Sharon Delores Clarke, professionally known as Sharon D Clarke, was born in Enfield, London in 1966. She has since established herself as a television and stage actress.
Clarke has performed in notable West End shows such as Guys and Dolls in 1996, playing the character of General Cartwright at the National Theatre, alongside Imelda Staunton, as Joanne Jefferson in Rent at Shaftesbury Theatre in 1998 and Miss Sherman in Fame at in 1999 which later toured Sweden and other countries. In the early naughties Clarke appeared in Flymonkey’s production of The Wiz, playing the role of Glinda at the Hackney Empire. She later performed as part of the original cast in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, starring as the Killer Queen opposite Alexander Hanson. For this role she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
In 2008 Clarke returned to the Hackney Empire in her first pantomime role in Mother Goose. Other Hackney Empire appearances include playing Davina the Diva Harp in Jack and the Beanstalk, Carmina the Camel in Aladdin and the one off show Sounds Like Hackney alongside Clive Rowe. In 2010 she starred in the hit musical Hairspray in its closing months, playing the role of Motormouth Maybelle alongside Phil Jupitus at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Following this, later that year she performed as a guest performer in the Apollo Victoria Theatre’s 80th anniversary alongside stars such as Wayne Sleep.
Recent notable performances include Ghost at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2011, where she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award, Soho Cinders at the Queen’s Theatre in 2011, Porgy and Bess at Regent Park's Open Air Theatre and Everyman at the Olivier Theatre. She also appeared in The Amen Corner, a performance which won her Best Supporting Actress at the Laurence Olivier Awards 2014.
Outside the theatre, Clarke is best known for her role as Lola Griffin in BBC’s Holby City. Other television credits include The Bill, Between The Lines, Waking the Dead, EastEnders and The Singing Detective.
In 2016 Clarke received much acclaim for her performance as title charcter in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Lyttelton Theatre. She then won an Olivier Award for playing Caroline Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change, and made her Broadway debut in the role.