This Day in Black History: Aug. 21, 1949

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09:  Actress Loretta Devine attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Joyful Noise" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 9, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

This Day in Black History: Aug. 21, 1949

Loretta Devine, an African-American actress, was born on Aug. 21, 1949, in Houston.

Published August 21, 2014

Loretta Devine, an African-American actress who has played many roles on stage, television and film, was born on Aug. 21, 1949 in Houston. 

The Texas-native found love in performing while in high school and participated in talent shows in high school. She later took up speech and drama as a major at the University of Houston, where she received her bachelor's degree in 1971. In 1976, she received her MFA in theater from Brandeis University.

She became a known face for her portrayal of Lorrell Robinson, a fictional version of the Supremes' member Mary Wilson, in the Broadway play Dreamgirls. The show was a success and won six Tonys.

Devine grew in fame as she starred in a plethora of African-American films over the years including Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher's Wife, This Christmas and For Colored Girls. Devine also played the dormitory director in A Different World and roles on other television shows including Everybody Hates Chris and Grey's Anatomy. 

According to, Devine will be doing voice-overs for The Doc Files, a Disney Junior television mini-series, and as Mama V in the animated film Khumba to be released later in 2013.

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(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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