Fans are stunned by acting veteran Dawnn Lewis, who is aging like fine wine. The Brooklyn native was a triple threat at the age of 11 — taking on singing, dancing and acting. But she’s mostly remembered for her role on “A Different World.” The multi-talented star was a key fixture on the popular all-Black series for which she co-wrote the theme song. On “The Cosby Show” spinoff, she played 25-year-old divorcée and college student Jalessa Vinson.
Fans were blown away by Lewis’ ageless beauty after the “Grey’s Anatomy” star shared a screenshot of an article written about her success on Instagram. The headline read, “She Played Jaleesa on ‘A Different World.’ See Dawnn Lewis Now at 60.” But apparently some had no clue she turns 61 in three months.
“60?? WHERE?? OK whatever elixir you’re drinking to stay as fabulous as you are at 60, I need that recipe please. In fact, make mine a double with NO ICE!! You look wonderful!! God bless.”
“I CANNOT wrap my head around 60. You don’t look at day over 45!”
“Timeless that’s my auntie!!”
“As a young child watching that show, you were everything. I loved your character!!”
“60 where!!!! I’ve been a fan since ‘A Different World’ and the dorm step show.”
Lewis’ role on “A Different World” has served and continues to serve as an inspiration to many, including one Instagram user who said, “Jaleesa was the blueprint for non-traditional students returning to college. I wnt back at 46 and got my degree in 2019, in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University.”
Another person said, “My favorite unicorn. There’s nothing you can’t do. You’re an inspiration. Thank you.”
Since “A Different World,” Lewis has taken on numerous television and movie roles in “Hangin’ With Mr Cooper,” “Major Crimes,” “Preacher’s Kid,” “Hardball,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Dreamgirls” and the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” Her career spans over three decades, including voiceover work in animated series such as “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” “Futurama,” “The Simpsons,” “The Boondocks, “Rick & Morty” and more.
Lewis also has been giving back by offering programming and financial support for underserved youth with her organization A New Day Foundation with a “Dr.” in front of her name. In honor of her community work and support to youth across the world, the philanthropist received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Next Dimension University, a Rancho Cucamonga-based Bible College in 2019.
That same year, Lewis returned to New York to perform in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” She played Zelma Bullock, Turner’s mother, in the Broadway play.