Lynnie Godfrey is proud to be the Inaugural Artist of the Scrimshaw Distinguished Visiting Artist Fund in March 2017. She has been asked to participate in the WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP panel in Albany,NY in April 2017. She is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of ESSENCE OF ACTING...an invited member only organization dedicated to providing its actor membership with creative opportunities that challenge their training and experience. She is honored to be a member of NAG … The historic NEGRO ACTORS GUILD.
Lynnie Godfrey received a DRAMA DESK Nomination for her Broadway debut in the Musical Revue “EUBIE!”…She received the DRAMALOGUE and NAACP Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress for her portrayal in “NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY”. She received the AUDELCO Award for Outstanding performance for her work in “SHUFFLE ALONG”. For Directing Ms. Godfrey received the TYRONE GUTHRIE Award. She has received he NAACP Award for Best Producer also the AUDIO EARPHONE Award and the BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Award for her recording of the the title role “SNOW QUEEN ” among others…
Ms. Godfrey currently sits on the Board of FRIENDS OF MUSIC and on the Performing Arts Board of ARTS QUEST.
>Born and raised in Harlem, the child of Maggie and Fred Godfrey, a caterer and a carpet cleaner, Godfrey attended a private elementary and middle school (the Modern School) and New York City’s George Washington High School where she was elected the first female Student Body Government President. Her voice training began at middle school age with the great voice instructor Dr. Chauncey Northern Sr. of Carnegie Hall and lasted until Dr. Northern’s death in September 1992 at the age of ninety. After graduation Ms. Godfrey attended Hampton University. As a freshman, her speech teacher, the theatrical impresario Marjorie Moon suggested she audition for a production. “The Theatre bug got me the very instant I started to audition”, she recalls. She promptly transferred to Hunter College back in New York City (to be closer to the theatre) where, as the fates would have it, theatre legend Lloyd Richards was teaching a Black Theatre History course. She enrolled in that course and went on to study acting and directing with the theatre legend and giant.
Her career proceeded at jet speed, working with Herbert Berghoff at the No Smoking Playhouse and then within two years of graduating from Hunter College she was on Broadway in the musical review “EUBIE!”, the music of Eubie Blake; where she shared the stage with an incredible cast that included the multi-talented Hines Brothers: Gregory and Maurice. She received a DRAMA DESK Nomination and an AUDELCO AWARD for her work in “EUBIE!”, her Broadway debut. Her career has taken her to regional theatre, off-Broadway, nightclubs…national and international. She appeared at the famed 92nd Street Y under the direction of the extremely dedicated Maurice Levine performig with fabulous composers like Burton Lane, Livingston and Evans (creators of the Bonanza theme) and many other luminaries. She has learned from the Masters.
She worked with Larry Kert, Jack Gilford and Orson Bean in ESIPA’S “KNICKERBOCKER FOLLIES”. Credits include New York and the London West End productions of “SNOW QUEEN” in which Ms Godfrey performed the title role. Lola in ” DAMN YANKEES” at Hartford Stage with Tony Award winning actors Michael Rupert as Joe, and the late, wonderful David Rounds as the Devil. She was in the original American Place Theater production of “A, MY NAME IS ALICE.”. There were companies of “AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ ‘, “DESERT SONG” as Azuri, “ABSURDITIES” in Europe as Josephine Baker and in Los Angeles the production of “NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY” directed by Pulitzer Prize Winner Charles Gordone and famed director Bill Duke. In this production of “NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY” she performed the role originally created by the formidable Mary Alice…Cora Mae Beasley… Ms Godfrey received both the NAACP IMAGE AWARD and a DRAMALOGUE THEATRE AWARD.
Ms Godfrey stayed on in Los Angeles to make over 30 guest appearances on Network television and was recurring actor on two series “AMEN” and “BREWSTER PLACE” and a series regular on “THE NEW MONKEES” as Helen and in the Norman Lear sequel to “All in the Family” …:704 HAUSER” where she starred as Rose Cumberbatch.
Her film work includes appearing in “V.I.WARSHAWSKI” as Kathleen Turner’s best friend Sal,” WOMAN WITHOUT IMPLANTS” and “ENEMY TERRITORY”.
Television appearances include Steven Bochco’s, “LA LAW” and “CIVIL WARS”; others are: “thirtysomething”, “FRANK’S PLACE”, “EUBIE!”, “MEMORIES OF EUBIE”…which was hosted by Mr. Billy Taylor, “227”, “ALMOST PERFECT”, “OUT OF THIS WORLD”, “COP ROCK”, “GENERATIONS”, “LIVING DOLLS” and “SONNY SPOON” among others.
Some of her proudest performance moments in theatre include her work in the one person tour de force “LADIES OF SONG” and her Cabaret Performances of Standard Classic Songs entitled “An Evening With Lynnie Godfrey “where she perfroms songs by some of the most wonderful composers ever…music that spans many eras….from Cole Porter to Stephen Sondheim…and the Beatles…and her work with ESSENCE OF ACTING.