Some know Sheryl Lee Ralph as the iconic Deena Jones from the Broadway production of Dreamgirls. Others remember her as Moesha's no-nonsense stepmom, Dee Mitchell, on the '90s sitcom Moesha. But now, the 66-year-old actress is making waves as veteran teacher Barbara Howard on ABC's hit show, Abbott Elementary—a role that earned her a well-deserved Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
With the critically-acclaimed series in its second season, Barbara is getting even more screen time and scene-stealing lines. And if you're wondering how she manages to bring such a powerful character to life, it's all thanks to the educators in her family.
“My father was a lifelong learner," she told PureWow. "He started out as a teacher and ended his career as a college professor, and he loved his journey as an educator to this day. I still hear from so many of his students who want me to know the impact that he made on their lives.”