Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cheryl Carter - the Singing Actress

Cheryl Carter was the East Coast girl who was torn between being an actress and being a musician. She solved the conundrum, like so many other things she faced in her life, by tackling it head on: she became both.

Actress and singer Cheryl Lynn Carter was born July 29, 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland, the home of Martinet Opera School and Baltimore Jazz.

Carter in 2005.
A singer at heart, she always found inspiration in music. "I always had my mind, my energies and my heart," she said, "deeply rooted in music."

Heading to New York from her native Maryland, and from thereon westwards to Los Angeles and ultimately Hollywood, the first time she stepped in front of the movie camera, at the age of 32, was in 1981, for the film Hard Country. After that initial inroad many, many roles followed.

Among her other movie credits are her roles as the titular character’s mother in Black Dynamite, and as Sandy in the television movie The Choice. Throughout her acting career she had numerous smaller parts on television, in series such as Moonlighting, ER, Dexter, The Practice, The Bold and the Beautiful, and as Congresswoman Haas in The West Wing.

Weaving her career both as a singer and an actress in equal parts, she managed to combine them both into a very personal and expressive career.

Very much at home on the theater stage, she portrayed Lena Horne in the fantastical "musical murder mystery" Dark Legends in Blood. Carter received acclaim for her role as Leone in the opera Burning Dreams, as well as for her role as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. Interestingly she repeated her role as Lena Horne - in addition to also playing the role of Marian Anderson - in the Embassy Theater musical anthology Voices.

Carter in 2010.
Ms. Carter also did radio and TV voice-overs, commercials, music videos, and voice acted as Marsha Carmichael in the animated series Rugrats, as Justice Department attorney Christina Brannon in the game Law & Order, and as the character Storm in the game X-Men. Her final foray into gaming was in 2011 when she did incidental voices for the game L.A. Noire.

The movies and roles she thought of as her favorites were Ron Howard’s movie Night Shift, her role as Marcia Heller in Sam Peckinpah's film Osterman Weekend, and - perhaps surprisingly - her short but important role in 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

Since she was a Leo, Carter's 'destiny planet' was, of course, Jupiter.

A polished professional and a warmhearted person, she is dearly missed by all people she worked with.

Cheryl Lynn Carter sadly passed away on February 3, 2013 after a long battle with cancer.

She was 64.

Images copyright ©1984 MGM, ©2005 J.P.Productions.

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