An attractive African-American player of stage, screen and TV who often projects an appealing vulnerability and intelligence, Kasi Lemmons began her professional career playing a hostage in the TV-movie "11th Victim" (1979), directed by Jonathan Kaplan. She then took several years off to study with The Lee Strasberg Institute, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre, NYU, UCLA and famed mime Marcel Marceau. She returned to acting with a supporting role in Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead" (1984) Off-Broadway, and a guest spot on the detective series "Spenser: For Hire" (1985). After attending film school at the New School for Social Research in NYC, Lemmons made her entrance into features by writing, directing, shooting and editing the documentary short "Fall From Grace" (1987). The next year, she appeared in two drastically different films: "School Daze," Spike Lee's musical study of black-on-black prejudices; and "Vampire's Kiss," a dark comedy starring Nicolas Cage as a man who may be a vampire.