CARLEASE! ACCELERATES FROM
THE CADILLAC OF MINI VANS TO THE CADILLAC OF COMEDY
“Roberta” – Shameless (Showtime)
“Rhoda Wainwright – Prom (Disney Pictures)
When Carlease Burke rented John Travolta “The Cadillac of Mini Vans” in the film Get Shorty, she wondered if her unusual name would land her the high octane jobs in Hollywood. We may never know, but it certainly prepared her for two high beams in her film acting career: In Her Shoes opposite Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette directed by Curtis Hanson; and The Terminal with Tom Hanks, directed by Steven Spielberg. In addition to her film credits, she recently was on the big screen in last year’s comedy, The Back-Up Plan with the multitalented Jennifer Lopez. Carlease is dominating the big and small screen this year. She guest starred on the new hit series Shameless as Roberta, whose visit turns the Gallagher family upside down. On the big screen she was featured in the family hit Hop and will be seen in the new Disney film Prom which hits theaters April 29th.
Even while in park Carlease is never idle. In her free time she enjoys walking and riding her bicycle near the ocean, trying out new recipes, traveling, and playing bid whist. Always exploring new territories, she's currently learning to hoop dance and play the djembe.
This high performance actress had stars in her headlights for as long as she can remember. Manufactured in New York City, Ms. Burke was encouraged to go into show business by her childhood dentist in her hometown of Hollis, Queens. After graduating with a BA in Pre-Law from City College of New York and a couple of Off-Broadway shows under her timing belt, she steered west to work with Tim Busfield in his children’s company, The Fantasy Theatre. Her first TV credit was a recurring role on the hit soap The Young and the Restless.
Most recently, Carlease has maintained stability in national commercials such as GEICO (A Bird In The Hand), Pfizer (mytimetoquit) Macy’s, Verizon, and Pizza Hut. Her ever expanding list of guest star credits include Hot in Cleveland, Raising Hope, Hawthorne, Flash Forward, Heroes, Southland, NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, The Riches, Desperate Housewives, Malcolm in the Middle, Without a Trace, Monk, and How I Met Your Mother.
Carlease’s knowledge of American Sign Language paved the way to the role of Principal Jennifer Kramer in the Hallmark movie of the week, Sweet Nothing In My Ear starring Marlee Matlin and Jeff Daniels. Carlease also spins her wheels in live theatre. She played The Nurse in Boston Court’s Romeo & Juliet. Her exhilarating and confident performance earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress by the NAACP. Ms. Burke most recently portrayed Aunt Ester in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at The Fountain Theatre.
Carlease Burke is a high octane performer who never seems to run out of gas. Under the hood of her production company, Bits N Pieces Productions lies Laugh-A-Latte, a monthly stand-up comedy show that Ms. Burke hosts and produces in Long Beach, CA. Her reality solo show, FIFTY! It Doesn’t Look This Good on Everybody was the winner of the Actors Repertory’s 2nd Annual Solo Show Festival. Currently in development, Carlease is entering the literary world with writing her first book which will be a how-to guide for fellow actors/comedians pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
Car - lease` (n.) – talent built to last; option to buy