July 15, 1964
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Queens-born actress Shari Headley landed a breakout role in the 1980s romantic comedy "Coming to America" and has since become a well-known TV star. But she didn't always want to be an actress: Headley originally dreamed of becoming a doctor and was enrolled in a pre-med program when, on a whim, she entered and won a contest sponsored by the Ford Modeling Agency. She broke into acting with a small role on the popular sitcom "The Cosby Show" and made her film debut a few years later in the hit film "Coming to America" as Eddie Murphy's reluctant love interest Lisa McDowell. She worked primarily in television for the next decade, appearing in everything from the Western action series "Walker, Texas Ranger" to music videos for rap artists like Will Smith and Blackstreet. From 1997 to 1998 she starred as social worker Juanita Barnes on the critically-acclaimed but short-lived ensemble drama "413 Hope St.," centered on the staffers and patients of a New York City crisis center. Since 2001 Headley, who was briefly married to Christopher "Play" Martin, of rap group Kid'n'Play fame, has appeared on several daytime soap operas; she portrayed police officer Mimi Frye on "All My Children," and landed a recurring role as psychiatrist Felicia Boudreau on "Guiding Light."