Part 2: Our Hall of Fame
BY Advocate.com Editors
March 19 2012 2:00 AM ET
Just as AIDS began to ravage New York City in 1981, Sheryl Lee Ralph starred in the original production of the Broadway smash Dreamgirls. That time in her life would be formative, as she watched many of her gay friends succumb to AIDS. Ralph soon became one of the earliest celebrity HIV activists, with her work chronicled in a 1983 edition of The Advocate. The actress — who would move on to roles in Moesha and Barbershop — has raised millions for HIV charities through her DIVA Foundation and her Divas Simply Singing events. While many have turned their back on AIDS-related work, Ralph continues to shout from the rooftops.
"A young man called me up yesterday to say, 'Miss Ralph, you told me to take the test ... and I'm positive,'" Ralph told us recently. "That call has never changed over 30 years — the same fear, the same apprehension."
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Commentary Can Marc Carson's Murder Have as Much Impact as Matthew Shepard's? 12 min 38 sec ago
- Music The Comeback: ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog 32 min 36 sec ago
- Travel 10 of Europe's Gayest Beaches 1 hour 49 min ago
- Current Issue The South's Longer Wait for Equality 4:00 AM
- Current Issue Editor's Letter: Why One Couple's Story Should Worry You 4:00 AM
- Current Issue The Small Southwestern Town That Went Rogue 4:00 AM
- Arts & Entertainment Week in Beef: Ben Cohen, Frank Ocean, Hugh Jackman, and More Shirtless Celebs May 19 2013 6:02 PM