Tonya Lewis Lee Biography
Tonya Linnette Lewis, known professionally as Tonya Lewis Lee, is an American producer, businesswoman, and women and children health activist. She is also an author and screenwriter. A native of New York, she has been active in the entertainment industry for the past two decades. After setting up her production company Madstone Company Inc., she served as the executive producer of the television miniseries ‘Miracle’s Boys’ for Nickelodeon. As an author, Lewis Lee has penned three children’s books and one novel. In 2013, the TV movie based on her screenplay ‘The Watsons Go to Birmingham’ was released. She was associated with the campaign ‘A Healthy Baby Begins With You’ as a spokesperson from 2007 to 2013, and had travelled all over the United States delivering speeches on the importance of women’s health in relation to the well-being of their unborn children. Lewis Lee established Healthy You Now, an online initiative for women’s health, and Movita, a web company that sells organic vitamins. In 2014, she co-founded ToniK Productions, an entertainment company that releases family-oriented content.
- After earning her law degree, Tonya was hired by the law firm Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle LLP. She was there for two years, working almost exclusively on corporate and First Amendment issues. She later relocated to New York to live with her husband, Academy-Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee.
- Through Lee, Tonya was introduced to the world of entertainment and glamour in the 1990s. In 1998, she founded Madstone Company Inc, her own production company, and started producing interstitial programs for Nickelodeon. In 2005, she served as an executive producer on the miniseries ‘Miracle’s Boys’, which aired on The N from February 18 to February 20, 2005. She also served as the executive producer on ‘I Sit Where I Want’, a documentary that marked the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In 2006, Lee Lewis and the Emmy-winning television producer Nikki Silver created the talk-show documentary series ‘That's What I'm Talking About’. She and Silver established ToniK Productions in 2014. Since then, they have produced the telefilm ‘The Watsons Go to Birmingham’, which was based on a screenplay that Lewis Lee wrote, the 2014 social science fiction dystopian film ‘The Giver’, several episodes of comedy-drama series ‘She's Gotta Have It’, which was created by her husband, and the 2018 drama film, ‘Monster’. ToniK Productions has announced two of their upcoming projects, the drama films ‘Gallagher Girls’ and ‘Amphibia’. In 2014, she hosted TeenNick’s reality series, ‘Queen Bee’.
- As an author, Lee Lewis has published three children’s books: ‘Please Baby Please’ (2002), ‘Please Puppy Please’ (2005), and ‘Giant Steps to Change the World’ (2011). In 1990, she published her debut novel ‘Gotham Diaries’ with Crystal McCrary-Anthony. After its release, the book was featured on the New York Times best-selling list.
- In 2007, Tonya Lee Lewis joined A Healthy Baby Begins With You, which is a campaign organised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health in order to increase the awareness about infant mortality. Serving as a spokesperson, she was affiliated with the campaign until 2013 and went to various cities and towns all over the country to give speeches on the importance of women’s health in relation to the health their unborn children. Furthermore, she served as the producer of the documentary, ‘Crisis in the Crib: Saving Our Nation's Babies’.
- Lewis Lee created the website HealthyYouNow.com, a platform for women to garner information on health and inspiration. In 2015, she and Roman Capital co-owner, Robert Sires set up Movita Organics together. It is a company that sells organic vitamins online.
- Born on March 30, 1966, in Yonkers, New York, USA, Tonya Lewis Lee is one of the two daughters of Lillian Glenn Lewis and George R. Lewis. Her father worked as a financial executive while her mother was a high school biology teacher. Her sister, Tracey Lewis Elligan, is affiliated with DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, as a sociology professor. Her father’s career did not allow the family to stay in one place for a prolonged period. She spent her childhood moving from New York to New Jersey to St. Louis.
- After graduating from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Missouri, Lewis Lee enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, from where she earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree. She later received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Tonya became acquainted with Spike Lee when she was attending the Congressional Black Caucus Weekend in 1992. They began dating soon after. On October 2, 1993, the couple exchanged vows in a private ceremony in New York. Their daughter, Satchel, was born in December 1994. They also have a son named Jackson, who was born in 1997. At present, the couple resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
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