Wednesday, 18 January 2023 14:54

Sheryl Lee Ralph continues to reel 'em in

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AT the 28th annual Critics Choice Awards held Sunday night at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in California, Jamaican actress Sheryl Lee Ralph was named Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in ABC's Abbott Elementary.

She beat Paulina Alexis (Reservation Dogs), Ayo Edebiri (The Bear), Marcia Gay Harden (Uncoupled), Janelle James (Abbott Elementary), and Annie Potts (Young Sheldon) for the award.

In her heartfelt speech Ralph, 66, credited the late Sidney Poitier with giving her the motivation to push through the rejection that she faced early on in her career.

Overwhelmed by emotion Ralph said: "Every mistake, every back break, every 'No,' every rejection in an industry that when I was 19 years old was quick to tell me there was no place for me, Sidney Poitier looked at me and said, 'You're a damn good actress.'

"People don't have to like you," she declared. "People don't have to love you. People don't even have to respect you. But when you look in the mirror, you better love what you see!"

Lee Ralph went on to reference Abbott Elementary's creator and star, Quinta Brunson, saying: "That God could lead me to a moment when a young woman by the name of Quinta Brunson would look at me and say, 'Ms. Ralph, I'm not sleeping on your talent.' "

She also paid tribute to her co-stars as "the best cast on TV".

Lee Ralph concluded her remarks with an inspirational message. "To all of you watching, come close to the screen and listen... As a supporting actress, I'm supported well by an incredible crew, by and incredible staff, by incredible producers who put in the work everyday."

The Critics Choice Awards seeks to honour the finest achievements in film-making and television programming.

Last September Lee Ralph also won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards. On Friday, she was nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 54th NAACP Image Awards. This takes place on February 25 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, California.