Phylicia Rashad

Also Credited As: Phylicia Ayers-Allen

Birth Place: Houston, TX, USA

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Phylicia Rashad BIO

Phylicia Rashad has brought laughter to millions of television viewers around the world, moved theatre-goers to tears, thrilled movie fans, offered new insights to students by teaching master classes at renowned learning institutions that include Howard University, Julliard, and Carnegie Mellon, served on boards of prestigious organizations, and broken new ground as a director. She is one of the entertainment world's most extraordinary performing artists. She became a household name when she portrayed “Claire Huxtable” on The Cosby Show, earning numerous honors and awards for over two decades. She teamed up with Bill Cosby in later years on television as “Ruth Lucas” on Cosby.

She portrayed the role of Dr. Vanessa Young in the NBC series, Do No Harm. She has also been a force on the stage, appearing both on and off-Broadway, often in projects that showcase her musical talent such as "Jelly's Last Jam, "Into The Woods, "Dreamgirls" and "The Wiz" as well as dramatic roles in August Osage County (“Violet Weston”), in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (“Big Mama” -- a role that she reprised on the London Stage), in August Wilson’s Gem Of The Ocean, (“Aunt Ester” --Tony Award nomination), and in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (“Queen Britannia”) at Lincoln Center.

She received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, as “Lena Younger” in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun. She appeared in Tyler Perry's Good Deeds, and starred in his highly acclaimed film version of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. She received Critics’ rave reviews for her directorial debut at the Seattle Repertory Theatre with August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, and for The Ebony Repertory Theatre’s production of A Raisin in the Sun in the spring of 2011. She recently directed August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

She is the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University, and has received Honorary Doctorates from Spelman College, Fordham University, Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, Providence College, Morris Brown College, Clark Atlanta University, Barber Scotia College, St. Augustine College, and Brown University. She serves on the Advisory Board of the PRASAD Project and the Board of Directors of True Colors Theatre, the Broadway Inspirational Voices, The Actors Center, the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, and the ADEPT Center, which is steering the restoration of the historic Brainerd Institute. A native of Houston, Texas, she graduated magna cum laude from Howard University.

Phylicia Rashad Photos

Phylicia Rashad STAGE CREDITS

Original Broadway Production, 2022

Shakespeare in the Park Revival, 2017

[New York]
New York City Center Concert Gala, 2016
Old Lady

Public Theater New York Premiere, 2016

Broadway Revival, 2008
Big Mama

Big Mama

Lincoln Center Revival, 2007

Original Off-Broadway Production, 2006
Bernarda Alba

Bernarda Alba

Benefit Concert, 2005

Millie Bailey

Original Broadway Production, 2004
Aunt Ester

Broadway Revival, 2004
Lena Younger



Peggy Clark

[Regional (US)]
World Premiere, 2000
Peggy Clark

Original Off-Broadway Production, 1999
Performer [Replacement]

Performer [Replacement]

Zora Neale Hurston

Original Broadway Production, 1992
Anita [Replacement]

Original Broadway Production, 1987
Witch [Replacement]

Phylicia Rashad Productions

[Off-Broadway, 2018]

Phylicia Rashad Movies

[1995]Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored Ma Ponk

[1999]Loving Jezebel Alice Melville

[2000]The Visit Dr. Coles

[2007]Rwanda Rising Historical Narration

[2010]Frankie & Alice Edna

[2010]Just Wright Ella McKnight

[2010]For Colored Girls Gilda

[2012]Good Deeds Wilimena

[2013]Gods Behaving Badly Demeter

[2015]Creed Mary Anne Creed

[2018]Creed II Mary Anne Creed

[2020]Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey Grandmother Journey

[2020]Soul Libba

[2020]Black Box Lillian

[2020]A Fall from Grace Sarah

[2021]tick, tick... BOOM! Sunday Legend #12

[2023]Creed III Mary Anne Creed

Phylicia Rashad TV Shows

A Different World Clair Huxtable

Cosby Ruth Lucas

David Makes Man Dr. Woods-Trap

Empire Diana DuBois

Little Bill Brenda, Brenda Glover

Psych Winnifred Guster

The Cleveland Show Dee Dee Tubbs

The Cosby Show Clair Huxtable

This Is Us Carol Clarke

Touched by an Angel Elizabeth Jessup

Phylicia Rashad Videos

Phylicia Rashad News

Lillias White Joins Forces With 92NY To Teach Cabaret Workshop

The 92nd Street Y, New York School of Music announces that Tony Winner and Broadway Legend Lillias White will teach a masterclass in the art form of Cabaret this spring.

Interview: Audra McDonald Lighting Up LA Opera Again

Broadway legend Audra McDonald returns to LA Opera backed by the LA Opera Orchestra and her four-piece ensemble (led by musical director Andy Einhorn) December 2, 2023. Be prepared to experience the stunning vocals of six-time Tony winner singing her expansive Broadway and opera repertoire filling the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The busy mom found some time between her touring engagements to chat with me on the phone.

Billy Porter & Luke Evans Drama OUR SON Sets Theatrical & VOD Release

Our Son, a new film starring Billy Porter and Luke Evans, will be released in theaters. The cast also includes Andrew Rannells, Isaac Powell, Phylicia Rashad, and Robin Weigert. Bill Oliver directed the film and co-wrote with Peter Nickowitz. It is produced by Fernando Loureiro and Eric Binns. Find out more details about how to see the film now!

Broadway Streaming Guide: Holidays 2023 - Where to Watch WHITE CHRISTMAS, THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL & More

From Hannah Waddingham's new Christmas special to classics like The Muppet Christmas Carol, see which holiday streaming titles are sure to bring any Broadway fan some extra merriment this year. Check out our complete guide to what Broadway fans should be streaming this holiday season on Netflix, Peacock, Disney+, and more now!

Tim Daly, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Lea Delaria, and More Will Lead THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA Off-Broadway

​​​​​​​La Femme Theatre Productions will illuminate the Off-Broadway stage this season with an evocative 21 st century production of Tennessee Williams's timeless masterpiece, The Night of the Iguana.

Jeff Cohen's SQUEAKY Will Receive Developmental Readings This Month

As part of its new Building the Box Developmental Reading Series, Out of the Box Theatrics will present readings of SQUEAKY, a poignant autobiographical comedy by Drama Desk Award winner Jeff Cohen.

Phylicia Rashad & Krystal Joy Brown Star in Hallmark's HEAVEN DOWN HERE Holiday Movie

Broadway stars Krystal Joy Brown are starring in Hallmark's new holiday film, 'Heaven Down Here.' Inspired by Mickey Guyton’s song of the same name, “Heaven Down Here” tells the story of four disparate people who find themselves stranded in a local diner on Christmas Eve when a snowstorm hits the town.

Jennifer Koh Featured in Fortas Chamber Music Concerts, Fall & Winter Programming

The 2023–2024 season of Fortas Chamber Music Concerts is set to continue with late fall and winter programming including two performances by Artistic Director Jennifer Koh and two concerts by esteemed ensembles.

Tim Daly, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Lea DeLaria & More to Star in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA at La Femme Theatre Productions

La Femme Theatre Productions has revealed the full cast of Tennessee Williams's 'The Night of the Iguana' directed by Emily Mann.

CURSES! Animated Series to Premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday

The series features Emmy Award winner Rhea Perlman (“Barbie”) as “Margie,” Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad (“A Raisin in the Sun”) as “Georgia Snitker,” and Robert Englund (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”) as “Cornelius.” Watch the video trailer now!

Billy Porter, Nicole Ari Parker, James Ijames, and More Set For PURLIE VICTORIOUS Talkback Series

The new Broadway production Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch by Ossie Davis starring Leslie Odom, Jr. will host a post-show talkback series this fall at the Music Box Theatre.

Theatre Aspen Unveils Recipients of the 2023 Solo Flights Project Advancement Fund Grant

Theatre Aspen has announced the recipients of the 2023 Solo Flights Project Advancement Fund Grant. Discover the artists and productions that have been selected for this prestigious grant, supporting and recognizing their exceptional talent and creativity.


Cherise Coaches calls Ella Fitzgerald one of the four in her Black Women Singers Mount Rushmore.

PURLIE VICTORIOUS Extends Broadway Run

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch by the legendary Ossie Davis starring Leslie Odom, Jr. has announced an extension of its critically claimed Broadway run.

PURLIE VICTORIOUS to Offer $15 Tickets to NYC High School Students Through Ticketing Initiative

Discover how PURLIE VICTORIOUS is giving NYC high school students the chance to see this incredible musical with a new student ticket initiative. Find out how to take advantage of this limited-time offer and experience the magic of PURLIE VICTORIOUS in New York City.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is Coming to Palace Theater Waterbury in November

Get all the details on the complete casting for 'To Kill a Mockingbird' at Palace Theater Waterbury in November. Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas and original film 'Scout' Mary Badham headline this critically acclaimed production based on Harper Lee's classic novel. Don't miss out on this must-see show!

Industry Pro Newsletter: Record Number of New Musicals on Broadway, Some Regional Theatres Report a Rebound

In Minnesota, the Hennepin Theatre Trust recently reported a more than $115 million impact to the local economy, directly tied to their Broadway touring season. We’ve also got a story about the way in which some regional theatres have been able to rebound this past season, and are looking to capitalize on that momentum.

Photos: Stars Walk the Red Carpet for Opening Night of PURLIE VICTORIOUS

BroadwayWorld was on hand for the big opening night of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch and you can check out photos from the star-studded red carpet arrivals here!

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phylicia Rashad & More to Discuss Nonprofit Regional Theater Crisis With Congressional Leaders

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phylicia Rashad and more well-known figures in the theatre world will be meeting to discuss the crisis facing nonprofit regional theater with congressional leaders. 

New Federal Theatre to Present TELLING TALES OUT OF SCHOOL Beginning Next Month

Four women writers of the Harlem Renaissance meet in 'Telling Tales Out of School' by Wesley Brown, directed by Woodie King, Jr. at Castillo Theatre/ASP. The play offers a unique perspective on the Harlem Renaissance by providing a character study of four of its most-noted female prime movers. Check out event information here!


Phylicia Rashad has appeared on Broadway in 8 shows.

Phylicia Rashad has not appeared in the West End

Phylicia Rashad has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. She was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Play at the Drama Desk Awards for her performance in "Skeleton Crew." She also received nominations for Distinguished Performance Awards at the Drama League Awards and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for the same production. Rashad's performance in "Head of Passes" earned her a Distinguished Performance Award at the Drama League Awards and an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play nomination at The Lortels. She was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play at the Helen Hayes Awards for her role in "every tongue confess." In addition, Rashad received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play at the Tony Awards for her performance in "Gem of the Ocean." She won the Best Leading Actress in a Play award at the BroadwayWorld Awards for her role in "A Raisin In The Sun." She was also nominated for Outstanding Actress - Play at the Drama Desk Awards and Outstanding Actress in a Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance in the same play. Furthermore, Rashad received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play at the Tony Awards for "A Raisin in the Sun." Rashad's other nominations include Outstanding Lead Actress at The Lortels for "Blue" and Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play at the Helen Hayes Awards for "Blues for an Alabama Sky." These are just a few of the many accolades she has received for her outstanding performances on Broadway.

Phylicia Rashad has won several awards for her performances in various plays. She received the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play award at the Tony Awards for her role in "Skeleton Crew". She also won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play award at The Lortels for her performance in "Head of Passes". Additionally, Rashad was awarded the Best Leading Actress in a Play at the BroadwayWorld Awards for her role in "A Raisin In The Sun". She also won the Outstanding Actress - Play award at the Drama Desk Awards for her performance in "A Raisin in the Sun". Lastly, Rashad received the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play award at the Tony Awards for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun".

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