Sherri Shepherd is an American actress, comedian, author, and television personality. She shot to fame after her role in the sitcoms Suddenly Susan, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Jamie Foxx Show. Since she made her debut appearance onscreen in 1995, she has never stopped working. From hosting TV shows to appearing in movies and film, it has been a busy life for the Chicago-born entertainer.
As one of the most celebrated women in Hollywood, the story of Sherri Shepherd is worth telling, from her beginning to the heights of her professional and personal life.
Sherri Shepherd Was Raised In A Christian Home
Sherri Evonne Shepherd was born on April 22, 1967, in Chicago, Illinois. Her nationality is American. She is oldest of the three daughters of LaVerne and Lawrence A. Shepherd. Her mother died in 1991, and her father is a church deacon. Lawrence also worked as a food service manager at Sambos Restaurant. Under her parents, Sherri grew up a Jehovah’s Witness.
Shepherd grew up in suburb Hoffman Estates, a village in Illinois after her family moved to the area. She attended Winston Churchill Elementary School and furthered her education at Eisenhower Junior High School of Community Consolidated School District 54 and Hoffman Estates High School of District.
Before she became a known act onscreen, Sherri worked as a legal secretary. Considering her upbringing, how Sherri Shepherd developed her interests in the arts remains unknown. However, after a few years of working in a regular industry, she quit and opted for a career in entertainment as an actress.
As An Actress, Sherri Shepherd Had An Unstable Beginning In Her Career
The actress started her TV career in 1995 when she worked as a legal secretary in Beverly Hills. She later quit her job and got a role on the short-lived WB’s sitcom Cleghorne. At the end of the season and with no other source of income in sight, Sherri went back to continue working.
Although she made a few guest appearances, most notably her role in Friends, Sherri battled with a stop-start routine in her early career days. After WB cancelled Cleghorne, she did not get a stable gig until 1997 when she starred as Miranda Charles in Suddenly Susan. Sherri went on to appear in multiple episodes on shows like Holding the Baby, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Jamie Foxx Show.
She also starred in the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect, which lasted for four years, starting from 2002 to 2006. It was the beginning of her road to stardom and earned a nomination for the BET Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2005.
How She Became One Of The Most Accomplished Actresses in Hollywood
Despite the lacklustre start to her career, Sherri Shepherd has amassed enough credits, played many major roles, and won a lot of awards to become one of the industry’s most celebrated black actresses. She has appeared in more than 61 movies and TV shows, with over 13 award nominations to her name.
In 2006, she appeared on several TV shows, including The Megan Mullally Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more. Outside of acting gigs, Sheri, famous for her warm personality, joined The View from 2007 to 2014 as a co-host. Not only did Shepherd’s career go up a level due to the role, but she also earned herself different Daytime Emmy Award nominations for which she won one in 2009. She has also anchored Nickelodeon’s Nickmom Night Out special.
In 2009, the talented star featured in her own sitcom Sherri on Lifetime. The ambitious star also appeared on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical production of Cinderella. Shepherd contested in the Dancing with the Stars show in the fourteenth season (2012) and played Daphne in different episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
Besides being an actress and show host, Shepherd is also an author. She wrote the book Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break (2009). She has a co-author credit on Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes, published in 2013.
25-plus Years In Hollywood, $10 Million Net Worth
When Sherri Shepherd quit her legal secretary job and the show, Cleghorne!, got cancelled, she became homeless. She lost her car and slept on the couches of friends and kind strangers for a year. Today, she is in a much better place financially, with an estimated $10 million in net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Her wealth comes from a long and thriving career as a TV host, author, actress, and comedian. As a comedian, not only is she a regular fixture on sitcoms, but she is also a stand-up performer, which like music artists, is the most lucrative aspect of the profession.
Now rich, Sherri Shepherd has paid it forward. She once paid six months’ rent and utilities of Debbie Clark, a former American Gladiator, who was homeless at the time. She also raises funds for the YAI Sherri Shepherd ‘Believe in Abilities’ Fund.
As for her net worth, since she got divorced in 2014, it is difficult to determine the exact change in her wealth. But one thing is for sure, Sherri never stopped being a high earner. Sources currently place her annual income at $2 million per year.
The Mixed Bag That is Sherri Shepherd’s Love Life
Despite her successful career, Shepherd has not had a stable love life. She got married to Jeff Tarpley in 2001, but their marriage crashed in 2010. The marriage produced one son named Jeffrey Tarpley.
The same year her first marriage failed, Sherri Shepherd got engaged to TV writer, Lamar Sally. They held their wedding the following year in Chicago. But the marriage ended as quickly as it started. Both stars filed for separation and divorce in 2014. They share one child, Lamar Sally, Jr, who they had through surrogacy in 2014.
Both of them fought for custody, but it was awarded to Sherri after a year in April 2015, making her the full legal parent of Lamar.
Her son, Jeffrey, is a Special Needs Child
Jeffrey Tarpley was born on April 22, 2005. He was born 15 weeks earlier than his due date and had to spend four months in NICU. While raising a special needs child comes with its challenges, Sherri has dealt with other issues with her ex-husband, Jeff Tarpley. In 2014, her first husband tried to rip off Jeffery’s custody from the TV show host. He described her as a terrible mother who neglects her son’s special needs.
According to him, the 9-year-old child could hardly write at the time, tie his shoes, or even read despite being in 2nd grade. Sherri Shepherd came out strong after all the accusations and retained full custody of their son.
As part of her support for her child, she supports the Young Adult Institute (YAI), which offers programs that empower and enhance the lives of people that live with a mental and physical disability. She also has a fund under the agency, YAI Sherri Shepherd ‘Believe in Abilities’ Fund.