Donzaleigh Abernathy




Birth Name

Donzaleigh Avis Abernathy




Donzaleigh (pronounced Don-za-LA) Abernathy portrays Sara Jackson, the freedom-fighting mother of Rene Jackson. Through the magic of makeup and sheer talent, she is transformed into the feisty, elderly widow Sara on Lifetime Television's original drama series "Any Day Now."

Abernathy has starred in several made-for-television movies, including "The Tempest," opposite Peter Fonda (who was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance). She was also the leading lady in "Miss Ever's Boys" and HBO's "Don King: Only in America," which won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. She starred in "Murder in Mississippi," which received a Directors Guild of America Award, the western "Ned Blessing" and the Showtime feature "White Lies."

Abernathy has starred in several other television movies and has guest-starred on TV dramas such as "NYPD Blue," "Chicago Hope" and "The Pretender." The episode of "NYPD Blue" in which she appeared was nominated for an Emmy.

She co-starred in the critically acclaimed TV series "EZ Streets" and was a recurring character on both "Dangerous Minds" and "Amazing Grace." Her film credits include the original "20 Dates," winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival; "Homestead," an independent film; and cameos in "Other People's Money," "Ghost Dad" and "Night of the Running Man."

As the youngest daughter of the civil rights leader Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, she grew up in the midst of the historic movement. Her passionate memories serve as a wellspring for the emotional life of her character on "Any Day Now." In honor of her father, she wrote the book "Partners to History: Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement."

In addition to her career as an actress and author, Abernathy is dedicated to several causes. She is a founding member of the Board of Trustees for New Roads Schools. An avid environmentalist, she hosted and narrated a documentary about the river-keepers on the Chattahoochee River. She serves as a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV/Aids Awareness Conferences in Washington, DC, and for Amnesty International of Canada.

Her life story is profiled in the book "No Mountain High Enough: Secrets of Successful African-American Women." As an artist, Abernathy feels honored to share her creative journey with the world.

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