Beginning her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jasmine Guy landed her first television gig as a dancer in ten episodes of the 1982 series Fame. Five years later, she secured her most memorable role as Whitley Gilbert on A Different World, playing the character for six seasons and winning six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Within her time on A Different World, Guy wrote three episodes, directed one episode and even had enough leftover time to release a self-titled album with three charting singles - “Try Me”, “Another Like My Lover” and “Just Want to Hold You”.
Guy is also known for her portrayal of Roxy Harvey on Showtime’s Dead Like Me, a recurring role as Sheila Bennett on The Vampire Diaries and guest appearances on a variety of programs, ranging from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Drop Dead Diva. Her film credits include Spike Lee’s School Daze and Eddie Murphy’s Harlem Nights.
Beyond acting, Guy has worn many different hats as a director, writer and motivational speaker. Notably, she penned the 2004 Afeni Shakur biography Evolution of a Revolutionary, and in 2010, she directed the world premiere of an opera based on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“You know what Henry Ward Beecher’s last words were? ‘Now comes the mystery’. Beautiful. You know what his last thoughts were? Me neither - haven’t been able to find his paperwork. We’re witnesses, peanut. Everyone matters.”