In 2004 Yvette Freeman won a second Ovation Award and NAACP Award for her performance in the play “Dinah Was” - recreating the role of Dinah Washington at the Long Beach International Theater in Long Beach, California. The play “Dinah
Was,” is based on the life of legendary jazz singer Dinah Washington, and won Yvette an Obie at the Gramercy Theatre, off-Broadway. The same play in 1996, in Los Angeles, garnered her “Best Actress in a Musical,” from the NAACP, Ovation Awards, and LA Weekly.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Yvette developed her love of performing from her father, jazz pianist, Charles Freeman. She graduated from the University of Delaware, with a major in Art and Theater. Her first major performance was in the Broadway musical sensation “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” which utilized her tremendous singing voice, and led to roles on stage, television and feature films. Freeman also starred in The First National, Paris and International, companies of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Freeman’s other stage credits include “Elegies for Angel Punks and Raging Queens” as Bertha (Los Angeles); Sister Hurbert in “Nunsense” (Boston), Queenie in “Show Boat”(St. Louis), the Sacramento production of “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” as Jewel; and as Bernice in “Member of the Wedding” (Portland). She was also in the national and international touring company productions of “The Wiz,” “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” “Voices, Inc.,” and “Mademoiselle Rose” in Monte Carlo and China.
On television, Freeman played Nurse Haleh Adams on the NBC drama ER for all 15 seasons. She has been a guest-star in including Nip/Tuck, Presidio Med, The Tick, That’s Life, Boston Public, Judging Amy, NYPD Blue, The John Larroquette Show, and Sisters and many more. Her feature film credits include roles in “Switch,” “Dead Again,” “Children of the Corn III,” and “Angus
Bethune,” and the HBO movie “Norma and
In 1999, Yvette Freeman added director to her credits when she completed the American Film Institute’s program Director’s Workshop for Women. Her first film was The Blessing Way. She has gone on to write, direct and produce several short films including Remember, a film about Alzheimer’s, which won several awards including Best Short Story for the Moondance 2004 Film Festival. Her other short films include “The Making of a Global Village,“ a documentary about African Dance in a Los Angeles community, and for the internet site instantfilms.tv she made “The Confused Toad” and “Hideous Scream.”
Yvette is married to jazz pianist Lanny Hartley, who is musical director for “Dinah Was,” and arranger/producer for “A Tribute to Dinah Washington.”
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