Jenifer Lewis bio: age, net worth, husband, daughter, Black-ish

Jenifer Lewis bio: age, net worth, husband, daughter, Black-ish

Jenifer Lewis is a professional American actress known for various notable movie and TV roles. She is also a singer, comedian, and activist. Jenifer has been in the entertainment industry for more than three decades. She is currently starring as Ruby Johnson in Black-ish, which is an Emmy-winning hit TV show.

Jenifer Lewis
Actor Jenifer Lewis at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2018. Photo: Jon Kopaloff
Source: Getty Images

Often, Jenifer Lewis features as a mother in many movies and TV shows. For this reason, she is popularly known as The Mother of Black Hollywood, which is also a title for her memoir. Her journey to stardom, however, has been filled with numerous challenges, including mental illness.

The actress is, undoubtedly, a successful and familiar face in Hollywood. However, how much can you tell about her? Jenifer Lewis biography has it all.

Jenifer Lewis profile summary

  • Birth name: Jenifer Jeanette Lewis
  • Nickname: The Mother of Black Hollywood
  • Date of birth: 25th January 1957
  • Place of birth: Kinloch, Missouri, USA
  • Age: 63 years old (as of 2020)
  • Zodiac sign: Aquarius
  • Parents: Edward James and Dorothy Lewis
  • Height: 5' 5½" (1.66 m)
  • Occupation: Actress, singer, comedian, activist
  • Nationality: American

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Jenifer Lewis bio

Jenifer Jeanette Lewis was born on 25th January 1957 in Kinloch, Missouri, in the USA. She was born into the family of Edward James and Dorothy Lewis. Young Jenifer Lewis was brought up by her mother alongside her seven siblings.

She was the last born in the family, and her mother worked tirelessly to raise them. In an interview with Sanders, the legendary actress described her mother as a great woman. She worked two to three jobs to have food on the table.

Her passion for entrainment started at a tender age. Interestingly, she began to sing in church at the age of 5. Her first performance, precisely, made her realize the path she wanted to take in life.

Education background

First, she attended Kinloch High School. Later, she proceeded to Webster University, which is based in Webster Groves. In 2015, she received her honorary degree from the university.

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How old is Jenifer Lewis?

Jenifer Lewis young
Jennifer Lewis at the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater in September 2018. Photo: Steve Granitz
Source: Getty Images

As of 2020, Jenifer Lewis age is 63. She celebrates her birthdays on 25th January.


The Black-ish actress boasts of a successful career that stretches back to 1988. Like most legendary entertainers, she started her career at Broadway.

At first, she was more into music than acting. She started taking minor roles in musical shows such as Dreamgirls and Eubie. Later, she landed her first onscreen role on Beaches in 1988, which is a comedy-drama film.

The actress has since appeared in numerous television shows and movies. In most instances, she stars as a mother. The role has earned her The Mother of Black Hollywood title.

TV shows

Jenifer Lewis movies and TV shows are, undeniably, loved by many people. She is a hilarious actress hence exciting to watch. Some of her popular TV shows include:

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  • Stat (1991) - Felicia Brown
  • Sunday in Paris (1991) - Taylor Chase
  • Murphy Brown (1990 - 1990) - Sales Person
  • Dream On (1992) - Carolyn
  • In Living Color (1993) - Snookie
  • A Different World (1990 - 1993) - Dean Dorothy Dandridge Davenport / Susan Clayton
  • Roc (1993) - Charlaine
  • Moon Over Miami (1993) - Aurora Tyler
  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1994) - Mystique
  • Deconstructing Sarah (1994) - Betty
  • Rebel Highway (1944) - Amanda Baldwin Cooper
  • Friends (1994) - Paula
  • New York Undercover (1995) – Medina
  • Hangin' with Mr Cooper (1993 – 1995) - Georgia Rodman
  • Living Single (1995) - Delia Deveaux
  • Courthouse (1995) - Judge Rosetta Reide
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1991 – 1996) - Aunt Helen
  • Cosby (1996) - Bernice
  • Promised Land (1997) - Queenie
  • Touched by an Angel (1997) - Queenie
  • Moesha (1999) - Mrs Biggs
  • Grown Ups (1999) - Melissa's Mother
  • For Your Love (1998 – 2000) - Mel and Reggie's Mother / Sylvia Ellis
  • Bette (2000) - Inez

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Jenifer Lewis Blackish
Jenifer Lewis, Anthony Anderson, and Loretta Devine in a scene of season six of Black-ish. Photo: Raymond Liu
Source: Getty Images
  • Family Affair (2002) - Mrs Summers
  • The Proud Family (2003) - Aunt Spice
  • That's So Raven (2004) - Vivian Baxter
  • Strong Medicine (2002 – 2006) - Lana Hawkins
  • Girlfriends (2002 – 2006) - Veretta Childs
  • Day Break (2007) - Elizabeth Hopper
  • Shark (2007) - Ellie Broussard
  • Meet the Browns (2009 – 2010) - Vera Brown
  • American Dad! (2011) - Lessie
  • State of Georgia (2011) - Patrice
  • The Boondocks (2014) - Boss Willona
  • Tales from Radiator Springs (2013 – 2014) - Flo
  • The Exes (2015) - Caren Dupree
  • Instant Mom (2015) - Delois
  • Twenties (2020) - Jenifer Lewis
  • Black-ish (2014-2020) - Ruby / Ruby Johnson / Rosy

Jenifer Lewis movies

They include:

  • Beaches (1998) - Diva
  • Sister Act (1992) - Michelle
  • Frozen Assets (1992) - Jomisha
  • What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) - Zelma Bullock
  • Poetic Justice (1993) - Annie
  • Undercover Blues (199) - Cab Driver
  • Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994) - Amanda
  • Last Days of Russell (1994) - Aunt Yvette
  • Renaissance Man (1944) - Mrs. Coleman
  • Corrina, Corrina (1944) - Jevina
  • Panther (1995) - Rita
  • Dead Presidents (1995) - Mrs. Curtis
  • The Preacher's Wife (1996) - Margueritte Coleman
  • The Mighty (1998) - Mrs. Addison
  • Mystery Men (1999) - Lucille
  • Cast Away (2000) - Becca Twig
  • Dancing in September (2000) - Judge Warner
  • Juwanna Mann (2002) - Aunt Ruby
  • Nora's Hair Salon (2004) - Nora Harper
  • Who's Your Caddy? (2007) - C-Note's Mom
  • Meet the Browns (2008) - Vera
  • Hereafter (2010) - Candace
  • Baggage Claim (2013) - Catherine
  • The Wedding Ringer (2015) - Doris Jenkins

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Jenifer Lewis net worth
Honoree Jenifer Lewis speaking onstage during the 2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. Photo: Randy Shropshire
Source: Getty Images

Lewis has been nominated sixteen times since she started acting. Some of the nominations include:

  • 1995: Image Awards (NAACP) - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (What's Love Got to Do with It).
  • 1997: Image Awards (NAACP) - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (The Preacher's Wife).
  • 2000: Black Reel Awards - Network/Cable - Best Actress (Jackie's Back!)
  • 2010: Annie Awards - Voice Acting in a Feature Production (The Princess and the Frog).
  • 2012: Acapulco Black Film Festival - Outstanding Television or Mini-Series Performance, Female (Five).
  • 2014: Acapulco Black Film Festival - Best Ensemble Cast (Baggage Claim).
  • 2018: Black Reel Awards - Outstanding Voice Performance (Cars 3).
  • 2017 and 2018: Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (Black-ish).


Jenifer Lewis Blackish role has earned her three awards, which are:

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  • 2017, 2018, and 2019: Black Reel Awards for Television - Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy Series.
  • In 2019, she was also among the women honoured with an Essence Black Women in Hollywood award.

Jenifer Lewis net worth

The Black-ish actress has an estimated net worth of $2 million. Her primary source of income is acting.

Who is Jennifer Lewis husband?

According to IMDb, Jenifer Lewis husband is Arnold Byrd. She has been married to him from 2012.

Is Jenifer Lewis still married? Currently, the actress is single. In a Breakfast Club Power interview, in 2018, she revealed that she has never been married. However, she admitted that she had been engaged four times.

Jenifer is a proud mother of one – a daughter. The name of Jenifer Lewis daughter is Charmaine Lewis. She met Charmaine in the Big Sister, Big Brother program. She adopted her at the age of 12, and she is 32 years old as of 2020.

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Jenifer Lewis is a successful actress with an outstanding record. She has appeared in more than 100 movies and TV shows, making her a sweetheart for many people. Apart from being “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” Jenifer is also a parent to a gorgeous daughter.

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