68th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade

H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade

2017 Parade Participants - Grand Marshal Chandra Wilson

Chandra Wilson
Chandra Wilson is honored to be Grand Marshal in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Starting at age five, this Houston native performed for ten years in major musicals with Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). At Houston’s Ensemble Theatre, she portrayed Li’l Bits in “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show,” and was later honored with their Rising Star Award for her professional accomplishments. She graduated from High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and later went on to get her BFA in drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. There, she spent four years training at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

Best known for her 14 seasons on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Chandra is an original cast member and has received the Screen Actors Guild, People’s Choice, Prism and three NAACP Image Awards, with four Emmy Award nominations for her portrayal of Dr. Miranda Bailey. She has also received an NAACP Image and Women’s Image Network Award in Directing for “Grey’s Anatomy,” having directed 17 episodes since Season 6. Which opened the door to her directing on “Scandal” and 3 episodes of “The Fosters”. She has graced the covers of Essence, Entertainment Weekly, JET, Heart and Soul, LIFE and TV Guide magazines, and has been featured in Ebony, Parade, Venice and Working Mother magazines.

Wilson stars in the short film “Muted” which won the 2014 HBO Short Film Competition at the American Black Film Festival and won Best Acting Performance at the 2015 SOHO International Film Festival for the role. Also on the big screen she appears in “Frankie and Alice,” starring Halle Berry and directed by Geoffrey Sax, “Lone Star,” directed by John Sayles, “Philadelphia,” directed by Jonathan Demme, and the documentary “Autism in America” in which she serves as narrator.

She gave a Prism Award-winning and Emmy-nominated performance in Hallmark Channel’s “Accidental Friendship.” Other television credits include ABC’s “Bob Patterson” as series regular Claudia Hopper, guest-starring on “General Hospital,” “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Sex and the City,” “Third Watch,” “100 Centre Street,” “Cosby,” “Law & Order” and “The Cosby Show.” She recurred on “One Life to Live” and “Queens Supreme,” and was a lead in the CBS Schoolbreak Special, “Sexual Considerations.” National television commercials include Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Scope and the United Negro College Fund, as well as numerous radio commercials.

Broadway credits include Matron Mama Morton in “Chicago: the Musical,” Gary Coleman in “Avenue Q,” Dotty Moffett in “Caroline, or Change” and Flossie’s Friend in “On the Town,” the latter two directed by George C. Wolfe. Wilson portrayed Bonna Willis in “The Good Times are Killing Me,” by Lynda Barry, at the Second Stage and Minetta Lane Theatres, which won her a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance. She was in “Caroline, or Change” at the Public Theatre, “The Miracle Worker” at Charlotte Repertory Theatre, “Paper Moon: The Musical” at The Papermill Playhouse, “The Family of Mann” by Theresa Rebeck at the Second Stage Theatre, “Believing” for the Young Playwright’s Festival at Playwrights Horizons, “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Falmouth Playhouse and the Shakespeare in the Park revival of “On the Town.”

Wilson has been a spokesperson for the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association (www.CVSAonline.org) and speaks out for organizations like www.mitoaction.org whose mission is to increase awareness and understanding of mitochondrial disease and its related functional disorders. She manages the Sermoonjoy Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to Theatre Department graduates at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and the Sermoonjoy Fellowship Fund, which provides annual fellowships to mid-career actors. More philanthropic information can be found at www.sermoonjoy.org and www.chandrawilson.com.