Della Reese

Actor, Singer, Screenwriter
A no-nonsense, solidly-built singer and comedy performer who went from best-selling recording artist in the 50s to sitcom star in the 70s and 80s to dramatic TV star in the 90s, Della Reese was raised in Detroit ... Read more »
Born: 07/05/1931 in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Filmography

Actor (69)

Dear Secret Santa 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Signed, Sealed, Delivered 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Scroll: Transformation 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Detroit 1-8-7 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

If I Had Known I Was a Genius 2006 (Movie)

Nana (Actor)

Oprah Winfrey's Legends' Ball 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

That's So Raven 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Beauty Shop 2005 (Movie)

Mrs. Towner (Actor)

Hype 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Roma Downey 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinosaur 2000 (Movie)

of Eema (Voice)

Miracle Cures 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Redd Foxx: Say It Like It Is 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2nd Annual Family Television Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 31st Annual NAACP Image Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1992 - 1993, 1996 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

L.A. Law 1992 - 1993, 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

More True Stories From Touched By an Angel 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Picket Fences 1992 - 1993, 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Promised Land 1992 - 1993, 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Redd Foxx: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Secret Path 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS: The First 50 Years 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 29th NAACP Image Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

True Stories From Touched By an Angel 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 28th NAACP Image Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The All-American Thanksgiving Parade 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

A Thin Line Between Love and Hate 1996 (Movie)

Ma Wright (Actor)

The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Life and Times of Tennessee Ernie Ford 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Addicted to Fame 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Designing Women 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Holiday Greetings From the Ed Sullivan Show 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Mo' Funny: Black Comedy in America 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 61st Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Royal Family 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrate the Soul of American Music 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Tennessee Ernie Ford: 50 Golden Years 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Harlem Nights 1989 (Movie)

Vera (Actor)

It Takes Two 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Chico and the Man 1973 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Flo's Place 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Psychic Killer 1975 (Movie)

Mrs Gibson (Actor)

Burt and the Girls 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Twice in a Lifetime 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Daddy's Girl 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

A Match Made in Heaven (TV Show)

Actor

Anya's Bell (TV Show)

Actor

Emma's Wish (TV Show)

Actor

Mama Flora's Family (TV Show)

Actor

Miracle in the Woods (TV Show)

Actor

Nightmare in Badham County (TV Show)

Actor

Roots: The Next Generations (TV Show)

Actor

The Gift of Amazing Grace (TV Show)

Actor

The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Show)

Actor

The Moving of Sophia Myles (TV Show)

Actor

The Return of Joe Forrester (TV Show)

Actor

The Voyage of the Yes (TV Show)

Actor

Welcome Back, Kotter (TV Show)

Actor

You Must Remember This (TV Show)

Voice
Music (1)

Nurse Betty 2000 (Movie)

("Don't You Know") (Song Performer)

Biography

A no-nonsense, solidly-built singer and comedy performer who went from best-selling recording artist in the 50s to sitcom star in the 70s and 80s to dramatic TV star in the 90s, Della Reese was raised in Detroit, Michigan. By age six, she was singing in church and at age 13 was "discovered" by Mahalia Jackson and asked to join her group of singers. After touring with Jackson, Reese enrolled at Wayne State University, where she started a gospel group called The Meditations Singers. Reese's college studies were cut short by family problems and forces to help with finances, she worked a wide range of jobs from cutting hair to clerical work. She hit her stride when she was hired as a hostess and singer at Detroit's famed Flame Showbar.

Relationships

Franklin Thomas Lett Jr

Husband
managed Reese's career

Leroy Gray

Husband
divorced

Deloreese Owens

Daughter
born c. 1959 adopted by Reeese in 1961 died on March 14, 2002

Vermont Taliaferro

Husband
divorced

EDUCATION

Wayne State University

Detroit , Michigan
had to drop out due to family finances

Milestones

2006

Introduced a fashion line for larger women dubbed Della Reese Fashions on the Home Shopping Network

2005

Appeared in the comedy "Beauty Shop" starring Queen Latifah

1998

After well-publicized battles with CBS, obtained three-year contract with a reported $60,000 per episode raise (from $40,000 to $100,000)

1994

Cast as Roma Downey's angelic supervisor in CBS drama "Touched By an Angel"; in 2000, contributed a script for an episode of the series

1989

Co-starred in feature "Harlem Nights"

1986

Joined cast of CBS sitcom "Charlie & Co." as Gladys Knight's aunt

1973

Made TV-movie debut, "The Voyage of the Yes"

1968

Hosted the syndicated "Della Reese Show"; made TV dramatic debut in episode of "The Bold Ones"

1959

Released best-selling hit, "Don't You Know"

1958

Made feature film debut as herself in "Let's Rock"

1957

Had first recording hit, "And That Reminds Me"; Made first of 20 appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

1953

Moved to New York and sang with Erskine Hawkins Orchestra

1944

Hired by Mahalia Jackson to sing in her group

1938

Began singing in church

Appeared as regular on "Chico and the Man" (NBC)

Starred in the CBS sitcom "The Royal Family"

Was series regular on ABC sitcom "It Takes Two"

Hostess and singer at Detroit's Flame Showbar

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