Carol Mayo Jenkins
Having trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and performed the works of history's greatest playwrights on the stage, it is somewhat fitting that Tennessee-born Carol Mayo Jenkins would achieve the bulk of her stardom from playing Elizabeth Sherwood, an English teacher of the fictional New York City High School for Performing Arts on the hit TV series "Fame. " Her stage career began with an auspicious start when she and her fellow graduates at the Central School formed an offshoot company named Drama Center London. After a successful tour of the States, she returned to England and prepared to bring Harold Pinter's "The Dwarfs" and "A Night Out" to the United States until the company's visas were denied. Jenkins went to San Francisco on her own, finding work with the American Conservatory Theater. There she honed her craft, doing 16 plays in 22 weeks in her first year with the company. She continued with her stage work and the building of fledgling companies until it could literally be said that "Fame" came calling in 1982. As the strict but soft-centered Ms. Sherwood, Jenkins stayed with the beloved series (based on an equally adored movie musical) for all of its five years, following it up with bit roles in TV fare here and there throughout the late '80s and early '90s. She has since returned to her native Tennessee, where she teaches theater at the college level.