Lemony Snicket Wiki
Lemony Snicket Wiki

Alfre Woodard is the actress who portrays Josephine Anwhistle in the TV series.


Alfre Woodard was born on November 8, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest of three children of Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an interior designer. She was named by her godmother, who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name written out in gold letters. A former high school cheerleader and track star, she got the acting bug after being persuaded to audition for a school play by a nun at her school. She went on to study acting at Boston University and enjoyed a brief stint on Broadway before moving to Los Angeles, California. She got her first break in Remember My Name (1978) which also starred Jeff Goldblum. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband, writer Roderick M. Spencer, and their two adopted children: Mavis and Duncan. She was named one of the Most Beautiful People in America by People Magazine.[1]

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Woodard was excited to act in A Series of Unfortunate Events, as her children grew up reading the books. She was also happy to do something "inventive and out of the ordinary."

Woodard was able to relate to Josephine Anwhistle due to their shared love of grammar. She expressed that she didn't want to play Josephine in a constant state of fear, and that the fear should surprise her as it came.[2]



Year Title Role Notes
1978 Remember My Name Rita
1978 The Trial of the Moke Lucy
1979 Freedom Road Katie
1980 HealtH Sally Benbow
1982 The Ambush Murders Kariha Ellsworth
1983 Cross Creek Geechee
1984 Sweet Revenge Vicki Teague
1984 Go Tell It on the Mountain Esther
1985 Words by Heart Claudie Sills
1986 Extremities Patricia
1986 Unnatural Causes Maude DeVictor
1987 The Line Denise Powell
1987 Mandela Winnie Mandela
1988 The Child Saver Andrea Crawford
1988 Scrooged Grace Cooley
1989 Miss Firecracker Popeye Jackson
1989 A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story Mary Thomas
1990 Blue Bayou Jessica Filley
1991 Grand Canyon Jane
1991 Pretty Hattie's Baby Hattie
1992 The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Ann
1992 Passion Fish Chantelle
1992 Rich in Love Rhody Poole
1993 Heart and Souls Penny Washington
1993 Bopha! Rosie Mangena
1994 Blue Chips Lavada McRae
1994 Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman
1994 Crooklyn Carolyn
1995 The Piano Lesson Berniece Charles
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Marianna
1995 Statistically Speaking Short
1996 Follow Me Home Evey
1996 Special Report: Journey to Mars Tamara O'Neil
1996 Primal Fear Shoat
1996 A Step Toward Tomorrow Dr. Sandlin
1996 Star Trek: First Contact Lily
1997 A Member of the Wedding Berenice Sadie Brown
1997 Miss Evers' Boys Eunice Evers, R.N. 
1997 The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue Maisie Voice
1998 Down in the Delta Loretta Sinclair
1998 Secrets Short
1999 Funny Valentines Joyce May
1999 Mumford Lily
1999 The Wishing Tree Clara
2000 What's Cooking?  Audrey Williams
2000 Love & Basketball Camille Wright
2000 Dinosaur  Plio Voice
2000 Lost Souls Dr. Allen Uncredited
2000 John Henry Polly / Narrator Voice
2000 Holiday Heart Wanda Dean
2001 The Wild Thornberrys: The Origin of Donnie Medicine Woman Voice
2001 K-PAX Dr. Claudia Villars
2002 The Wild Thornberrys Movie Akela (Cheetah Mother) Voice
2002 Baby of the Family Rachel
2003 The Singing Detective Chief of Staff
2003 Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property Narrator
2003 The Core Stickley
2003 A Wrinkle in Time Mrs. Whatsit
2003 Radio Principal Daniels
2004 The Forgotten Anne Pope
2005 Beauty Shop Ms. Josephine
2006 The Water Is Wide Mrs. Brown
2006 Something New Joyce McQueen
2006 Take the Lead Augustine James
2007 Pictures of Hollis Woods Edna Reilly
2008 Bury Me Standing
2008 American Violet Alma Roberts
2008 The Family That Preys Alice Pratt
2008 Reach for Me Nurse Evelyn
2008 AmericanEast Angela Jensen
2009 Maggie Hill Virginia
2012 Steel Magnolias Ouiser
2013 The Door E Short
2013 12 Years a Slave Mistress Shaw
2014 Annabelle Evelyn
2015 Mississippi Grind Sam
2015 Knucklehead Sheila
2016 Captain America: Civil War Miriam
2016 So B. It Bernadette
2017 Burning Sands Professor Hughes
2018 Saint Judy Judge Benton
2019 Clemency Warden Bernadinie Williams
2019 Juanita Juanita
2019 The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts Hope Hicks
2019 The Lion King Sarabi Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1980 The White Shadow Sandra Wilcox One Episode
1981 Palmerstown, U.S.A. Nona One Episode
1981 Enos Darlene One Episode
1981 The Sophisticated Gents Evelyn Evers
1982-1983 Tucker's Witch Marcia Fulbright
1983 Hill Street Blues Doris Robson
1982-1985 American Playhouse Esther / Mattie 
1985 Sara Rozalyn Dupree
1985 Faerie Tale Theatre Princess Lovinia  One Episode
1986 L.A. Law Adrianne Moore One Episode
1985-1988 St. Elsewhere Dr. Roxanne Turner
1994 Frasier Edna One Episode
1996 Gulliver's Travels Queen of Brobdingnag One Episode
1997 Adventures from the Book of Virtues Harriet Tubman One Episode
1997 Happily Ever After: Fairy tales for Every Child Winsome Bear One Episode
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Dr. Roxanne Turner One Episode
2003 The Practice Denise Freeman
2003 Static Shock Jean Hawkins One Episode
2005 Inconceivable Dr. Lydia Crawford
2005-2006 Desperate Housewives Betty Applewhite
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Mavis Heller / Helen
2010 Black Panther Dondi Reece / Various
2009-2010 Three Rivers Dr. Sophia Jordan
2010-2011 Memphis Beat Lt. Tanya Rice
2011 Grey's Anatomy Justine Campbell One Episode
2010-2012 True Blood Ruby Jean Reynolds
2012 Private Practice Dee Bennett One Episode
2013 Copper Hattie Lemaster
2014-2015 State of Affairs President Constance Payton
2015-2015 The Last Ship Amy Granderson
2017-2018 A Series of Unfortunate Events Josephine Anwhistle
2018 Empire Renee
2016-2018 Luke Cage Mariah Dillard
2019 See Paris


Behind the Scenes