Born on May 10, 1947, Ramsey began her career as a performer by working in theater. She appeared in the original Broadway and its touring productions of Hello, Dolly! and starred opposite Bette Davis in 1974's Miss Moffat. Ramsey also notably starred in the biographical musical Eubie! with Gregory and Maurice Hines. By the mid-1970s, Ramsey was also appearing on television with recurring roles on the sketch comedy shows Keep on Truckin' and Bill Cosby's Cos and a guest role on The Jeffersons.
Ramsey's breakout role came