Date of Birth: 1961
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Lemmons started her career at age 19 as a hostage in the telefilm 11th Victim. She went on appear in Off-Broadway plays for the next 10 years in such productions as Romeo and Juliet, Balm in Gilead, and The Avenue U Boys, before returning to the screen.
In 1988 she started working in films such as Spike Lee's School Daze, Vampire's Kiss and Silence of the Lambs, as well as more television work, including landing the role of Alex Robbins in the television series Under Cover.
Following the advice of her husband, actor Vondie Curtis-Hall, she decided to direct a screenplay she had penned called Eve's Bayou, and went on to achieve this goal with flying colors. Besides being the highest grossing indie film in 1997, it also received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, seven NAACP Image Award nominations, and a special first time director award created just for her by the National Board of Review.
She continued to act for the next couple of years in films such as Gridlock'd and 'Til There Was You, but focused much of her attention to writing and working with scripts like The Passion, The Impersonator and Privacy.
Kasi then returned behind the camera to shoot The Caveman's Valentine (2001), once again directing Samuel L. Jackson, who was seen in Eve's Bayou. Her next film, about the life of radio host Ralph "Petey" Greene (played by Don Cheadle) was the biopic Talk to Me (2007), which was very well received by the critics.
She waited another six years before offering moviegoers the musical drama Black Nativity, based on the play of the same title by Langston Hughes in 2013.
Small contributions to the TV universe were followed by the release of the biographical and historical drama Harriet (2019), which tells the story of how the former slave Harriet Tubman—played by Cynthia Erivo—freed black slaves through the use of the Underground Railway, becoming one of the most important heroines of all time in the United States.
The Caveman's Valentine (2001)
Eve's Bayou (1997)
Liars' Dice (1998)
'Til There Was You (1997)
Drop Squad (1994)
Fear of a Black Hat (1993)
Hard Target (1993)
The Five Heartbeats (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Vampire's Kiss (1989)
School Daze (1988)