A graduate of the University of Michigan, actress Denise Nicholas made her first off-Broadway appearance in the 1966 revue Viet Rock. She later appeared in such New York productions as Ceremonies in Dark Old Men and Dame Lorraine, and was active with the Free Southern Theater and the Negro Ensemble Company. She co-starred with Bill Cosby in a number of films, including Let's Do It Again (1975), A Piece of the Action (1977), and Ghost Dad (1990). Nicholas was been a regular on three TV series, playing guidance counselor Liz McIntyre in Room 222 (1969-1974), for which she received three Golden Globe nominations; Olivia Ellis in Baby, I'm Back (1978); and Harriet De Long in In the Heat of the Night (1988-1994). She later starred as an alcoholic mother in domestic drama Ritual (2000). Nicholas is also author of The Denise Nicholas Beauty Book.