Veteran actress Anne-Marie Johnson is a champion for diversity in Hollywood, and has worked behind the scenes to aid African-American performers for years. Over the weekend, Ms. Johnson made history after she became the first Black actor or actress to win the SAG-AFTRA Ralph Morgan Award.

Johnson, a native of Los Angeles, began her career in the early ’70’s and rose to fame with roles in the sitcom, What’s Happening Now! and the crime drama, In The Heat Of The Night. She also starred in small roles in a variety of TV and film productions, and has held recurring roles on shows such as That’s So Raven and was also an In Living Color troupe member.

Joining Johnson in winning the Ralph Morgan Award, named after SAG’s first president, is fellow actress Morgan Fairchild.

Like Johnson, Fairchild has fought for diversity in Hollywood and served on both the boards of SAG and AFTRA while also working with the Women’s Political Committee in California. The Ralph Morgan Award is the SAG-AFTRA’s Los Angeles local’s highest honor giving to members or staff who go above and beyond in service to the membership.

“The African-American Report,” which studies issues that concern African-American primetime performers, was created by Johnson and professors Dr. Darnell Hunt, and Dr. Patricia Heisser-Metoyer. Additionally, Johnson was SAG’s EEOC National Chair, a four-term First National Vice President, and also was a member of AFTRA’s National Board.

Johnson’s latest role took place this year on Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital series.

(Photo: PR Photos)

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