Sheryl Lee Ralph has become a trailblazing force throughout her impressive career. The award-winning actress and singer has a long list of accolades to pair with her extraordinary talent. In 1981, she secured a big role as Deena Jones in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” and later went on to portray Dee Mitchell in “Moesha” alongside Brandy Norwood.
Fast-forward years later and Ralph’s reign in Hollywood is still undeniable. In September 2022, she received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as the beloved Barbara Howard in ABC’s “Abbott Elementary.” The accolade made her the second black woman in Emmy’s history to take home the statuette.
In an exclusive interview with FN, Ralph spoke about her new Microban 24 partnership, outstanding career, “Abbott Elementary’s” phenomenal success, her red carpet style and performing at Super Bowl 2023.
What made you decide to partner with Microban 24?
Ralph: I discovered Microban 24 as it was being launched in early 2020 and it’s been my go sanitizing product to ever since. It was an easy yes to this partnership because it’s a product I use almost every day to keep surfaces in my home protected from bacteria, especially in high-traffic areas like the bathroom.
What is your most favorite area to use Microban 24 and how often do you use the product?
Ralph: I use it almost daily, and would I use most it in the bathroom. People don’t realize how much bacteria are on bathroom surfaces – especially if someone flushes with the lid open – and how easily it can spread around the house. With Microban 24, I know I’m keeping surfaces protected, so I don’t have to worry about protecting my family and guests from bacteria.
When the idea of “Abbott Elementary” was first presented to you, what were your expectations?
Ralph: I was hoping to make a great pilot and we exceeded my expectations. Tyler James Williams and I both knew we had something very special brewing. I felt in my gut it was going to be a hit.
How does it feel to receive recognition at this point in your career?
Ralph: As my friend Bevy Smith says, “it gets greater later.” My recognition may have been delayed but I was not denied.
What is one of your favorite costumes that you’ve worn in your career?
Ralph: Madame Morrible in Wicked. LOVED the bustle and the corset!
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Ralph: The 3rd season of Abbott Elementary.
How did you go about picking your custom red Harbison Studio Jumpsuit for your performance of “Lift Every Voice” at Super Bowl 2023?
Ralph: My daughter Ivy Coco has been my stylist throughout this year and she has an impeccable sense of style and fashion. Somehow she’s able to put my looks together from head to toe including hairstyle, shoes, makeup and nails.
Has your daughter Ivy Coco always had an interest in fashion?
Ralph: She has always had an interest and flair for style and fashion. She came to it naturally spending time with my mother Miss Ivy who was one of Jamaica’s most celebrated designers.
What is one of the biggest shoe purchases you’ve made?
Ralph: I spent $1,500 on a pair of Gucci boots that actually paid for themselves in compliments.
How did you learn to walk in heels and who taught you?
Ralph: I started practicing when I was five years old in my mother’s heels. My dad sent me to charm school to refine it.
Who is one actress that you believe deserves recognition at this moment?
Ralph: Pick any number of actresses in the series P-Valley.