Who is Valarie Pettiford?
Valarie Pettiford was born on 8 July 1960, in Queens, New York City USA. She is an actress, singer and dancer, perhaps best known for her role in the Broadway production of “Fosse” in which she earned a Tony Award nomination. She also worked on the sitcom “Half & Half”, in which she played Big Dee Dee Thorne.
The Wealth of Valarie Pettiford
As of late-2019 net worth is ~$1.5 million. She’s been active in the entertainment industry since 1978, and has appeared in numerous popular television shows.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
There are very few details that have been revealed when it comes to Valarie’s life before her foray into acting. She has not mentioned anything about her family, upbringing, and her educational attainments. It is known that she began her career on Broadway, as a dancer and choreographer in Bob Fosse productions. While she mainly had a background role, several publications took notice of her including “The New York Times”, thanks to her contribution to the musical “Ladies and Gentlemen, Jerome Kern!”
Eventually, she started gaining more on-camera roles, and got her first film role as a part of the ensemble in “The Wiz”. The musical film is a re-imagining of the children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” featuring an all-black cast while being a loose adaptation of the 1974 Broadway musical of the same name. The film starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, however, it was a commercial failure, but it would still become a cult classic among Jackson fans and black audiences.
Rise to Prominence
Pettiford started to gain more attention as years progressed, and she received praise for her performance on stage in the musical “West Side Story”. The production is inspired by the Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet” but this time set in the Upper West Side of New York City during the 1950s. She continued working on stage, and played the black lesbian Cassandra Keefer in “The Naked Truth” in 1994. She also starred in the touring production of “Show Boat” a year later, a two-act musical based on the Edna Ferber novel of the same name.
During this time, she also started to take more television projects, mostly appearing in soap operas. She appeared in “Another World” and then originated the role of Sheila Price in “One Life to Live” – the soap was broadcast on ABC for over 43 years, and was noted for being the first soap to feature diverse characters in terms of ethnicity as well as socioeconomic status – the show follows the members of the Lord family and their relationships. In 1998, she received a Tony nomination for her performance in “Fosse”, a role which she was also nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award.
Valarie later left “Fosse” to appear in a West End production of “Chicago”, alongside Chita Rivera. The musical is based on the 1926 play of the same name, following the story of Maurine Dallas Watkins and the crimes she reported on. She then made her cabaret debut in 2007, which got her a Backstage Bistro Award. Afterwards, she had a lead role in “The Wild Party” for which she won an NAACP Theatre Award. The musical is based on the poem of the same name written by Joseph Moncure March.
While starring in a few solo theatrical shows, she also starred in the film “Glitter”, playing the mother of Mariah Carey. She also had a role in the film “Stomp the Yard”, and played the character Sandra Lucas in the comedy show “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”. She then worked on the pilot for “Anatomy of Hope”, and was a part of 2011’s “Jumping the Boom” playing Aunt Geneva. One of her latest projects is a main role in the show “A Discovery of Witches”. The British television show is based on the “All Souls” trilogy of books written by Deborah Harkness.
Personal Life and Social Media
Pettiford is married to Tony Rader, though details about their relationship and marriage are mostly hidden from the public. He is known to be her manager, and was previously a professional baseball player who pitched for the Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Philadelphia Phillies. She does not like to talk about her life away from acting, and it is not known if she has any children from her marriage. Despite all of her achievements, especially on stage, she prefers not to attract too much attention to herself. She also enjoys music, particularly the jazz genre, having released an album herself.