The Lifetime Original Movie, “Abducted: The Carlina White Story,” is based on a remarkable true story of the kidnapping of Carlina White, who was abducted as an infant by Ann Pettway from a New York hospital and solved her own kidnapping and reunited with her biological parents 23 years later. The case is reported to be the first known infant abduction from a New York hospital. On July 30, 2012, Pettway was sentenced in a New York court to 12 years in prison for kidnapping Carlina.
Character: Ann Pettway
Aunjanue Ellis, an actor best known for capturing the subtleties of the characters she embodies, has brought her considerable powers to roles on the stage, in television and film.
She is currently at work on “The Volunteer”, an independent feature. In 2011, Ellis co-starred in the ABC series “Missing”, alongside Ashley Judd. Ellis earned a SAG Award for (ensemble cast) her performance in “The Help”, the 2011 blockbuster starring Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.
Her portrayal of Mary Ann Fisher in the biopic, “Ray”, also garnered a nomination for a SAG award. She has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award twice — for her role in “Men of Honor” opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert DeNiro and for her portrayal of Candy Carson in “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.”
A changeling with a gift for nuance, Ellis’ keen sensitivity allows her to tackle a spectrum of characters. It is this quality that has defined her career in television. She first appeared on the award-winning legal drama “The Practice.” Her other credits include “Blue Bloods”, “The Good Wife”, “True Blood”, “E-Ring” and “Justice.” She created the role of Madeline Hightower on “The Mentalist.”
Character: Carlina White
At the age of nineteen, Keke Palmer has already established herself as one of the fastest rising young stars of her generation. Her talents span film, television, and music alike.
Palmer starred as the title character in the hit Nickelodeon series “True Jackson, VP”, for 68 episodes where she played a high-school student who becomes the head of a major fashion label. In the fall of 2008, “True Jackson” bowed with over 4.8 million viewers, setting a record for Nickelodeon’s largest audience for a live-action premiere. She has received four NAACP Awards for Best Actress in Children’s Television for her role.
Palmer recently starred in the animated film, “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” as the character Peaches. Earlier this year, she starred in “Joyful Noise”, singing alongside legendary Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, however, it was Palmer who the critics singled out for her “young and inspiring” rendition of the Michael Jackson song, “Man in the Mirror.”
In 2007 she appeared in “Shrink”, where she starred alongside Kevin Spacey and Robin Williams. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival where Keke received rave reviews for her performance. In 2008 Palmer starred in “The Longshots.” The film was based on the true story of a young female quarterback played by Palmer that makes Pop Warner history; she starred opposite Ice Cube for first time director and Limp Bizkit front man, Fred Durst. She also starred opposite Sam Jackson and Eva Mendes in “The Cleaner” which premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.
Palmer received great acclaim when she starred as the title character in the sleeper hit “Akeelah and the Bee,” opposite actor Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. Her breakthrough performance received praise from many film critics and organizations. Among the list of nominations received, “Akeelah and the Bee” was listed as one of NBR’s 2006 Top Independent Films of the Year as well as four nominations from the NAACP Image Awards. Palmer alone won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture as well as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture by the Black Movie Awards. She has also received nominations for Most Promising Newcomer by the Chicago Film Critics, Best Actress by the Black Reel Awards, and Best Young Actress by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
On the small screen, Palmer starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Jump In!” in January 2007. The premiere broke the network records for an original television movie premiere with 8.2 million viewers and stood as basic cable’s most-watched program for the entire day. Palmer is also featured on the movie’s soundtrack and is the only artist with two songs on the album. The soundtrack landed at the top of the charts as the third best-selling album in its first week of release and remained in the top 10 for over a month.
Palmer began her career with a small role in the feature film “Barbershop 2 – Back in Business” at the age of nine, opposite Queen Latifah. That role led to a series of guest-starring roles on television shows like “Strong Medicine,” “Cold Case,” “ER,” and “Law & Order.” She later went on to star in the Emmy-nominated made for TV movie, “The Wool Cap,” opposite William H. Macy. Her performance in “The Wool Cap” earned her a NAACP Image Award Nominations as well as a coveted Screen Actors Guild Nomination in the Best Leading Actress category, alongside Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Glenn Close and Patricia Heaton. This nomination put Palmer in the record books as the youngest actor to ever be nominated by the Guild in a Lead Actor Category.
Her other film & TV credits include co-starring in the made for television movie, “Knights of the South Bronx” with Ted Danson, a pilot for her own show on Disney Channel, “Keke & Jamal;” and “Madea’s Family Reunion” starring Tyler Perry, Cicely Tyson, and Dr. Maya Angelou.
Palmer currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Character: Joy White
Whether on stage or screen, Daytime® Emmy Award-winner Sherri Shepherd’s magnetic personality and hilarious sense of humor never fails to delight audiences.
As one of the co-hosts on “The View”, she was a part of groundbreaking history in August 2009, when the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host was awarded to the multiple talk show hosts of the popular morning show. That same year the co-hosts were chosen as part of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time while Forbes ranked “The View” #11 among “30 of the Most Influential Women in Media.”
In addition to daytime, Sherri continues to be a memorable player in primetime. She is currently the host of the revived relationship game show “The Newlywed Game”, and a frequent guest-star on the Emmy award-winning series 30 Rock as Tracy Morgan’s wife, Angie Jordan. She was the Executive Producer and star of her own sitcom “SHERRI” on Lifetime and has made laugh out loud appearances in “Less than Perfect”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Joan of Arcadia”, “Suddenly Susan” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” She will next make a guest appearance on TVLand’s new series, “The Soul Man” with Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash. Sherri recently competed in the fourteenth season of the wildly popular, “Dancing with the Stars,” with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
Most recently, Sherri appeared on the silver screen in Steve Harvey’s “Think Like a Man” and prior to that, stole the spotlight in “One for the Money”, based on the best-selling book series by Janet Evanovich. She has appeared in such feature films as the award-winning film “Precious” based on the novel Push by Sapphire as well as “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”, “Guess Who”, and “Beauty Shop.”
She is the author of a humorous autobiography, “Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Yourself a Break” (Grand Central Publishing) and has also had a successful run in the critically-acclaimed, off-Broadway hit, “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” Sherri is a celebrity spokesperson for March of Dimes and is the national spokesperson for the YAI National Institute. She and her husband Lamar Sally reside in New York with her six-year-old son Jeffrey. Their wedding was captured by The Style Network and “Wedding Fabulous: Sherri Shepherd Gets Married” garnered the highest ratings for a wedding special on the network.