Lewis, Dawnn was born on August 13, 1961 in Brooklyn.
Lewis, Dawnn was born on August 13, 1961 in Brooklyn.
She graduated from High School of Music and Art (now known as Fiorello H LaGuardia High School) at age 16. After high school, she studied at the University of Miami, graduating cum laude with a major in Musical Theatre and a minor in Journalism in 1982.
She is best known for her roles as Jaleesa Vinson–Taylor on the NBC television sitcom A Different World (1987–92), for which she co–wrote the theme song. As Robin Dumars on the ABC sitcom Hangin' With Mr. Cooper for its first season (1992–93).
And as Cheryl Spade in the 1988 film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Since then, Lewis has appeared in numerous TV series, including other sitcoms, and has also performed on stage and done voice-over work. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Carl and Joyce Lewis, who are of African-American and Guyanese descent, Lewis began singing at the age of 4 and acting at 11.
A Different World She co-wrote the theme song to A Different World, with Bill Cosby and Stu Gardner, and co-performed the song for the first season. In A Different World, Lewis appeared for the first five of the six-season run as Jaleesa Vinson (later Vinson-Taylor) from 1987 to 1992. Although her character was married to another of the main characters on the show, her character disappeared from A Different World without explanation, like Chuck Cunningham of Happy Days.
Lewis appeared in a special week-long segment of A Different World called the Hillman College Reunion airing on Nick At Nite, along with Lisa Bonet, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Darryl M. Bell, Cree Summer, and Sinbad. On her Super Password appearance in 1988, she was paired with Dallas (1978 TV series) star Ken Kercheval, not any of her co-stars. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper In Hangin' with Mr.
Cooper, Lewis appeared in the first of the five seasons as Robin Dumars. She did not appear on the two shows concurrently — she left A Different World to star in Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. She and Holly Robinson Peete, along with R&B quartet En Vogue, performed the theme song for Season 1 of Mr.
Cooper. Stage work Voice work She has voiced Storm of the X-Men in three games, most recently Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. She also voiced Granny Grim on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and voiced the female Shokan (Sheeva) in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Lewis has also done voice work as LaBarbara in Futurama, and voiced a number of characters on The Boondocks.
Other projects She co-starred as Marigold Ballord in the Disney Channel Original Movie The Poof Point and also as Gail DeBarge in the Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine. In 2000, Lewis played Blabberwort the Troll in the miniseries The 10th Kingdom. 2006–current In 2006, Lewis starred as Melba Early in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls.
Lewis released her debut CD, entitled Worth Waiting For, in 2006. She most recently played Addaperle in The Wiz with New York City Center's Encores! In 2009, she played Denise Fields on One Tree Hill. In 2010, Lewis played a minor recurriung role as Lauren's mother in The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
In 2012, she voiced Malora in Strange Frame. She also appeared as Dr. Knapp on Days of Our Lives in 2012–2013. As of 2015, Lewis is playing a recurring role on Major Crimes as Patrice, a love interest for Lt.
Provenza, whom he met during a case. In March 2016, Lewis will join the vocal cast of Disney Junior's hit animated series Doc McStuffins as the voice of Grandma McStuffins. Lewis was married to former NBA player Johnny Newman from 2004 until 2006.
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Actress (films) I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, 1988, SPider-Man: Sins of the Fathers, 1996, Bruno the Kid: The Animated Movie, 1996, Bad Day on the Block, 1997, The Wood, 1999, Nicolas, 2001, Before Now, 2002, Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, 2003, Gladius, 2003, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, 2005, True Crime: New York City, 2005, The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, 2006, I Was a Network Star, 2006, Holly Hobbie and Friends: Christmas Wishes, 2006, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, 2006, Dreamgirls, 2006, The Last Sentinel, 2006, (television films) Stompin' at the Savoy, 1992, Yuletide in the 'hood, 1993, A Cool Like That Christmas, 1994, Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad, 1994, The Cherokee Kid, 1996, The Poof Point, 2001, (television series) A Different World, 1987-1992, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, 1992-1993, C-Bear and Jamal, 1996, Bruno the Kid, 1996, Spider-Man, 1995-1997, The 10th Kingdom, 2000, Any Day Now, 2000-2002, appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, 1997, Sliders, 1997, The Parent 'Hood, 1997, Nash Bridges, 1999, King of the Hill, 1997, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, 2000, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, 2002, Strong Medicine, 2003, Futurama, 1999—2003, Girlfriends, 2003, New York City Police Department Blue, 2004, actress (plays) Money Notes, Shades of Harlem, (national tour plays) Tap Dance Kid, (plays) Sister Act, 2006. Singer: (albums) Worth Waiting For, 2006.
Composer (lyrics): A Different World theme song, 1987.
Spokesperson United Negro College Fund, Office of Substance Abuse, National Association Social Workers.
Married Johnny Newman, December 2004 (separated).