Leslie Uggams - Rotten Tomatoes

Leslie Uggams



A musical career came virtually by inheritance to African-American entertainer Leslie Uggams. Her father sang with the Hall Johnson Choir, and her mother was a chorus dancer. At age 6, Leslie was appearing with Ethel Waters in the TV sitcom The Beulah Show; at eight, she was featured on Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club; and from eight to twelve, she sang on tour in big-city theatres and showed up in guests spots on shows starring the likes of Arthur Godfrey, Milton Berle and Garry Moore. A graduate of the Professional Children's School of New York, Uggams "retired" from show business at age 12--only to reemerge as a contestant (and singer) on the TV game show Name That Tune. Later on in 1960, Uggams was showcased to perfection as the offscreen singer of "Old Time Religion" in the opening scenes of the movie Inherit the Wind. While a student at Julliard in 1961, Ms. Uggams was hired to be regular female vocalist on Sing Along With Mitch, an otherwise all-male (and all-white) songfest hosted by Mitch Miller. A major star by 1969, Uggams became the first black female performer to host her own TV series since Hazel Scott in the '50s; alas, The Leslie Uggams Show became the latest in a long list of casualties to its powerhouse competition Bonanza. The next two decades were a kaleidescope of lofty heights and dismal depths for Uggams. But when she triumphed, it was big-time: She was brilliant as Kizzy in the groundbreaking 1977 TV saga Roots, and no less superb in a key role on a 1979 mini-series, Backstairs at the White House. Leslie Uggams' last regular television stint was as cohost of a nighttime audience participation series, Fantasy, in 1983. The series didn't last, but Uggams managed to grab an Emmy award for her efforts.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
84% Deadpool
  • Blind Al
2016
No Score Yet Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love
  • Actor
2013
58% Toe to Toe
  • Grandma
2010
No Score Yet Tom Jones - This is Tom Jones
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet John Wayne's Tribute To America
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Black Vengeance
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Bowl
  • Actor
1994
20% Sugar Hill
  • Doris
1994
No Score Yet Sizzle
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Backstairs at the White House
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Heartbreak Motel
  • Liz
1978
No Score Yet Poor Pretty Eddie
  • Liz
1975
No Score Yet Redneck County
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet Black Girl
  • Netta
1972
No Score Yet Skyjacked
  • Lovejoy Wells
1972
No Score Yet Harold Arlen: An All-Star Tribute
  • Actor
1965
No Score Yet Holiday Sing Along with Mitch
  • Actor
1963
100% Two Weeks in Another Town
  • Chanteuse
1962

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet All My Children
1970-2013
  • Rose Keefer
84% Nurse Jackie
2009-2015
  • Actor
86% Empire
2015
  • Leah Walker
97% The Good Wife
2009-2016
  • Suzanne Packer
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest

Quotes from Leslie Uggams' Characters