Leslie Uggams (born May 25, 1943, New York City) is an American actress and singer, perhaps best known for her work in Hallelujah, Baby! and the miniseries Roots. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Uggams was born in New York City. Her father was a singer with the Hall Johnson choir and her mother was a dancer. She attended the Professional Children's School of New York and Juilliard. She met her husband, Grahame Pratt while she was performing in Sydney, Australia; they married in 1965. After their marriage, the couple decided to reside in New York, in part to avoid Australia's racial segregation laws of that time. Uggams started in show business as a child in 1950, playing the niece of Ethel Waters on Beulah.