'Soul Food' Turns 20: Where the Series' Stars Are Now

Soul Food Cast
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When Soul Food premiered 20 years ago this month, TV dramas with predominantly Black casts weren’t just rare but nearly non-existent. Luckily, the multigenerational family drama — a continuation of the 1997 film of the same name — rang true with audiences and marked a critical and commercial hit for Showtime, paving the way for shows like Empire and Greenleaf.

“It was almost a no-brainer for [Soul Food] to be successful,” executive producer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson told The Washington Post in May 2004, when the show ended after four seasons and 74 episodes. “There is an unmet appetite for stories, well-told stories, about African Americans.”

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In the last two decades, the cast has moved on to other projects — sometimes with other Soul Food alums! Check out the gallery below to get career updates for the show’s series regulars.

Soul Food Rockmond Dunbar
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Rockmond Dunbar (Kenny Chadway)

Dunbar starred on Prison Break as C-Note and on The Mentalist as Dennis Abbott. He also played Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt on Sons of Anarchy. These days, you can find him playing Michael Grant on 9-1-1.

Soul Food Derrin Deweitt Henson
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Darrin Dewitt Henson (Lem Van Adams)

Henson, who was also the VMA-winning choreographer of NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” music video, appeared in the films Stomp the Yard and The Express in the late 2000s. Since 2018, he has starred as Orlando Duncan in the BET crime drama The Family Business.

Soul Food Aaron Meeks
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Aaron Meeks (Ahmad Chadway)

Meeks, who won two NAACP Image Awards for his performance on the show and is seen here in a 2012 video, made his last onscreen appearances in a 2007 episode of Crossing Jordan and the films Foster Babies and Frankie D the same year.

Soul Food Nicole Ari Parker
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Nicole Ari Parker (Teri Joseph)

Parker and her husband, fellow Soul Food alum Boris Kodjoe, starred in the short-lived UPN sitcom Second Time Around in 2004 and cohosted the talk show The Boris & Nicole Show in 2015. She also starred in The Deep End, Murder in the First, and Empire and recurred on Rosewood and Time After Time.

Soul Food Malinda Williams
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Malinda Williams (Tracy “Bird” Joseph Van Adams)

Williams starred in the short-lived NBC drama Windfall and appeared in the films First Sunday, 2 Days in New York, and Accidental Love. She has also played Marci Jewel in a series of holiday-themed Up TV movies: Marry Me for Christmas, Marry Us for Christmas, A Baby for Christmas, Merry Christmas Baby, and Chandler Christmas Getaway.

Soul Food Vanessa Estelle Williams
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Vanessa Estelle Williams (Maxine Joseph Chadway)

Coincidentally, Williams and Parker both appeared in the 2009 film Imagine That. Williams also played Francine West in The Flash and recurred as Dr. Valerie Grant on Days of Our Lives, appearing in 80 episodes since 2016. Coming up, she’ll star in the film Candyman, reprising the role of Anne-Marie McCoy.

Soul Food Boris Kodjoe
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Boris Kodjoe (Damon Carter)

In the years since Soul Food, Kodjoe starred on the shows Undercovers, Members Only, Real Husbands of Hollywood, and Code Black, and he recurred on Unforgettable and The Last Man on Earth. Since 2018, he has starred as Robert Sullivan on Station 19.