Sheryl Lee Ralph, American actor of Jamaican heritage, will play the recurring role of Matilde Ruval, the mother of Dr. Gregory Ruval, in the TNT network hit “Claws” in Season 2. Ralph gained recognition for portraying Deena Jones in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” in 1981. She received a Tony Award nomination for this role in the category of Best Actress in a Musical. Ralph, 61, most recently had a co-starring role on “Instant Mom” on the TVLand channel. She has appeared in “one Mississippi” on Amazon video and performed in the television series “MacGyver” and “Criminal Minds.” She also appeared in the films “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,” “Deterrence,” and “Unconditional Love.” The second season of “Claws” will premiere in the summer of 2018 on TNT.
Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Ralph’s parents were Ivy, an Afro-Jamaican fashion designer, and Stanley Ralph, an African American college professor. She was raised in Mandeville, Jamaica, and Long Island, New York. She was named Miss Black Teenage New York in 1972, and at 19 became the youngest woman to graduate from Rutgers University. At Rutgers, she was one of the earliest actors to be awarded the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Ralph was named one of the top ten college women in America by Glamour magazine. In 2003, she was the commencement speaker at Rutgers.
Claws is a midnight-dark, wickedly funny meditation on female badness set in a South Florida nail salon. It follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures. Claws is about good women caught in bad places with worse men. It’s the story of hardworking women trying to get by in this economy, set against the surreal, bright, gritty landscape of Florida and the luscious, absurd, extreme excesses of the crime world.