African-American comedian Sherri Shepherd debuted on the small screen in the mid-'90s, with appearances on such popular series programs as Friends, Emeril, and Less Than Perfect -- typically as aggressive and outspoken, spunky women. Shepherd then broke through to national acclaim and recognition in the mid-2000s -- both cinematically, with prominent billing in the features Beauty Shop (2005) and Who's Your Caddy? (2007), and on television, as one of the hostesses on the popular daytime talk program The View. Shepherd grew up in the Chicago area. When her parents divorced at an early age, the mother took custody of Sherri and her three sisters and moved with them to California. An experience watching a comedian do a standup act inspired Shepherd to step behind the microphone. As an actress, she debuted on the sitcom Cleghorne!, then landed guest appearances on the aforementioned series. As an outspoken and committed, born-again Christian, Shepherd is extremely guarded about which roles she accepts and which scenes and dialogue she will perform onscreen, guidelines that distinguish her from many of her contemporaries but have reportedly not hindered her career or her popularity.
She appeared in the Oscar-winning Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, and joined the cast of the Madagascar animated franchise as Alex's mother.In 2011 she was cast in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, and in 2012 she played opposite Katherine Heigl in One for the Money.