A sweet and friendly neighbor in Child’s Play. A schizophrenic homeless mother in Touch. A refined principal of a deaf school in Switched At Birth. A flashy football mom enjoying her son’s money in Ballers. A foul-mouthed, truck driving lesbian in Shameless. With more than 140 credits on her IMDB page, Carlease Burke has just about done it all.
A familiar face in film, television, and commercials for over the past 34 years, Carlease has appeared alongside a slew of Hollywood legends. She worked with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in The Terminal; played opposite Jennifer Lopez in The Back Up Plan; and worked with director Curtis Hanson, Toni Collette, and Cameron Diaz in In Her Shoes.
In 2016, Carlease worked with writer and producer Suzanne Martin and director James Burrows on the NBC sitcom, Crowded. On the show, Carlease played Alice Moore, a tell it like it is stepmom (and prison guard!) with lots of opinions. On Crowded, Carlease appeared opposite veteran actor Stacy Keach, who starred on the show as her husband, Bob. Though the show ran for just one season, Crowded remains one of Carlease’s most exciting projects to date.
Before she got to Hollywood, Carlease grew up in Hollis, Queens and attended City College of New York where she received her B.A. in Pre-Law. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and TV, Carlease became interested in American Sign Language and earned an A.S. degree in ASL Interpreting. Her new language abilities came in handy when she appeared alongside Marlee Matlin in Sweet Nothing In My Ear and Switched At Birth.
When she’s not working, Carlease enjoys traveling, cooking, swimming, cycling and taking all kinds of classes from African drumming to Lindy Hopping. She loves music, and spoiler alert, she reads books! Through her Ask a Stage Goddess video series, Carlease shares her vast knowledge about the film and TV industry with others. As she explained, “I had to figure this all out by myself, so I’m very happy to share my story. I’ve been in the business a long time, and I’ve had a lot of success, and I feel like I can help somebody by sharing.”
Carlease is a voting member of The Television Academy, an advocate for victims of domestic violence and boldly supports her favorite charities, The Felix Organization (adoptees enriching the lives of children in foster care) and The SAG-AFTRA Foundation.