Leslie Uggams





5/25/1943 , New York City, New York

Birth Name




Leslie Uggams got her start at age 6, as a child actress on the 1950's TV series Beulah where she starred as Ethel Waters' niece. Leslie appeared on The Arthur Godfrey Show, The Milton Berle Show, Your Show of Shows before taking a break from television at the age of 12. Mitch Miller hired Leslie as a regular on his show Sing Along With Mitch Miller in 1961 when she was 17 years old and was the first African-American performer to be featured regularly on a Primetime series. Her career flourished and Leslie appeared on other variety shows, talk shows and game shows. In 1968 Leslie won a Tony award as Best Actress in a Broadway musical comedy for Hallelujah, Baby!. A year later Leslie had her own television series The Leslie Uggams Show and her first dramatic film debut in the thriller Skyjacked. Leslie continued appearing on television, stage and film but it was her portrayal of "Kizzy" from the mini series Roots in 1978 that won her critical acclaim and an EMMY nomination.