Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Lavelle Roby’s presence has been felt in theaters, stages, television screens and print modeling throughout the world. Initially coming to Hollywood in 1960 to attend UCLA, she became a part of the explosion of Black female faces on the American acting scene in the 1960’s. Like her contemporaries of that era, Ruby Dee, Eartha Kitt and Diahann Carroll, the multi-faceted Lavelle is known as a sexy, sultry and versatile actress. She has appeared in numerous TV shows from classics such as: “Barney Miller,” “Dynasty,” “Here’s Lucy,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Quincy,” and “Get Smart” as well as contemporary shows “The Practice,” “I-Carly” and “The Shield.”
Lavelle has achieved cult status with memorable performances in acclaimed Director Russ Meyer’s films: “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” and “Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers!” She was the first African-American woman hired by Meyers during that era. Her portrayal as “Claire” (a total “badass”) in the “Finders Keepers” film has been cited by film critics and Meyer’s movie fans as one of the stronger female characters in Russ Meyer’s entire filmography. Other iconic films she has appeared in include: Film Pioneer Melvin Van Peebles’ “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” and as Apollo Creed’s wife (Mary Creed) in the original Oscar winning “Rocky” film.
“Being in show business has been an act of courage. You have to be brave enough to explore the unknown. It’s a journey of exploration -you find out about uncharted regions of your artistic instrument. I feel I am still just at the beginning of the road. Socrates said, “Since we do not know what we are looking for, we cannot know what we will find.”
Most recently the prolific actress is working on “Egnapos” (“Every Girl Needs A Pair of Stockings”) delving into her more than 50 years of working in the entertainment business. Lavelle Roby’s effortless transition from portraying very dignified female characters to gritty and flamboyant characters is a testament to this actress’ abilities to continue on such a high plane in a TV, Film and Print Modeling career spanning five decades and counting.