On the Empire episode “Time Shall Unfold,” while Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) releases his new music and finds time to humiliate his youngest child Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) at an important shareholder’s meeting, Lucious’ eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) continues to try to understand his bipolar disorder. In an attempt to learn more, he visits the grave of his grandmother, Lucious’ mother Leah Walker, who also suffered from mental illness.
In past episodes via flashbacks, Leah Walker was portrayed by Kelly Rowland. In this episode, Leah Walker is portrayed by Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress and singer Leslie Uggams. The 72-year-old actress has appeared on many TV shows from Nurse Jackie (Vivian) to the 1977 TV mini-series Roots (Kizzy Reynolds). Uggams will appear next on the big screen in Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds as Blind Al (see clip below). Empire airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.