The Evolution of Leslie Uggams, From 'Roots' to Empire'

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Leslie Uggams
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Actress and singer Leslie Uggams has been in show business since the age of six, when she first appeared on TV. Since then, she's moved seamlessly between film, television, and theater.

Uggams is a cultural pioneer, winning a Tony award for her Broadway debut in "Hallelujah, Baby!", and becoming the first African-American woman to host her own TV variety show in 1970.  Her break-through role came in 1977 when she played the role of "Kizzy Reynolds" in the television miniseries "Roots" in a role she defines as life-changing. 

Today, Uggams remains popular with a new generation for her role as foul-mouthed Blind Al in the box office smash movie "Deadpool," and her recurring role as Lucious Lyon's bi-polar mother Leah Walker on the hip-hop television drama "Empire," with a cliff-hanger fall finale next week.