Jackée Harry was born Jacqueline Yvonne Harry on August 14, 1956 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; though, reared in Harlem, New York by her mother, Flossie Harry.
At the tender age of fourteen, Jackée landed the lead role of the “King” in her school’s production of “The King and I“. Upon graduation from New York City’s High School of Music and Art, with a distinction in Opera, Jackée attended the University of Long Island in Brooklyn, New York where she earned her B.A. degree in education.
Jackée began her career as a history teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School. Following a teaching matriculation of two years, she departed her profession to begin pursuing a career in acting. She received acting lessons at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side in New York City and made her professional acting debut in 1973…with a small part in a play written by Richard Wesley. She then starred in “A Broadway Musical” as a chorus girl. In 1983, Jackée made her television debut by acting opposite the then-unknown Morgan Freeman, in the daytime soap opera, “Another World“.
In 1985, Jackée landed her signature/iconic role, starring as “Sandra Clark” on the NBC sitcom “227“. As the breakout star of the series, Jackée became the first African American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (in 1987). Her performance on “227” inspired NBC producers to create a television pilot for her entitled “Jackée”. After departing “227” in 1989, she starred opposite Oprah Winfrey in the critically acclaimed adaptation of Gloria Naylor’s novel, “The Women of Brewster Place“.
In 1991, Jackée joined an all-star cast that included Redd Foxx and Della Reese when she played the role of “Ruth ‘CoCo’ Royal” in “The Royal Family“. From 1994-1999, she starred as the adoptive mother of Tia and Tamera Mowry’s characters on the ABC/WB sitcom, “Sister, Sister“…and won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for 2 consecutive years in 1999 and 2000.
In 1994, Jackée made her welcomed return to theatre, by starring as “Billie Holiday” in the play, “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill“. Following that stage production, she fulfilled the role of “madam who runs a bordello” in the Broadway Musical “The Boys From Syracuse“; a play based on William Shakespeare’s classic, “The Comedy of Errors“.
Jackée appeared on the 2nd season of VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club” in 2005, where she lost a total of thirty-nine pounds over a span of 100 days. Her achievement marked one of the top losses in the history of the show. Jackée’s other television credits include guest appearances on “Amen“, “Designing Women“, “Dave’s World“, “Hollywood Squares“, “7th Heaven“, “That’s So Raven“, and “Everybody Hates Chris“.
Most recently, Jackée performed before sold out audiences across the nation, in the J.D. Lawrence stage play, “The Cleanup Woman“. She is also the national spokesperson for GBG, a renowned health and wellness company, that shares in Jackée’s passion for helping others around the globe, live their best and healthiest of lives.
Despite her countless career accomplishments, Jackée has no intentions of resting on her laurels. In fact, she has several forthcoming projects that will further cement her in our cultural landscape as a force to be reckoned with in both the entertainment and philanthropic realm.