Lynn Whitfield portrays Lady Mae Greenleaf, first lady of the megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, on OWN’s new drama series Greenleaf.
An alumnus of Washington D.C.’s prestigious Black Repertory Company, Lynn has worked steadily in film and television since her arrival in Hollywood in the late 1970s. Most recently, she has had recurring roles in the hit series How to Get Away With MurderMistresses and on the cable drama Hit The Floor. It was on series like Cagney and LaceyMiami Vice and Hill Street Blues where TV audiences first saw Lynn. She has starred in numerous TV movies and miniseries including Sophie and the MoonhangerThe George McKenna Story, opposite Denzel Washington, The Women of Brewster Place alongside Oprah Winfrey, Stompin’ At The Savoy and The Josephine Baker Story, in which she starred as the popular but deeply troubled headliner-turned civil rights activist.
For her performance playing Baker from age 18 to nearly 70, she won an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special, as well as an NAACP Image Award. Her performance also scored her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance By An Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. She has co-starred in numerous feature films, including A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, opposite Martin Lawrence, Redemption, with Jamie Foxx, The Slugger’s WifeSilveradoDoctor DetroitThe WeddingStepmom and Madea’s Family Reunion, to name a few.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Lynn went back to her roots for her critically acclaimed role in Eve’s Bayou, starring opposite Samuel Jackson. She is a third-generation BFA graduate of Washington, DC’s Howard University, and a member of the legendary Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.