Essence Atkins

Essence Atkins Headshot

Actress • Model

Birth Name: Essence Uhura Atkins

Birth Date: February 7, 1972

Age: 52 years old

Birth Place: New York, New York

Trained as a dancer from early childhood, Essence Atkins made the switch to acting as a teenager when she was cast in a guest role on "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992). She went on to small parts on other television shows before landing a starring role on the drama "Under One Roof" (CBS, 1995), which lasted a mere six weeks. Atkins continued undaunted in her career, however, winning a number of roles in feature films and starring on several more television series including "Smart Guy" (The WB, 1997-99), "Half & Half" (UPN, 2002-06), and "Are We There Yet?" (TBS, 2010-13), as well as working alongside Marlon Wayans in the spoof of found-footage horror films, "A Haunted House" (2013).

Born Essence Uhura Atkins in New York City - the "Uhura" a nod to the groundbreaking role played by African-American actress Nichelle Nichols on "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-1969) - Atkins trained as a dancer while attending the Professional Children's School in Manhattan. An opportunity to appear on "The Cosby Show" and a realistic assessment of the sacrifice needed for the short career of a dancer led her to shift her focus to acting. Soon enough, Atkins was guest-starring on several television shows throughout the early 1990s. However, her first opportunity as a series cast member was short-lived, as the show, "Under One Roof," a mid-season replacement about an African-American family living in Seattle, was cancelled after less than two months. Atkins' second outing as a regular cast member was almost as disappointing as the first, with the Aaron Spelling teen soap opera "Malibu Shores" (CBS, 1996) lasting a mere ten episodes. Atkins found her groove soon after, however, and went on to successful runs of several years in various series, first as the older sister of a child prodigy on the sitcom "Smart Guy" and then in one of her best-known rules as Dee Dee on the sitcom "Half & Half." Her first feature film was a starring role in "Nikita Blues" (2001), and from there she went on to work in other films, including the comedy "Deliver Us from Eva" (2003), alongside LL Cool J. Atkins surprised both friends and the public by meeting former college football player Jaime Mendez on the dating site Match.com and marrying him, but she had expressed a desire to date outside of closed Hollywood circles. Steady television work continued as well including starring roles on "Are We There Yet?" and "Mr. Box Office" (Syndication, 2012-15). In 2013, Atkins starred with Marlon Wayans in the comedy "A Haunted House," a send-up of found-footage horror films.

Credits

Poppa's House

Actor
Ivy
Series
2024

One Night StayStream

Actor
April
Movie
2024

My Other Mother

Actor
Candy
Show
2022

Inside the Black BoxStream

Self
Talk
2022

The Noel DiaryStream

Actor
Movie
2022
69%

Coins Forever

Actor
Madison Morris
Movie
2021

Behind Her Faith from WE tv +

Actor
Show
2020

Behind Her Faith

Guest
Show
2020

Open

Actor
Wren
Movie
2020

Open

Producer
Movie
2020

Coins for Love

Actor
Madison Morris
Movie
2020

Christmas Dilemma

Director
Movie
2020

The Sin Choice

Actor
Movie
2020

Carol's Second ActStream

Guest Star
Kathleen
Series
2019
50%

AmbitionsStream

Actor
Amara Hughes
Series
2019

The Chuey Martinez Show

Guest
Show
2019

The DL Hughley Show

Guest
Show
2019

Same Difference

Actor
Tonya/Shauna
Movie
2019

Same Difference

Executive Producer
Movie
2019

Coins for Christmas

Actor
Madison
Movie
2018

Sister Circle

Guest
Talk
2017

MarlonStream

Actor
Ashley Wayne
Series
2017
50%

The Great IndoorsStream

Guest Star
Denise
Series
2016
45%

You Can't Hurry Love

Actor
Camille
Movie
2016

Sister Code

Actor
Corrine Wells
Movie
2015

Girlfriends' Getaway 2

Actor
Lauren
Movie
2015

Battle Scars

Actor
Elsie Ramirez
Movie
2015

A Haunted House 2Stream

Actor
Kisha
Movie
2014
8%

Girlfriends' Getaway

Actor
Lauren
Movie
2014

My Other Mother

Actor
Candace "Candy" Meyers
Movie
2014

2013 Trumpet Awards

Actor
Show
2013

21st Annual Trumpet Awards

Host
Show
2013

Act Like You Love Me

Actor
Kelly
Movie
2013

My Sister's Wedding

Actor
Tandy
Movie
2013

Holiday Road Trip

Actor
Movie
2013

A Haunted HouseStream

Actor
Kisha
Movie
2013
10%

From This Day Forward

Actor
Show
2012

From This Day Forward

Actor
Patrice
Movie
2012

The Bachelor Party

Actor
Michelle
Movie
2011

Are We There Yet?

Actor
Suzanne Kingston-Persons
Show
2010

Preacher's Kid

Actor
Peaches
Movie
2010

N-Secure

Actor
Robin Joyner
Movie
2010

The Mo'Nique Show

Actor
Show
2009

Nite Tales

Actor
Show
2009

Half and Half

Actor
Show
2009

Dance Flick

Actor
Charity
Movie
2009

Love and Other Four Letter Words

Actor
Roxanne
Movie
2007

The ClassStream

Guest Star
Series
2006
44%

Love, Inc.

Guest Star
Show
2005

HouseStream

Guest Star
Captain Greta Cooper
Series
2004
90%

Deliver Us From EvaStream

Actor
Kareenah
Movie
2003
43%

Half & HalfStream

Actor
Series
2002

XCU: Extreme Close Up

Actor
Tamikah Jones
Movie
2001

How HighStream

Actor
Jamie
Movie
2001
25%

Nikita Blues

Actor
Nikita Williams
Movie
2001

Looking Through Lillian

Actor
Movie
2001

Śpiew miłości

Actor
Renee
Movie
2000

Love Song

Actor
Toni
Movie
2000

For Your Love

Guest Star
Show
1998

Smart GuyStream

Actor
Yvette Henderson
Series
1997

Sabrina the Teenage WitchStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

Promised Land

Guest Star
Series
1996

Malibu Shores

Actor
Julie Tate
Show
1996

MoeshaStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

Under One Roof

Actor
Charlotte "Charlie" Langston
Show
1995

The Parent 'HoodStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

The Wayans Bros.Stream

Guest Star
Series
1995

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