“The most powerful moments on our show are the ones without words.”

Dondré Whitfield

A member of Braemar Country Club, Tarzana, Calif., since 2011
Who he is: The actor stars as cool-headed water irrigation specialist Remy Newell on the family drama Queen Sugar, set in and around New Orleans. It wraps up its second season this fall on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Early breaks: After a mid-1980s stint on The Cosby Show, he made a splash on the soap All My Children in the ’90s, earning three Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

Female-focused: Queen Sugar distinguishes itself by using only women directors. “Our creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay is an advocate for women — as is Oprah — and wants to give them a platform they would not otherwise get.”

Why it works: “The true heart-beating voice heard throughout our story is the perspective of a woman. So using women directors isn’t just a great publicity piece, it’s a necessary tool because it speaks to the heart of our show.”

Off camera: The father of two uses his celebrity to bring focus to the Manhood Tour, an initiative he co-founded to help mentor and positively influence inner-city boys growing up without fathers in their lives. “What you see me do on TV is my passion, but this is my purpose work.”

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