The Career of Sheryl Lee Ralph: From ‘Dreamgirls’ to ‘Abbott Elementary’.

settling her debts. After more than 40 years of working in Hollywood, Sheryl Lee Ralph was overtaken with emotion as she received her first Primetime Emmy Award in September 2022.

The Connecticut native screamed out a few lines of Dianne Reeves’ Endangered Species as she ascended the stage to receive her award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. This earned her a standing ovation before she gave a moving statement.

Ralph addressed the gathering and said, “To everybody who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like.” Striving looks like this, so never, ever give up on yourself.

The Career of Sheryl Lee Ralph: From 'dreamgirls' to 'abbott Elementary'

Because if you have friends like everyone who supported me by voting for me, cheering for me, and loving me, thank you, thank you, Quinta Brunson [showrunner of Abbott Elementary] will be in your corner, along with my husband, Vincent Hughes, and our children.

Prior to winning the Emmy, Ralph’s big break came when Sidney Poitier cast her as a juvenile offender in 1977’s A Piece of the Action. A few years later, Ralph made her Broadway debut, garnering a Tony nomination for her work with the Dreamgirls original cast.

She later rose to fame as a regular in the sitcom Moesha, which ran from 1996 to 2001 for six seasons. However, the Sister Act 2 star’s life was completely transformed when she received an Emmy at age 65.

First of all, the price from yesterday is not the price from today, which makes it so interesting. Aha! Ralph explained to The Hollywood Report in December 2022 that this changes right away.

The Career of Sheryl Lee Ralph: From 'dreamgirls' to 'abbott Elementary'

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There are undoubtedly closed doors that flew open on September 13 [the day following the Emmys], and people want you to know about it. Sayings such as, “This is the best time in your entire career; ask for what you want and don’t be shy about it,” have been made in a very straight and blunt manner.

It’s been absolutely great to hear people tell you things may have been nice for you in the past, but they’re about to get much better.

The Connecticut native made sure to make her acceptance speeches motivational as she continued to collect awards for her mantle. She addressed the audience by urging them to get near the screen and pay attention when she accepted a prize at the Critics’ Choice Awards in January 2023.

The Career of Sheryl Lee Ralph: From 'dreamgirls' to 'abbott Elementary'

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You don’t need people to like you. You don’t need people to love you. They don’t even need to show you respect. But you better like what you see when you look in the mirror. I hope you like what you see! To see photos of Ralph through the years, scroll down: