How Being Told She Would Never Make It Helped Sherri Shepherd Realize Her #BlackGirlMagic

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for MegaFest
"I was told by a very big manager in the business that I would never make it," recalls Shepherd of an encounter that would change her life.

Sherri Shepherd is more than a comedian. The working mother can also tackle dramatic roles as she proved in Precious and the Lifetime movie Abducted: The Carlina White Story.

Thankfully for fans, Shepherd, 48, is combining her talents in a recurring role on Fox’s Rosewood where she will play Dr. Anita Eubanks, a highly skilled medical examiner with a jones for the hot chocolate handsomeness of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. (Morris Chestnut). The fascinating thing is Shepherd—who also co-hosted The View and co-starred in Ride Along 2 and 30 Rock—wouldn’t be enjoying such career highs if she’d listened to naysayers years ago.

“I was told by a very big manager in the business that I would never make it. That was back in 1993. I was doing standup, “ Shepherd recalls of her Black girl magic moment. “She said, ‘You’re funny. But you won’t make it in this business because you’re too fat.’ For a minute there, it kind of took me aback. I love the way I look. I love the way the women in my family look because they look just like me. When you’re young, somebody can say one thing to you and just totally shatter your world.

“But it fueled me to keep going. Because I know that I am unique. I’ve got a really wonderful family that supports me all the time. When I started booking gigs and unconventional roles, before I did The View, my friends used to call me the black girl who booked all the white sitcoms. There was a moment when I was doing everything. I was in Suddenly Susan, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond and Less Than Perfect all before I was on 30 Rock. When I started booking everything, that was the best form of revenge for me. I didn’t have to say anything. The very thing about me that makes me unique is what people like. I know what I bring.”

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