Oprah Winfrey is executive producer of “Greenleaf” and has a recurring role as Mavis McCready, blues club owner and aunt to Grace Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge) and sister to Lady Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield).
Oprah Winfrey is a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress. She has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world for nearly 30 years, making her one of the most respected and admired people today. As Chairman and CEO, she's guiding her successful cable network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and is the founder of O, The Oprah Magazine and Harpo Films.
Winfrey is an Academy Award-nominated actress for her roll in “The Color Purple” and earned critical acclaim in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” In 2014, she produced and acted in the Academy Award-winning film “Selma.”
In October 2015, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa celebrated its fifth graduating class. Winfrey established the school in 2007 to provide education for academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. Graduates of the school have continued on to higher education both in South Africa and at colleges and universities around the world.
Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, the nation’s highest civilian honor. For 25 years, Winfrey was host of the #1 award-winning talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Craig Wright is creator and executive producer of “Greenleaf,” produced by Lionsgate. For his work as a writer on “Six Feet Under,” he received an Emmy nomination, and a Writer’s Guild of America award for his work on “Lost.” He created “Dirty Sexy Money”for ABC, “Underemployed” for MTV, worked with Howard Gordon to develop “Tyrant” for FX, and also wrote and produced episodes of “Brothers and Sisters” and “United States of Tara.” Wright wrote “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” for Dreamworks Animation. He is an acclaimed playwright with such work as “Grace,” “The Pavilion,” “Melissa Arctic,” “Orange Flower Water,” “Recent Tragic Events”and “The Unseen.” He has received several awards for his writing, including the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for Best New Play (for “Melissa Arctic”) and has been the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sarah and daughter Evelyn. His grown son, Louis, is currently completing his studies in architecture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR Clement Virgo is the executive producer and director of “Greenleaf.” He has received wide acclaim for his work in both film and television. His miniseries adaptation of “The Book of Negroes”debuted to record-breaking numbers in 2015 and was nominated for two U.S. Critics Choice Award, four NAACP Image Awards, including best miniseries and a Peabody Award. His television directing credits also include “The Wire,” “American Crime,” and Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming drama “The Get Down.” In 1995, his first feature film “Rude” premiered at Cannes as an official selection in “Un Certain Regard.” Virgo was raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
“GRACE ‘GIGI’ GREENLEAF”
Merle Dandridge portrays Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf, estranged daughter of the powerful Greenleaf family, on OWN’s new drama series “Greenleaf.” Broadway and television star Merle Dandridge has acted in a number of popular series, including “The Night Shift,” “Sons of Anarchy,” "Starcrossed,” “Criminal Minds,” “24,” “Rosewood,” “Suits,” “NCIS LA,” and “The Newsroom” to name a few. On the Great White Way, she has starred in “Spamalot,” “Tarzan,” “Aida,” “Rent” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” She is also known for her award-winning work in video games including “Half Life 2” and “The Last of Us.” Born in Okinawa, Japan and raised in Nebraska, Dandridge attended Roosevelt University in Chicago.
“LADY MAE GREENLEAF”
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, Whitfield 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 Murder,” “Mistresses” and on the cable drama “Hit The Floor.” It was on series like “Cagney and Lacey,” “Miami Vice” and “Hill Street Blues” where TV audiences first saw Whitfield. She has starred in numerous TV movies and miniseries including “Sophie and the Moonhanger,” “The 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, Follies Bergere 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 Whitfield 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 Wife,” “Silverado,” “Doctor Detroit”, “The Wedding,” “Stepmom,” and “Madea’s Family Reunion,” to name a few. Born and raised in Louisiana, Ms. Whitfield 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.
“BISHOP JAMES GREENLEAF”
Keith David portrays Bishop James Greenleaf of megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries on OWN’s new drama series “Greenleaf.” David has more than 150 film, television and stage roles to his credit, including two Emmy awards. Keith’s memorable film roles include “Platoon," “Crash," "Requiem for a Dream" and “There’s Something About Mary.” David is set to appear in the upcoming feature film “Nice Guys", starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Equally in-demand as a voice actor, he has lent his voice to the animated films “Coraline,” Disney’s “Princess and The Frog,” "Gargoyles" and hit video games such as "Halo," "Mass Effect" and "Saints Row." David was raised in New York and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Kim Hawthorne portrays Kerissa Greenleaf, wife of Jacob Greenleaf (Lamman Rucker), on OWN’s new drama series “Greenleaf.” When she was just 12 years old, Hawthorne began studying opera and went on to earn a classical music scholarship to Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. After graduating with honors and a bachelor of arts in musical theatre, she launched her professional theatre career at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta where she originated the role of Minnie Dove Charles in Pearl Cleage’s “Flyin West” under the direction of Kenny Leon. She later moved to New York where she made her Broadway debut performing the lead role of Queen in Cy Coleman and Ira Gasman’s musical “The Life,” directed by Michael Blakemore. Hawthorne has over 20 years experience on the big screen and television. Her feature film roles include the popular “The Chronicles of Riddick” and “Along Came a Spider.” She was a series regular on Louis C.K.’s first HBO show, “Luckie Louie” and she was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Leo Award for her role in “Da Vinci’s Inquest.” Hawthorne’s other recurring roles include “Rake” and “Switched at Birth.” Hawthorne is a native of Newark, New Jersey.
“JACOB GREENLEAF” Lamman Rucker portrays Jacob Greenleaf, son of the powerful Greenleaf family, on OWN’s new drama series “Greenleaf.” Rucker is an actor, educator, activist and entrepreneur. Best known as the star of Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?”film sequels and popular film/sitcom “Meet The Browns,” Rucker is maintaining a powerful presence on large and small screens. He may be recognized from recent films such as “The Man in 3B and Black Coffee,” “Where is The Love” or remembered on TV shows such as “Half and Half,” “South of Hell,” and soaps “As The World Turns” and “All My Children.” Rucker has also been a guest star on “Law & Order,” “All of Us”and the popular television movie mini-series, “The Temptations,”and more. Rucker returns to the big screen in feature films “Service to Man,” a period film about race relations in the South at Meharry Medical College as well as Carl Weber’s thriller “No More Mr. Nice Guy” which will be released later this year. The Black Gents, Rucker’s non-profit project, is an all-male ensemble of African American artists who are driven to resurrect and redefine the positive images of black males through intelligent, thought-provoking original entertainment, youth empowerment programming and community service. Rucker was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Washington, DC.
Tye White portrays Kevin Satterlee, husband to Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee (Deborah Joy Winans), on OWN’s new drama series “Greenleaf.” White most recently co-starred in the miniseries “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” opposite Cuba Gooding Jr., playing OJ’s son. White can also be seen on “NCIS: Los Angeles” this season reprising his role as Aiden Hanna, son of Sam Hanna (played by LL Cool J). Born in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, White recognized his passion for movies and the positive influence filmmakers have on people’s lives (including his own) at an early age. Inspired by filmmakers like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Spike Lee, White moved to Los Angeles and quickly landed a guest starring role on the popular series “Pretty Little Liars.” He then went on to guest star on “Mixology” before landing a lead role in “Drumline: A New Beat.” From there he started to grab Hollywood’s attention, guest starring on “Red Band Society” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
DEBORAH JOY WINANS
Actress and singer Deborah Joy Winans portrays Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee on OWN’s new drama series “Greenleaf.” Winans was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and is part of the renowned gospel Winans family. Contrary to her family’s musical legacy, she was passionate about acting, and the singing came later at the age of 18 when she was asked to act and sing in a church theatrical production. Winans and her brother Juan star as their real-life aunt and uncle, Cece and Bebe Winans, on stage in the musical “Born for This.” The play, written by Bebe Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright (Motown) is currently playing at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta through May 15, 2016 before it travels to Washington, DC. Winans received her BFA from Wayne State University and Moscow Art Theatre School. She also holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and resides in Los Angeles.