About Charlayne Woodard
Woodard had actually won her role in "Ain't Misbehavin'" two weeks after arriving in New York from the Goodman Theatre School in Chicago. She went on to appear around the country in theatre productions, and thought of herself primarily as a stage actress. Her experience resulted in "Pretty Fire", a one-person play she wrote in which she played 32 characters following the life of a girl from birth to age 11, and based on her own childhood in Albany, NY. It premiered at a small Los Angeles theatre, then moved to New York, playing Off-Broadway. Woodard won Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards for both the production and the play itself.
Woodard's TV work was somewhat sporadic until the 1990s. She broke in with "Cindy", a 1978 ABC send-up of the "Cinderella" fairy tale. In 1982, she was back with the Broadway cast of "Ain't Misbehavin'" for an NBC special and then was featured in numerous unsold pilots and made episodic guest appearances during the 80s. She did not permanently base in California until 1989, at which time she played a recurring role on "Quantum Leap" before joining the cast of the NBC soap opera "Days of Our Lives" (1991-92). Woodard has also made several appearances as Will's Aunt Janice in the NBC sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and she played the administrator of the frontier business in the 1994 CBS miniseries "Buffalo Girls", starring Melanie Griffith and Anjelica Huston. She also made a memorable guest appearance on episode of the NBC sitcom "Frasier", playing a taxi driver whose baby the Crane men find they must deliver. Woodard brought gravity and strength to her portrayal of an Olympic runner struggling with Graves' disease in the 1996 Showtime biopic "Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story". Later that year, she starred with Sherman Hemsley in the UPN sitcom "Goode Behavior", about a reporter whose father-in-law moves in with the family.
While a singing bit (alongside Nell Carter) in Milos Forman's "Hair" (1979) marked Woodard's screen debut, substantial roles did not come until the 90s. She was a fellow police officer to Michael Keaton in "One Good Cop" (1991), the nurse who taught Geena Davis to breast feed in "Angie" (1994) and a lesbian single mother in a support group that includes Sally Field in John Schlesinger's "Eye for an Eye" (1996). Woodard's most substantial screen role to date was as the slave Tituba in Nicholas Hytner's adaptation of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" (also 1996).
|Alan Michael Harris. married at Big Sur ceremony, 1991; first date was to their high school senior prom|
|The Goodman School of Drama, Chicago , Illinois|
|Wrote and performed in "Next", a sequel to "Pretty Fire"|
|Broadway debut, "Ain't Misbehavin'"|
|TV debut, "Cindy"|
|Film debut, bit, "Hair"|
|Appeared in TV version of "Ain't Misbehavin'"|
|Cast as a regular on the NBC daytime drama "Days of Our Lives"|
|Co-starred opposite Michael Keaton, "One Good Cop"|
|Wrote and starred in the autobiographical one-person play, "Pretty Fire"|
|Co-starred in "Buffalo Girls" miniseries|
|Cast in the pilot of the UPN sitcom "Goode Behavior"; succeded in role by Alex Datcher when series was picked up|
|Cast as Samuel L Jackson's mother in "Unbreakable"|
|Starred in one-woman show "In Real Life", a second sequel to "Pretty Fire" performed at Seattle Repertory Theater; reprised show in 2001 in L.A.|
|Co-starred with John Glover and Judith Light in the Off-Broadway staging of "Sorrows & Rejoicings"|