• Merle Dandridge is an American actress and singer, known for her Broadway performances and her role in the TV series “Greenleaf” (2016-2020).
• She has had a successful career in theater, voice acting, and on-screen.
• She has a net worth of $5 million as of early 202•
• Merle was married to Christopher Johnston from 2011 until 2019.
• She is currently single and stands at a height of 5ft 8ins (1.73m), weighing approximately 135lbs (62kgs).
Who is Merle Dandridge?
Merle is an American actress and singer, known to the world for her Broadway musicals performances in such projects as “Jesus Christ Superstar”, while she is also known as Grace Greenleaf in the TV series “Greenleaf” (2016-2020), among other roles that she’s had during her career.
Merle Dandridge Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Merle Dandridge was born on 31 May 1975, in Okinawa, Japan. She is the daughter of a Korean-Japanese mother, Kiyoko Sang Pedersen, and an African-American father, Andrew Dandridge. After her birth, the family moved to the USA and, for a while, lived at Beale Air Force base in California – her father was a US Air Force officer and moved a lot.
The family eventually settled on Offutt Air Force Base, in Bellevue, Nebraska, where Merle spent most of her childhood, and went to Papillon La Vista High School. Merle was a part of the school’s theater department, and featured in plays. After matriculating, she enrolled into the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University.
Merle began her career on stage, making her debut in 1994 in the play “Once on This Island”. She continued with plays at the university, including “As You Like It”, also in 1994.
Three years later, she was Ann in the play “Balm in Gilead”, performed at Gilead Theatre, Chicago. In 1998 she featured in several plays, such as “Richard II”, and “Smokey Joe’s Café”, which went on a national tour, and “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, on a European tour.
In 2000 she reached stardom with the role of Mary Magdalene in the play “Jesus Christ Superstar”, performed at the Ford Center for the Performance Arts, Broadway.
Merle Dandridge is back as Papa Ge! Visit #OnceOnThisIsland this week to see the original Gods, back together again.
Posted by Once On This Island Broadway on Wednesday, June 20, 2018
She continued quite successfully in theater, as well as her successful on-screen career. From 2002 to 2008, she played Joanne Jefferson in the play Rent, and in 2006 was Kata in the play “Tarzan”.
To speak further of her accomplishments on stage, she was the Lady of the Lake in the musical comedy “Spamalot” in 2008 and 2015, while in 2017 and 2018, she portrayed Papa Ge in the play “Once on This Island”, at Circle in the Square Theatre, Broadway.
On-Screen Career Beginnings
Merle made her on-screen debut in the role of Lacey Shepard in the TV series “Angel” in 2003, and the same year appeared as Agent Marcy Carruthers in the TV crime-drama series “NCIS”. In 2004 she was chosen as the voice of Alyx Vance in the video game “Half-Life 2”, reprising Alyx in other games from the franchise, “Half-Life 2: Episode One” (2006) and “Half-Life 2: Episode Two” (2007).
She didn’t have much success in the second half of the decade, with only one-time appearances in daytime dramas such as “Guiding Light”, and was Celia in the award-winning thriller crime-drama film “Nothing But Truth”, written and directed by Rod Lurie, and starring Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon and Vera Farmiga.
In 2010, Merle appeared as Kristen Smith in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV action crime-drama series “24”, while in 2011, she joined “Sons of Anarchy” as Rita Roosevelt, and appeared in six episodes of the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated series.
Two years later, she was selected for the part of Marlene in the video game “The Last of Us”, while in 2014, she played Vega in the sci-fi romantic-drama series “Star-Crossed”.
A few one-time appearances followed, such as in the TV series “Drop Dead Diva”, then “NCIS: Los Angeles”, both in 2014. In 2015, she was Robyn Sherman in the TV series “Perception”, and later that year she was selected for the role of Gwen Gaskin in the award-winning TV medical-drama series “The Night Shift”, appearing in 15 episodes.
Rise to Prominence
Her hard work paid off in 2016, when she was selected for the role of Grace Greenleaf, the lead star of the TV drama series “Greenleaf”. The series follows the Greenleaf family and their life in Memphis, their megachurch, but also the secrets and lies they hide. Merle starred in all 60 episodes of the award-winning series, as the estranged daughter who returns home after 20 years and becomes the Executive Pastor of Ministry at Calvary Fellow under Bishop and First Lady Greenleaf Leadership.
Although she didn’t win any award for the role of Grace, she received critical acclaim for her efforts. She had several other notable portrayals while working on “Greenleaf”, including the part of Alice in the short film “Resurrect” (2018) and as Marlene in the video game “The Last of Us: Part II” in 2020.
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) November 24, 2020
She joined the main cast of the Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV comedy mystery-drama series “The Flight Attendant”, which starred Kaley Cuoco, Zosia Mamet and Griffin Matthews. The following year, Merle played Zarina Killebrew in the award-winning mystery crime-drama series “Truth Be Told”, with Octavia Spencer, Ron Cephas Jones and Rico E. Anderson.
In 2022, she appeared in the comedy film “Block Party” and joined the popular romantic action-drama series “Station 19” as Fire Chief Natasha Ross, so far appearing in 16 episodes of the award-winning series.
Most recently, Merle was announced as Marlene in the HBO TV series “The Last of Us”, which is based on the eponymous video game; she’s the only member of the cast that was used in the video games for motion capture to appear in the TV series, which has been rendered as one of the all-time greatest video game adaptations, and received international acclaim.
According to sources, Merle Dandridge’s net worth is estimated at $5 million, as of early 2023.
Personal Life, Dating, Married, Children, Single?
Merle Dandridge was married to Christopher Johnston from 2011 until 2019. They didn’t have children together.
According to reports, Merle is now single and focused on her career.
Appearance and Vital Statistics
Merle Dandridge has brown eyes and black hair. She stands at a height of 5ft 8ins (1.73m), weighs approximately 135lbs (62kgs), with vital statistics of 34-22-34, but her bra size is currently unknown.