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Valarie Pettiford

Air Date:  January 24, 2021

Valarie Pettiford is an award-winning actor, dancer and singer. She earned Tony and Grammy nominations for “Fosse” and can be seen currently as a series regular on 2 TV shows, Bad Wolf Productions’ “A Discovery of Witches" on AMC and BBC America as Emily Mather.  The series is a television adaptation of the “All Souls Trilogy,” written by Deborah Harkness. Valarie also plays 'Chippy Duncan' in "The Family Business” on BET PLUS. And has a recurring role on “Black AF” as ‘Grandma’ on Netflix, playing Kenya Barris’s mom.



Some of Valarie’s television highlights:


  • Roma Downey series “The Baxters” as ‘Diane Jacobs’ season 3,

  • ‘Ronda Sales’ on Season 4 of “Being Mary Jane”,

  • 4 seasons and 3 NAACP Image Awards nominations as ‘Big Dee Dee’ on UPN's “Half and Half",

  • ‘Simone Porter’ on the CW's “Valor" now on Amazon Prime,

  • ‘Charlene Cooper’ on NBC's “The Blacklist",

  • ‘Beverly’ on TVOne's “Born Again Virgin',

  • ‘Mrs. Duckworth’ on NBC's “Blackish",

  • “LuvTales”' (web series), “Bones", “House of Payne", “True Blood", “Treme", “Criminal Minds", “CSI Miami”, and the role of ‘Sheila Price’ on “One Life To Live” and ‘Det. Courtney Walker’ on “Another World”.


Film highlights include:

  • “The Lunch” as 'Wendy' (short film) conceived, written and directed by Eleanor Coppola.

  • Aunt Geneva in “Jumping the Broom”,

  • Aunt Jackie in “Stomp The Yard”,


Co-starring roles:

  • “Senior Moment”, “Jingle Belle”, “Boy Bye”, “If Not Now When?” (Indie), “Note To Self”, “Preacher's Son”, “Battlefield America”, “Why Did I Get Married? 2”, “Glitter”,

  • Featured Dancer in Francis Ford Coppola's “The Cotton Club” and “The Wiz”,


In addition to her Tony nomination, Valarie was also nominated for the Outer Critics, Drama League, and Mora Dora awards for "Fosse". She was one of the principal dancers in the first national tour of Bob Fosse’s "Dancin" and his last original musical, "Big Deal" in which she was part of the trio Dancin’ Dan and his Shadows, and was given various supporting roles throughout the show. She was also personally asked to participate in the Backers Audition then became part of his skeleton Crew and Dance Captain.

Valarie was part of the original cast of “Sophisticated Ladies” and was Judith Jameson’s understudy where she got the chance to go on during previews and got her 1st glowing review.

Valarie was nominated for an Ovation Award as Julie in the tour of “Showboat" directed by the legendary Hal Prince.

Valarie was the first American to portray Velma Kelly in the West End revival of “Chicago,” starring alongside Chita Rivera. When Ms. Rivera was inducted into The Kennedy Center Honors, she personally requested Valarie reprise the role.

Other theater credits highlights:

  • Valarie played Anita in the 30th Anniversary Tour of “West Side Story". That same year performed the scene and famous number 'America ' on 'CBS' celebrating the Bicentennial,

  • Hal Prince's “Grind” as ‘Fleta’,

  • She won an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress as ‘Queenie’ in the LA premiere of Michael John La Chuisa’s “The Wild Party”,

  • She was thrilled to play 'Aunt Em' and Glinda in “The Wiz” at La Jolla Playhouse directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo,

  • Leontine in 'He Hunts' at the Geffen Playhouse's new adaptation of Georges Feydeau's farce, “Monsieur Chasse” and starred opposite Alice Ripley,

  • In Reprise Theater Company's “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” as ‘Dorothy’,

  • She received the Bistro Award for Cabaret Debut at the Metropolitan Room.


Valarie has performed sold-out concerts of her one-woman show across the country and is always honored when she gets the call to perform with The Pasadena Pops. Valarie has released two albums entitled, 'Hear My Voice', and 'Velvet Sky'. Valarie is honored to be part of The Verdon Fosse Legacy, reconstructing Bob Fosse’s choreography and teaching it to a new generation of dancers and was privileged to reconstruct 4 numbers for the hit FX show titled “Fosse/Verdon” starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell.

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