Tiffany Haddish will appear in Netflix’s four-part limited series, Madam CJ Walker, the streaming network announced Tuesday (August 6). Blair Underwood, comedy icon Garrett Morris, Carmen Ejogo and Kevin Carroll have also joined the cast.
Octavia Spencer stars as Walker and is also an executive producer on Madam CJ Walker, which is produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and Zero Gravity in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Haddish is set to portray Lelia, Walker’s “smart and feisty” but “eager to be independent” daughter, who worked alongside her mother and helped build her empire. Elsewhere in the cast, Underwood has signed on to play the late millionaire’s “incredibly supportive and encouraging” husband, Charles James Walker. Morris will portray Cleophus, Walker’s father and a former slave who moves in with his daughter and her husband, and helps in her hair product business.
Ejogo will play Addie, a hairstylist and businesswoman who became Walker’s “nemesis and rival” after dismissing Walker’s “ambitions to be one of her sales woman.” (In reality, Walker worked as a sales woman for Annie Malone a hairdresser, entrepreneur, and one of America’s first black female millionaires. Malone later accused Walker of stealing her product formula.) Carroll will play Ransom, a businessman, civic activist, and Columbia University graduate who worked as Walker’s lawyer and helped secure patents for her products.
Walker, whose birth name was Sarah Breedlove, was one of six children and the first in her family to born into freedom. The series, inspired by the book On Her Own written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, tells the story of how Walker persevered through “hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and family challenges” to become the first black self-made female millionaire in America.
Madam CJ Walker debuts on Netflix next year.