Oprah is back on television — on her own series and on her OWN network. The new TV drama, Greenleaf, which Oprah is executive producing, will premiere Tuesday, June 21, on OWN. The series is not just getting buzz for its captivating premise surrounding a Southern mega church, fans are also intrigued that Oprah will act on the show. With such a formidable personality attached to the series, viewers may be wondering who else is part of the Greenleaf cast?
The series follows the namesake Greenleaf family. The show’s protagonist, Grace Greenleaf, is a prodigal daughter of sorts, returning to her family’s Memphis home for the first time in 20 years due to the death of her sister Faith. Grace returns home to face her father Bishop James Greenleaf (who powerfully runs his own mega church Greenleaf World Ministries), her mother, the cruel matriarch Lady Mae, and surviving siblings. Grace’s arrival unravels secrets and scandals that, of course, make for good TV.
Now that we know the Greenleaf family, let's get to know the actors who will make up this cast of characters. In addition to Oprah, the series features a talented cast. So, let's meet the Greenleaf family and the actors who bring them to life with this cast round-up and family tree of sorts.
Merle Dandridge As Grace Greenleaf
The prodigal daughter and protagonist is played by Merle Dandridge. You probably know Dandridge from her role as Gwen Gaskin on The Night Shift. She has also appeared on Rosewood, NCIS: Los Angeles, Sons of Anarchy, Criminal Minds, and CSI:Miami, according to her prolific IMDB page. It should also be noted that Grace is not arriving at the Greenleaf family compound alone. She has her daughter Sophia (Falling Skies’ Desiree Ross) in tow.
Keith David As Bishop James Greenleaf
Grace’s father is played by storied actor Keith David. David has been in the business since 1979, according to his IMDB profile. You may recognize him from hazy childhood memories of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood where he played Keith the Handyman. David has also appeared in several well-known films like Platoon, There’s Something About Mary, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Crash. He’s also the voice actor who brought Disney villain Dr. Facilier from The Princess And The Frog to life. He has even won two Emmy Awards for his voice acting work.
Lynn Whitfield As Lady Mae Greenleaf
The bishop’s wife Lady Mae Greenleaf is played by veteran actress Lynn Whitfield. Her IMDB credits begin with notable TV spots in the ‘80s, with shows like Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice. The actress won an Emmy for her portrayal of Josephine Baker in the TV bio-pic The Josephine Baker Story . Whitfield has recently appeared on Chasing Life and How To Get Away With Murder.
Lamman Rucker As Jacob Greenleaf
Grace’s brother Jacob is played by Lamman Rucker, who is best known for his Tyler Perry projects. Rucker played Will Brown on Meet the Browns and co-starred in the films Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?.
Kim Hawthorne As Kerissa Greenleaf
Jacob’s wife is played by TV actress Kim Hawthorne. Hawthorne was a regular on Louis C.K.’s short-lived sitcom Lucky Louie. Her IMDB page also lists roles on notable TV shows like Switched at Birth, NCIS: Los Angeles, Private Practice, and It’s Always Sunny.
Deborah Joy Winans As Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee
This newcomer only has a few other IMDB credits, including the TV movie and Whitney Houston bio-pic, Whitney. Winans plays the Greenleaf family’s youngest daughter Charity.
Oprah As Mavis McCready
Oprah is dusting off her acting hat to play Lady Mae's sister Mavis. Intrigue.
With a veteran TV cast (including Oprah), we can’t wait to see what Greenleaf has in store for its inaugural season. Did I mention it has Oprah?