Jennifer Holliday to return to Broadway in 'The Color Purple'

Oprah The Color Purple on Broadway

Tony- and Grammy-winning actress Jennifer Holliday will return to Broadway for the first time in 15 years in the hit revival of the musical "The Color Purple," the show's producers announced on Wednesday.

Holliday, who earned a Tony in 1982 for originating the brassy Effie White in "Dreamgirls," will take over the role of Shug Avery in John Doyle's Tony-winning production.

The casting offers an interesting synergy: Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar playing Effie in the 2006 film version of "Dreamgirls," first played Shug in the revival of "The Color Purple" when it opened last fall.

Heather Headley stepped into the role last May when Hudson left the show and will continue until October 2. Holliday's first performance will be on October 4.

See photos of Jennifer Holliday throughout her career:

38 PHOTOS
Jennifer Holliday through the years
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Jennifer Holliday through the years
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 25: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 28th Annual Grammy Awards on February 25, 1986 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday and Cher at the 'Dreamgirls' opening night afterparty. Taken in Los Angeles at the Shubert Theater in Century City on March 20, 1983. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 4: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Apollo Theater's 50th Anniversary Celebration on May 4, 1985 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
CHICAGO - 1985: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs at the New Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois in 1985. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 28: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the American Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Sidney Poitier on February 28, 1989 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday, Smokey Robinson, and Herbie Hancock holding an award for Outstanding Performance in a Musical Special during the 1988 ACE awards for cable television, Los Angeles, California, January 20, 1988. (Photo by Clarence Gatson/Gado/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 17: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 'That's What Friends Are For: Arista Records' 15th Anniversary Concert' to Benefit AIDS Research - After Party on March 17, 1990 at the Tavern on the Green in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 31: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Foundation for Education Research's Labor Day LA! Gala to Benefit AIDS Research on August 31, 1991 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CHICAGO - 1996: Singer Jennifer Holliday poses for photos after her performance at the DuSable Museum in Chicago, Illinois in 1996. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 31: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Broadway's Stars in the Alley Free Concert to Kick-Off the 49th Annual Tony AWards on May 31, 1995 at Shubert Alley in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Actress Jennifer Holliday under the marquee of the Shubert Theater where she plays Matron Mama Morton in the musical 'Chicago.' (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 7: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 52nd Annual Tony Awards on June 7, 1998 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
388395 11: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Singer Gladys Knight and singer Jennifer Holliday rehearse April 26, 2001 for the Essence Awards at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
Jennifer Holliday during APLA's 'Ten-Year Commitment to Life' Gala Benefit at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday during G&P Foundation for Cancer Research Announces Recipients of 1.8 Million in Grants at 'Denim & Diamonds' Fundraiser at Planet Hollywood in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday during Macy's & American Express Passport Gala - Show at Barker Hanger in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/FilmMagic)
Preston Bailey and Jennifer Holliday during Sixth Annual Elle Decor's 'Dining by Design', Presented by Champagne Taittinger at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 6: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's 33rd Aniversary and Auction at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel on November 6, 2004 in Century City, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Jennifer Holliday during 'Preston Bailey's Fantasy Weddings' Book Party at The Rainbow Room in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Holliday during Apollo 2005 Spring Benefit at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, United States. (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 19: Actress Jennifer Holliday attends the Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Presents Nothing Like A Dame 2007 after party at John's Pizza March 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Jennifer Holliday and Jennifer Hudson perform 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage for BET Network)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 5: Singers Bianca Ryan (L) and Jennifer Holliday perform at Operation Smile's 25th Anniversary Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 5, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Singer Jennifer Holliday performs onstage during the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at Marriott Marquis on March 28, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
ATLANTA - JULY 20: Left to Right Cindy Herron-Braggs, Jennifer Holliday and Kiara Bennett Preforming in the Musical 'DreamGirls' (Photo by Moses Robinson/WireImage)
MIAMI - NOVEMBER 29: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs at The White Party at Vizcaya on November 29, 2008 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Logan Fazio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs at The Apollo Theater's 78th Season Of Amateur Night - Opening Night With Jennifer Holliday at The Apollo Theater on February 1, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Jennifer Holliday performs at The Apollo Theater's 78th Season Of Amateur Night - Opening Night With Jennifer Holliday at The Apollo Theater on February 1, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Shahar Azran/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 23: Singers Jennifer Holliday (L) and Jessica Sanchez perform onstage during Fox's 'American Idol 2012' results show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 11: Jennifer Holliday attends the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 25th Awards Gala on November 11, 2013 in Washington City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 25: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Get On Up premiere at Regal Cinemas-Atlantic Station on July 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Jennifer Holliday performs at BB King on September 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 06: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs onstage at Grounded in History, Soaring into the Future: Rev. Joseph E. Lowery's 94th Birthday Celebration at Delta flight Museum on October 6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Jennifer Holliday performs at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on January 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 28: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs onstage at John Lewis 75th Birthday Celebration at The Tabernacle on March 28, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 23: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 2016 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 23, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for ASCAP)
THE VIEW - 'The View's' Karaoke Contest airs today, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The co-hosts sing their favorite hits with surprise guest, Jennifer Holliday while L.A. Reid and Boy George judge. 'THE VIEW' airs 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JENNIFER HOLLIDAY
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"I was deeply moved by this truly uplifting production of 'The Color Purple' and I am highly honored and absolutely thrilled to be joining this extraordinary cast," Holliday said in a statmeent. "Nothing compares to performing before a Broadway audience and I can't wait to return to the Broadway stage, where I started my career over 35 years ago."

"There is a rich and significant legacy to the line of women who have been part of 'The Color Purple,' and I am very honored and excited to work with another major actress as she assumes one of its iconic roles," said Tony-winning director John Doyle. "I am very taken with Ms. Holliday's approach to the character of Shug and I look forward to sharing how her integrity and experience will enrich this production of 'The Color Purple.'"

Holliday was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by Broadway dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded and guided her to New York, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll's "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God" as a featured soloist.

Watch the "Color Purple" cast surprise a super fan:
'The Color Purple' Cast Surprises Superfan

Beyond Broadway, Holliday appeared as cast regular Lisa Knowles on Fox's "Ally McBeal." She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning her first Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her torch-ballad signature song, "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going."

Most recently, Holliday received rave reviews and top soul-music charts recognition for her latest CD, "The Song Is You."

Her last Broadway appearance was in 2001 for a brief run as the Matron in the long-running revival of "Chicago."

Read original story Jennifer Holliday to Return to Broadway in 'The Color Purple' At TheWrap

RELATED: See photos of Jennifer Hudson through the years;​​​​

18 PHOTOS
Jennifer Hudson's transformation through the years
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Jennifer Hudson's transformation through the years
Jennifer Hudson competes on stage during a taping of 'American Idol' Season 3 (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)
Jennifer Hudson performs during Hollywood round of auditions for 'American Idol' Season 3 in October of 2003 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)
Jennifer Hudson during 'American Idol' Season 3 - Top 12 Finalists Party - Arrivals at Pearl in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - MAY 26: American Idol contestants Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia Barrino, La Toya London and Diana DeGarmo perform on stage at the American Idol Season Three Grand Finale at the Kodak Theatre May 26, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 27: Singer Jennifer Hudson arrives to the Tiffany & Co. Launch of The 2008 Blue Book Collection at The Museum of Natural History on October 27, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - MAY 25: American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson arrives at the American Idol Finale: Results Show held at the Kodak Theatre on May 25, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson arrives at the New Line Cinema's 40th Anniversary Gala at Fredrick P. Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on October5, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Jennifer Hudson accepts Best Actress award during BET Awards 2007 - Show at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage for BET Network)
Jennifer Hudson during 18th Annual GLAAD Media Awards New York - Inside at Marriott Marquis in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 06: Actress/singer Jennifer Hudson arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Secret Life Of Bees' at The Academy of Motion Arts & Sciences on October 6, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 19: Singer Jennifer Hudson attends the 2009 Whitney Museum Gala at The Whitney Museum of American Art on October 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Jennifer Hudson backstage at Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 17, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Recording artist Jennifer Hudson visits SiriusXM Studios on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 04: Recording artist, actress and spokesperson Jennifer Hudson performs during the 2014 Philly 4th Of July Jam on July 4, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Jennifer Hudson performs during the Stand For School Equality Rally at Cadman Plaza Park on October 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Singer Jennifer Hudson attends the 2015 New York City Ballet Fall Gala at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Singer Jennifer Hudson attends DKNY Women's Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
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