Sheryl Lee Ralph to receive Hollywood Walk of Fame star
Sheryl Lee Ralph (Photo: Tayo Kuku Jr)

The accolades just keep coming for Sheryl Lee Ralph.

The American-born actress, who has Jamaican heritage, learnt on Monday that she is among a new group of entertainment professionals selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ralph, who was on a flight from Jamaica to New York when she received the news, told the Jamaica Observer that she was surprised by the announcement made by Ellen K, chair of the Walk of Fame Selection Panel.

"I can't believe it," she said on being contacted shortly after her flight landed.

"This reminds me of what my grandmother used say, 'What is fi yuh, cyaan be un-fi yuh'," added Ralph, her reference to the Jamaican proverb which translates: What is meant to be yours, will be yours.

Sheryl Lee Ralph poses in the press room with her Emmy on Monday, September 12, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)

Ralph, whose late mother Ivy was one of Jamaica's pioneer fashion designers, has had reason to use the proverb since last September when, at age 66, she won the Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a comedy series for her role as kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard in Abbott Elementary.

The award was her first-ever Emmy nomination in a stage and film career stretching from the early 1970s when she starred in the American crime comedy film A Piece of the Action directed by Sidney Poitier.

The following month Ralph was invested with the Order of Jamaica, the nation's fifth-highest honour, for her sterling contribution to the international film industry.

In February this year international attention was again focused on Ralph as she performed Lift Every Voice And Sing at the NFL Super Bowl finals in the United States.

Sheryl Lee Ralph being invested with the Order of Jamaica in 2022 by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.

The song, which was used as a rallying cry during the US civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, is often referred to as the "black national anthem".

In Monday's announcement, the selection panel said the honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominations at a meeting held on June 16, 2023 and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber's board of directors on June 21, 2023.

"The selection committee, which is made up of fellow Walk of Famers, carefully hand-picks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world," a release quotes Ellen K.

"The committee did an amazing job choosing these very talented people. We can't wait to see each honoree's reaction as they realise that they are becoming a part of Hollywood's history with the unveiling of their star on the world's most famous walkway," Ellen K added.

Ralph is included in the television category of honorees who are now known as the Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2024. Her compatriots in that category are Ken Jeong, Eugene Levy, Mario Lopez, Jim Nantz, Michael Schur, Kerry Washington, and Raúl De Molina and Lili Estefan, co-hosts of the television show El Gordo y La Flaca.

The motion pictures category comprises Chadwick Boseman (posthumous), Kevin Feige, Gal Gadot, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Meledandri, Chris Pine, Christina Ricci, and Michelle Yeoh.

In the category recognising musical recordings are Glen Ballard, Toni Braxton, Def Leppard, Charles Fox, Sammy Hagar, Brandy Norwood, Darius Rucker, Gwen Stefani, and Andre "Dr Dre" Young.

Other honorees are Jane Krakowski and Otis Redding (posthumous) in the category live theatre/live performance; Angie Martinez, radio; and Billie Jean King and Carl Weathers in the sports entertainment category.

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