| Merle Dandridge|
| May 31, 1975 (age 40) (1975-05-31) Okinawa, Japan|
Actress · merledandridge.com
Chicago College of Performing Arts, Papillion-La Vista Senior High School
Teri Reeves, Hana Hayes, Monica Raymund, Lauren German, Eamonn Walker
Chicago Fire, Matadors
Merle Dandridge (born May 31, 1975) is an actress and singer. She performed in a number of stage productions, including Broadway musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Spamalot, and Rent. Dandridge is also known for her recurring role on television series such as Sons of Anarchy and The Night Shift. In 2016, she began starring as Grace Greenleaf in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf.
Dandridge was born in Okinawa, Japan. Her father was an African-American US serviceman from Memphis and her mother was a local Okinawan of Korean descent. As well as Okinawa, Dandridge has lived outside of Wheatland, California, at Beale Air Force Base, and later at Offutt Air Force Base (home to the then-Strategic Air Command) in Bellevue, Nebraska, where she spent the majority of her childhood. She attended Papillion La Vista High School and participated in the play production class and theater department there. She then attended the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University (currently called the Chicago College of Performing Arts)
Dandridge began her career appearing in Chicago theatre productions. She has gained a wider audience as the voice of Alyx Vance in the award-winning action game Half-Life 2 and its sequels, Episode One and Episode Two, and also as Marlene in The Last of Us. On television, she guest starred on NCIS, 24, Criminal Minds, The Newsroom and Drop Dead Diva. In 2012, she was cast in a series regular role as Chief in the NBC drama series Chicago Fire,. Dandridge also had the recurring roles in the FX drama series, Sons of Anarchy as Rita Roosevelt, and short-lived The CW teen soap Star-Crossed in 2014. In 2015, she co-starred in the second season of NBC medical drama, The Night Shift as Gwen Gaskin.
In 2015, Dandridge was cast as lead character in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf opposite Lynn Whitfield. She plays the role of Grace Greenleaf, Greenleaf's estranged daughter. Dandridge has received critical acclaim for her first leading screen role.
Merle Dandridge Wikipedia