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Valarie Pettiford

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  Summary  

Valarie Pettiford is an American stage and television actress, dancer, and jazz singer. She received a Tony nomination for her role in the broadway production Fosse. She is also known for her role as "Big Dee Dee" Thorne on the UPN sitcom Half & Half.

  Biography  

 stage
Pettiford began her career as a dancer and choreographer in Bob Fosse productions on Broadway. Alvin Klein of the New York Times wrote of her role in the 1983 musical revue Ladies and Gentlemen, Jerome Kern! that "You will not for a moment take your eyes off Valarie Pettiford, the show's standout: a sinewy dancer who can be sultry or sweet, measure for measure, as prescribed... Miss Pettiford appears to be a superbly trained dancer, schooled in balletic finesse and Broadway-style razzmatazz - and a stunning presence." Leah Frank, also in the NYT, wrote of her appearance in West Side Story in 1987 that "The mainstay of the supporting cast is Valarie Pettiford, whose Anita is spicy, sensual and full of fire. She is an exciting actress who has a special quality needed to ignite a number such as America." In 1994, she played black lesbian Cassandra Keefer in The Naked Truth, and from 1995 to 1996 starred as Julie in a touring production of Show Boat.

Pettiford received a Tony nomination as Best Featured Actress in a Musical and a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for her role in the Broadway production Fosse from 1998-9. Variety said Pettiford gave "a coolly elegant vocal rendition, is also a sultry, powerful dancer." She left Fosse to appear as Velma Kelly in Chicago in the West End in London from August 1999-February 2000, alongside Chita Rivera as Roxie Hart.

In 2007 she won the Back Stage Bistro Award for her cabaret debut at the Metropolitan Room, and won an NAACP Theatre Award for her lead role in The Wild Party. In 2008, she starred in a solo show, Valarie Pettiford - Thankful that played in New York and Los Angeles. In 2009, she starred in the solo show Valarie Pettiford - The Concert in Manhattan.

 personal life
Pettiford was born in Queens, New York to Ralph and Blanch Pettiford, and graduated from the High School of Performing Arts in 1978. She is married to her manager, actor and former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Tony Rader. They got engaged in 1991.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Valarie Pettiford", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.