Dawnn Lewis

Dawnn Lewis

Best known for her portrayal of Jaleesa Vinson on "The Cosby Show" spin-off, "A Different World," singer/actress Dawnn Lewis made her television debut on the sitcom in 1987. The series followed "Cosby" kid Denise Huxtable (played by Lisa Bonet) to college, where a new world of colorful characters mixed it up. Though Bonet left the show after the first year, the collegiate sitcom thrived and ran for six seasons. Lewis, who co-wrote the award-winning theme song for the series with Bill Cosby and Stu Gardner, left "A Different World" during its fifth season to join the cast of a new urban comedy series, "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." On this Mark Curry sitcom, Lewis played Robin Dumars for the show's first season and lent her voice to its chipper theme song. Shortly thereafter, she moved into the world of voice work, voicing a number of cartoon characters including the stern Lt. Terri Lee of the 1990s "Spider-Man" animated series, the buxom and brassy LaBarbara Conrad of the sci-fi sitcom "Futurama," and the force-of-nature superhero Storm in a number of X-Men video games, including "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance." She continues to balance these cartoon character roles with full-bodied performances in film and television like the memorable troll Blabberwort in the Emmy-winning fantasy miniseries "The 10th Kingdom."