Deanna Reed-Foster is an Emmy Winning Actress from Chicago that grew up on the south-side of Chicago with her older brother Curtis and her mother. She attended Lindblom Technical H.S. where she first discovered her love of music and sang with the chorus and competed in city and state choral and solo competitions. After high school, she continued singing and recorded with Mark Hubbard and The United Voices for Christ. She never thought of herself as an actor in her early years, but in 1995 she performed in her first professional stage play. Although she continued to sing she was bitten by the acting bug and realized she was more fulfilled by acting. She continued to perform in various plays in the Chicago area; later she would travel across the country and abroad.
Over the past few years, her career has gained momentum. She has appeared in several stage, TV and film projects. Most notably, she has a recurring role on “NBC’s Chicago Fire.” Other projects include: “Southside With You” (Sundance 2016), in 2017, she was nominated for best supporting actress by the Joseph Jefferson Awards for her role in the stage production of “Even Longer and Farther Away”, she also worked with Oscar nominated director Steve McQueen and is set to appear as Laurence Fishburne's wife, in Oscar nominated director Richard Linklater’s, “Last Flag Flying” (Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWSU8jGvCGE&feature=share)
Deanna’s faith in Christ is first and foremost in her life. She lives by the credo of “#LiveOnPurpose” and seeks to fulfill God’s will and purpose for her life.
When did you know without any doubt that you wanted to act? Well my story is a little different. I didn’t choose acting, it chose me. I ran from doing it full time for many years. In 2011 I finally gave in to the call and began my process to leave corporate America.
What inspires you to act? I am inspired by the fact that I was given this gift of storytelling and I have an obligation to share it. I also love to show the complex and complicated lives that we all live.
When did you realize you had reached your goals as an actor? I haven’t. LOL I am constantly growing. I have reached some markers but I am definitely still in the race.
What was your favorite role to date and why? My favorite role to date was “Alma” in “Yellowman” by Dael Orlandersmith. This was the role that was my catalyst to leave my 9-5. It awakened so many emotions in me about self hate, colorism, alcoholism and so many other things. I found my own voice in that piece and I didn’t ever want it to be silenced again.
What do you enjoy most about your career? I enjoy being able to work with so many different people. Every set, every play there are a different group of people. It keeps things alive and fresh. No one day is the same.
What is the best way for your fans to know what you’re working on? Facebook/Twitter? The best way to keep up with me is Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit my website at www.deannareedfoster.com
Tell us something new, something bold that you’ve never told any other magazine…news tip :) I struggle with my self image. I am on a journey. Learning to love myself, flaws and all. I would love to be an inspiration to other plus sized women out there. I am not less than, neither am I more than. I am enough.
2004 - landed her first production at the venerable Black Ensemble Theatre. Where she has continued to perform in various productions over the years
2005 - landed her first feature film, “Roll Bounce” directed by Malcolm Lee (Girls Trip)
2008 - received an Emmy award for her narration of “Fresh From Julianne’s Garden: A Legacy In Bronze”
2013 - Deanna decided to follow her passion and left the security of Corporate America and took a leap of faith to become a full-time actress, in that same year, she married Earl Foster. He has been her biggest supporter in her major career move.