Jonelle Allen is an American actress, singer, and dancer.
Born in New York City, Allen grew up in Harlem's Sugar Hill in a neighborhood that included Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, and Johnny Hodges, and NAACP founder Walter White. She made her Broadway debut at the age of six in The Wisteria Trees, Joshua Logan's Americanized adaptation of The Cherry Orchard starring Helen Hayes. As a child, she also made regular appearances on a local children's television series, The Merry Mailman, hosted by Ray Heatherton.
Allen returned to Broadway for a revival of Finian's Rainbow. She was in the cast of the original off-Broadway production of Hair at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and also appeared in George M! before receiving critical acclaim and a Tony Award nomination for Two Gentlemen of Verona, which earned her New York Drama Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, Theatre World, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance. Despite her success, it proved to be her last Broadway appearance to date.
Allen's film credits include Cotton Comes to Harlem, The Hotel New Hampshire, and The River Niger, for which she won an NAACP Image Award.
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