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First Look at Alfre Woodard as Cookie’s Mama On ‘Empire’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

FOX has released a sneak peek of this week’s episode of Empire featuring award winning TV and film actress Alfre Woodard as Cookie’s mama Renee. In February, RC  reported that Woodard and Taraji P. Henson would be reuniting again as mother and daughter for the show.

If you have been keeping up with the current episodes, Cookie has been dealing with a lot including her checkered past and time behind bars. In last week’s episode, she received a surprise visit from a former cell mate (played by Henson’s real-life best friend Ptosha Storey) regarding her “freinemy” Poundcake (played by Tony nominated Broadway actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph).

Cookie also recently suffered a heart attack which prompted Lucious ( Terrence Howard) to call upon her sisters—Candace (Vivica A. Fox) and Carol (Tasha Smith). It was only a matter of time before “mama” would eventually enter the picture.

Check out the clip below of Renee handling Cookie as only she can:

Empire airs at 8 p.m. EST on FOX

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Jenifer Lewis to release a memoir ‘Mother of Black Hollywood’

Written by | Ray Cornelius

“black-ish” star Jenifer Lewis is releasing a new memoir this fall about being the “Mother of Black Hollywood.” It’s scheduled to officially debut on Tuesday, November 14 through HarperCollins.

For years now, it’s been a running joke that Lewis has played just about “errbody’s mama” in most Black films and television shows. Some of her film credits include the now legendary portrayal of Zelma Bullock (mother of Anna Mae Bullock aka Tina Turner) in “What’s Love Got To Do With It” alongside with Angela Bassett.

She was Mama Rose in the hugely popular TV mini-series about Motown stars, “The Temptations.” She was also Whitney Houston‘s cigarette smokin’ mama in “The Preacher’s Wife” even though she was only six years older than Houston.  She has played a mother in “Dead Presidents,” “Think Like A Man,” “Think Like A Man Too,” “Girlfriends,” “Baggage Claim” and in “Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.”

Of all of her mother characters, it is her outlandish comedy, “Jackie’s Back!” that is probably her most memorable. Lewis starred as an “over the top” aging music diva, Jackie Washington, who is trying to make a career comeback. Washington and her daughter Antandra are iconic “camp” figures in the Black LGBTQ community and are revered as much as real-life music divas—Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Beyoncé.

While there are no immediate details about the book, “Jenifer Lewis A Memoir: The Mother of Black Hollywood,” is available for purchase now online. 

Click here and listen to Lewis dropping “pearls of wisdom” during a 2013 screening of “Baggage Claim.” It was a message to young artists but is truth that can apply to anyone. I am so looking forward to reading this book!

Photo Credit: Instagram/Patrick Riley