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Lonette McKee Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jul 22, 1954
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

From stage to screen to recording studios, Lonette McKee has worked as both an actress and vocalist. Although actors who also sing have been a dime a dozen since the earliest days of stage and cinema, McKee's groundbreaking performance as the first African-American actress to portray the character of Julie in a major American production of Show Boat would have earned her a place in entertainment history even if she hadn't gone on to earn Image Award nominations for her roles in To Dance With Olivia (1997) and As the World Turns. A Motor City native, McKee kicked off her career in the entertainment industry when she became a recording artist in her hometown as a young teen, releasing an album on the Detroit-based Sussex label before being drawn to the screen in the mid-'70s. Cast in a key role in the 1976 musical drama [[Feature~V45943~Sparkle~sparkle]], McKee made an impression as a drug-addicted singer in a [[Performer~P69146~Supremes~thesupremes]]-like band, and she quickly caught the eye of casting agents. Appearing in such features as [[Feature~V11102~The Cotton Club~thecottonclub]] and [[Feature~V7072~Brewster's Millions~brewstersmillions]] during the '80s, it was also during this period that she essayed her Tony-nominated role in Show Boat. [[Performer~P99175~Spike Lee~spikelee]] later cast her in three of his films during the '90s: [[Feature~V26773~Jungle Fever~junglefever]], [[Feature~V31012~Malcolm X~malcolmx]], and [[Feature~V162469~He Got Game~hegotgame]]. After being voted one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1995, McKee began a two-year stint on the soap opera As the World Turns. She also returned to the studio in 1992 to record {^Natural Love}, her first album in nearly 20 years. The actress alternated between film and television in the early 2000s with parts in [[Feature~V214076~Men of Honor~menofhonor]] (2001), [[Feature~V285921~Honey~honey]] (2003), and a recurring role in the NBC series [[Feature~V181330~Third Watch~thirdwatch[tvseries]]]. McKee is married to a New York social worker and is the sister of dancer/actress [[Performer~P124965~Kathrine McKee~kathrinemckee]]. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi