The Pan African Film Festival will honor award-winning actress Loretta Devine with its highest honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work on stage, television and film. The award will be presented during the Night of Tribute at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 10, 2012 at the Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
After more than 30 years in the business, Devine nabbed an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Dramatic Role for her work on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” last year. She received an Independent Spirit Award nod for Best Supporting Female for her role in “Women Thou Art Loosed.” And she has been nominated for a slew of NAACP Image Awards in television and film, grabbing two awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her roles in “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife,” respectively. She picked up three more NAACP Image Awards for her work on David E. Kelly’s Fox series, “Boston Public.”
Still, it was her breakout role on the stage that brought her to national attention. In the role of Lorrell, the Houston native was one of the three original “Dreamgirls” in Michael Bennett’s classic, award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. She followed that performance with a fiery portrayal of Lillian in Bob Fosse’s critically-acclaimed stage production, “Big Deal.” Other performances, including George C. Wolfe’s “Colored Museum” and “Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill,” which cemented Devine’s status as one of the most talented and versatile stage actresses.
Soon, film roles followed, and she’s appeared in some of audience’s most beloved movies, including ”Jumping the Brown,” “This Christmas,” Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” and “Madea’s Big Happy Family, and of course, “Waiting to Exhale.” Other film credits include the Academy award-winning film, “Crash,” “I Am San,” “What Women Want” and “Stanley and Iris.”
On the small screen, Devine can be seen regularly in her Emmy-winning role as “Adele,” on ABC’s hit medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” Just announced, she’s set to co-star with Jennifer Love Hewitt in Lifetime’s new series, “The Client List.”
“Ms. Devine is probably one of the hardest working women in show business,” said Ayuko Babu, founder and executive director of the Pan African Film Festival with a chuckle. “She is an extremely gifted and versatile actress, creating soulful characters in some of our favorite televisions shows and films.” He added, “Through her craft, she is an amazing storyteller, delivering memorable performances and portraying characters with a richness and vulnerability that connects with audience on many different levels.”
Produced by the Africa Channel, the Night of Tribute honors world-renowned actors, filmmakers, community leaders and fine artists for their contributions on stage, television, film, the arts and the community. Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr,, Tony award-winner Phylicia Rashad, Emmy award-winning actor Glynn Turman, the honorable Ambassador Andrew Young as well as award winning actresses Marla Gibbs and Dr. Della Reese — just to name a few. The ceremony will be recorded and televised by the Africa Channel, which is broadcast in major markets across the United States and the Caribbean. Visit www.TheAfricaChannel.com