Valarie was born on July 8th in Queens, New York, daughter to Ralph and Blanche, and younger sister to Atonia. Valarie began her training as a child at the Bernice Johnson Theater of Performing Arts in Queens, NY, and continued her early training at the Performing Arts High School. Her tremendous versatility in all styles of dance soon lead her to Broadwa, where she first became a "Fosse dancer,' working with the late great Bob Fosse on Dancin,' and in his last Broadway musical Big Deal. Her other Broadway and national tour credits include Sophisticated Ladies and West Side Story.
Off Broadway, she has appreared in Freefall (winning her an ADELCO Award nominatio for Best Actress in a play), Genet's The Balcony, Tango Apasionado, Alan Menkin's Weird Romance, Beehive and Paul Rudnick's The Naked Truth. Regionally, she has starred in productions of She Stoops To Conquer, Summer and Smoke and the World Premiere of Marsha Norman's Sarah and Abraham.
On television Valarie has appeared on Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Half and Half, Walker Texas Ranger, Fame L.A., Matthew, Sliders, Silk Stalkings, The Sentinel and as Detective Courteny Walker on Another World. She is best remembered, though, for her three year stint as the indomitable Shelia Price, a role she created on the daytime drama One Life to Live.
Valarie has appeared in the films The Wiz, The Cotton Club, Another You, Divorce and as Denise in Street Hunter. She has recorded and toured with R'n'B/Rock 'n' Roll bands in the U.S. and Europe. Her poignant portrayal as one of most tragic heroines written for music theater - julie in Show Boat - won her the NAACP Award, L.A.'s Robby Award and the Vancouver Sun Reader's Choice Award, in addition to nominations for L.A.'s Ovation Award and the Jessie Richardwon Theater Award. Show Boat reunited Valarie with the legendary Harold Prince, with whom she worked previously on the Broadway production of Grind. Valarie took the lead in Broadway's 1999 Tony Award winning best musical Fosse, where her outstanding performance earned her 1999 Tony Outer Critics' Circle and Dora Mavor Moore (Toronto) Award nominations.
Valarie made her West End debut in the autumn of 1999 in Chicago as Velma Kelly, opposite Chita Rivera and Maria Friedman until February 2000.
She is privileged to have worked with, in addition to Messrs Prince and Fosse, Francis Ford Coppola, Sidney Lumet, Alan Menken, Paul Rudnick, Marsha Norman, George Faison, Michael Peters, Arthur Laurents and the late Tony Award-winning composer of Rent, Jonathan Larson. Valarie's latest project has been playing the role of Lillian James in the movie "Glitter" which also stars Mariah Carey and released in Autumn 2001.
Valarie lives in L.A. with her husband Tony and their two dogs. Her hobbies include shopping and knitting and her favourite book is "Memoirs of a Geisha." Her favourite movie is "All About Eve."
Valarie Pettiford's Scores
- By date
- By user score
|Stars in Shorts||Sep 28, 2012||Angel Of Death||tbd|
|Battlefield America||Jun 1, 2012||Ms. Williams||1.7|
|Jumping the Broom||May 6, 2011||Aunt Geneva||5.0|
|Why Did I Get Married Too?||Apr 2, 2010||Harriet||6.5|
|Stomp the Yard||Jan 12, 2007||Jackie||7.1|
|Glitter||Sep 21, 2001||Lillian Frank||5.7|