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Phylicia Rashad Biography

Birth Name:
Phylicia Ayers-Allen
Birth Place:
Houston, Texas, United States
Actor, singer

Fast Facts

  • 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)


  • 2020Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: nominated
  • 2019Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: winner
  • 2008Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: nominated
  • 2008Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: nominated
  • 2001American Film Institute-Best Female Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series: nominated
  • 1989People's Choice Awards-Favorite Female TV Performer: winner
  • 1986Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1985Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1985People's Choice Awards-Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program: winner