Cornelius Smith Jr. (ex-Frankie, All My Children; ex-Marcus, Scandal) will be appearing on our screens again soon. The four-part limited series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, executive produced by Octavia Spencer, debuts on the streaming service on March 20. Smith will play W.E.B. DuBois in two episodes.
Spencer also stars in the series as Madam Walker. Born Sarah Breedlove, the iconic entrepreneur was a pioneer in the African-American hair and beauty industries. She became the first Black, self-made, and female millionaire in American history. Self Made is based on the book On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, written by Walker’s fourth-generation descendant A’Lelia Bundles.
Warner Bros., along with basketball superstar and philanthropist LeBron James' Springhill Entertainment, will produce. Beside Smith and Spencer, other familiar faces will include Blair Underwood, Tiffany Haddish, and The Jamie Foxx Show, Saturday Night Live, and Martin's Garrett Morris.
The showrunners are Law & Order and Bosch alum Elle Johnson and ER, Criminal Minds, and Claws' Janine Sherman Barrois. Writing and co-executive producing will be Nicole Jefferson Asher. Directors will include Eve's Bayou and Harriet's Kasi Lemmons and Queen Sugar's DeMane Davis. The varied EPs are Spencer, Sherman Barrois, Johnson, James, Lemmons, SpringHill exec Maverick Carter, talent managers Mark and Christine Holder, and Jamal Henderson.