Actor | Director | Writer
JUDYANN ELDER, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, graduated from Emerson College in Boston as the first recipient of the Carol Burnett Award in the Performing Arts and segued into her professional career in New York as a founding member of the esteemed Negro Ensemble Company. She originated roles in the premiere productions of THE SONG OF THE LUSITANIAN BOGEY, DADDY GOODNESS, KONGI’S HARVEST, GOD IS A GUESS WHAT and CEREMONIES IN DARK OLD MEN and toured with the company to London and Rome. She made her Broadway debut at the Ambassador Theatre portraying Coretta Scott King opposite Billy Dee Williams' Martin Luther King in I HAVE A DREAM. Regional stage includes: THE HELIOTROPE BOUQUET, AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER, THE OLD SETTLER, THE STORY and FENCES. A television veteran, her favorites include her stint on MURPHY BROWN as Candice Bergen’s obstetrician; her recurring role as ‘Gina’s Mother’ on the hit series MARTIN; her series regular as ‘Harriet Winslow’ for the final season of FAMILY MATTERS; and as Teri Hatcher’s psychiatrist, Dr. Brody on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. A breast cancer survivor and former Ambassador for the American Cancer Society, her role as woman confronted with breast cancer on the long running ER remains her most personally enduring. Her films span the years from A WOMAN CALLED MOSES with Cicely Tyson to SEVEN POUNDS opposite Will Smith. Long associated with L.A. Theatre Works, she portrayed Lena Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN for their national radio series and the recipient of a 2012 Audie Award.An alumna of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women having directed and BEHIND GOD's BACK starring Beau Bridge, she was also a Screenwriting Fellow with Walt Disney Studios. Her short narrative film, A PRIVATE ACT, had its World Premiere at the 2013 St. Louis International Film Festival.
In the summer of 2015 she will direct THE WHIPPING MAN for LA Theatre Works.
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