted on Broadway as a Munchkin in the original 1975 production of The Wiz; remained a cast member for three years.
- Released the album Josephine Superstar in 1978, a disco-themed telling of the life of black actress and performer Josephine Baker.
- First TV role came in 1983 when she joined the cast of the ABC soap One Life to Live.
- Married her third husband, sports commentator Ahmad Rashad, in 1985, after he memorably proposed to her on national TV during coverage of a Thanksgiving Day football game. O.J. Simpson served as best man.
- Was the first black woman to win a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun).
- 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
- 1986, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 1985, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 2004, Tony — Actress (Play): Winner
- 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 2005, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
- 1985, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program: Winner
- 1989, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female TV Performer: Winner
- William Lancelot Bowles III — Son
- William Lancelot Bowles Jr. — Ex-husband
- Ahmad Rashad — Ex-husband
- Victor Willis — Ex-husband
- Andrew Arthur Allen — Father
- Condola Phylea Rashad — Daughter
- Vivian Ayers — Mother
- Andrew Arthur Allen Jr. — Brother
- Vivian Nixon — Niece
- Debbie Allen — Sister
- Howard University, Washington, DC (BFA in Theater, 1970)
- Birth Name: Phylicia Ayers-Allen
- Birth Place: Houston, TX
- Profession: Actor, Singer
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