FACTS OF LIFE/NBC/1979-88
*(Kim Fields/co-star) Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey, a young black girl living at a
rural New York private school for girls. After graduation, Tootie lived with her
former schoolmates and helped operate a gourmet food/catering store (and later a
novelty shop) while going to college.
*(Debbie Allen) Lydia Grant, an extremely talented black dance instructor at New
York's High School for the Performing Arts. Gene Anthony Ray also appeared as
Leroy Johnson, a talented black student from the ghetto who later became an
instructor at the school.
**(T.E. Russell) T .J. Barron, a gifted, classically trained musician, T.J.'s
true passion is to make it as a contemporary arranger/composer. He works at
Legacy Music recording studio as both a composer's assistant and general
clean-up guy. Although he gets paid nothing, he has the opportunity to watch
amazing singers and musicians as they cut albums. This fuels his confidence in
his own talent. After work he composes music to accompany Suzanne's lyrics. Deep
down, T.J. is falling in love with Suzanne while she struggles to define who she
*(JoMarie Payton-France/Noble) Harriette Winslow, an elevator operator for the
Chicago Newspaper building who was married to uniformed police officer Carl
Winslow played by Reginald Vel Johnson. Also featured were Kellie Shanygne
Williams as daughter Laura; Jaimee Foxworth as daughter, Judy; Darius McCrary as
son, Eddie; Telma Hopkins as Aunt Rachel, Harriette's widowed sister and
aspiring writer; Joseph & Julius Wright as Rachel's little boy, Richie; Rosetta
LeNoire as Carl's live-in mom, Mother Winslow; and Shawn Harrison as Eddie's
befuddle friend Waldo Faldo. Starting with the show's second season Jaleel White
became the focus of the series as their nerdy neighbor Steven Q. Urkel, who was
in love with Laura Winslow. White appeared in a number of dual roles included
his country cousin, Myrtle and the suave, confident Stefan Urquelle (an exact
personality opposite of Steve Urkel accidentally created in one of Urkel's
science projects). Later in the series, Michelle Thomas played Myra, a local
girl (and fellow nerd) who became Urkel's girlfriend. (Thomas died of stomach
cancer on 12/24/1998).
*(Carl Franklin/co-star) Dr. Fred Walters, a black scientist caught in a time
warp within the Bermuda Triangle.
*(Moses Gunn/co-star) Moses Gage, a black gold miner in the Dakota Territory of
the 1870's who with the help of a white miner friend became guardians to two
dozen children whose parents were killed in a mining disaster. Chez Lister
played Eli, an orphaned black boy.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE/CBS/1961-62
**(Ruby Dandridge) Delilah, a black housekeeper who cared for the home and
family of a white attorney.
**(Lillian Lehman) Letty Gilmore, the black secretary working at the San
Francisco-based law office of Al Cassidy and Danny Messina.
*(Regina Taylor/costar) Sandra Broome, a hard-nosed, tough, and principled black
female attorney working for the Manhattan division of the U.S. Attorney's
**(Tangi Miller) Elena Tyler, a 18-year-old black friend of a white 17-year-old
pre-med student named Felicity Porter who attends New York University. Elena was
raised in one of the poorer neighborhoods outside of New York City. She got a
full scholarship to NYU, but it fell through so she struggles to attain a degree
and her goals.
**(Bill Overton) Firefighter Cal Dakin, the token black firefighter at Engine
Company 23 in Los Angeles.
*The half-hour anthology series featured a program broadcast October 12, 1954
entitled "The Reign of Amelika Jo." The program based on a real story set in the
South Pacific during World War II, was cast with a mainly Black & Asian actors.
TV Guide magazine remarked that the program was "probably the first all-Negro
show ever to go out over the network."
**(Francesca P. Roberts) Mrs. Francis, a black social worker who gave assistance
to a fired marketing executive. Later in the series, Mrs. Francis quit her
social service agency job to open up an egg roll business.
1ST & TEN/HBO/1984-90
*(O. J. Simpson) T. D. Parker, a former football player turned general manager
of the California Bulls, a rowdy football team.
*(Alex Desert/co-star) Julio Mendez, a black research assistant working for a
police department in the fictional Central City. He was friend and colleague of
police chemist Barry Allan (aka "The Flash"). Julio sported a knotted stringy
Jamaican hair style.
THE FLIP WILSON SHOW/NBC/1970-74
*(Flip Wilson) Musical/variety program hosted by comedian Flip Wilson, the first
black performer to host his own successful variety program. (Flip Wilson died on
November 25, 1998 at age 64 from liver cancer).
FOR LOVE AND HONOR/NBC/1983
*(Yaphet Kotto/co-star) Platoon Sgt. James "China" Bell, a former boxer
stationed at the U.S. Army base Fort Geller, Texas, the headquarters for the
88th Airborne paratroopers Division. Kennan Ivory Wayans played Pvt. Duke
Johnson, an aspiring black boxer who wanted Sgt. Bell to train him to be a
FOR YOUR LOVE/NBC/WB/1998-2002
*(Holly Robinson Peete & James Lesure/costars) Malena and Mel Ellis, a newlywed
black couple struggling with the realities of married life. Other cast included
Edafe Blackmon as Reggie Ellis; and Tamala Jones as Bobbi Seawright, Reggie's
FORGIVE OR FORGET/SYN/1998-2000
*(Mother Love) Mother Love, an outspoken black radio personality hosted this
daily talk show whose theme was forgiveness. People who had wronged another made
videotape apologies to those they have offended. The "victims" had the choice of
accepting the apology or sending a video response rejecting their overture.
*(Carl Weathers) Fortune Dane, a black, ex-cop, ex-pro-football player turned
special investigator for the mayor of Bay City, California. Adolph Ceasar played
Fortunes' father, Charles Dane.
413 HOPE STREET/FOX/1997-98
*(Richard Roundtree/costar) Mr. Philip Thomas, black professional
businessman/lawyer who operates a crisis center at 413 Hope Street that caters
to inner city youth and their families. Also featured were Dawn Stern as
Angelica Collins; Jesse L. Martin as Antonio Collins; Shari Headley as Juanita
Barnes; and Karim Prince as Melvin Todd.
*(Tim Reid) Frank Parrish, the African-American Professor of Italian Renaissance
History from Boston who moved South to manage the Chez Louisiane, a Creole
restaurant willed to him by his father. His staff included Frances E. Williams
as the elderly matron hostess, Madame Torchet; Francesca P. Roberts as Anna-May,
the head waitress; Tony Burton as Big Arthur, the Creole cook; Don Yesso as
Shorty La Roux, the assistant chef; Charles Lampkin as Tiger Shepin; and William
Thomas, Jr. as Cool Charles, the handyman. The Chez Louisiane was modeled after
the popular New Orleans restaurant Chez Helene where reportedly, actress
Francesca P. Roberts worked at Chez Helene to learn a few hostess skills. Also
featured were Virginia Capers as Mrs. Bertha Griffin-Lamour, the domineering
owner of the local funeral parlor; and Daphne-Maxwell Reid (Tim Reid's wife in
real-life), as Hannah Griffin, her daughter, a mortician and embalmer.
FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR/NBC/1990-96
*(Will Smith) Will Smith, a black rappin' teenager raised in West Philadelphia
and then transplanted by his mother to live with her filthy rich relatives, the
Banks, who lived in Bel Air. The family included James Avery as Uncle Philip, a
stuffed-shirt attorney; Janet Hubert-Whitten (and later Daphne Maxwell Reid) as
Vivian, Philip's wife; Karyn Parsons, as Hillary, their spoiled black valley
girl; Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton, their preppie son; Tatyana M. Ali as their
younger daughter, Ashley; and Ross Bagley as Nicholas "Nicky" Banks, the Bank's
fourth child born later in the series. Also featured were Joseph Marcell as
Geoffrey, the family's haughty black English butler; Jeff A. Townes (aka D.J.
Jazzy Jeff), as Jazz, Will's friend; Tyra Banks as Jackie Ames, Will's old
girlfriend from Philadelphia; Nia Long as Lisa Wilkes, Will's new girlfriend,
whom he married in 1995; Don Cheadle as Ice Trey; Brian Mitchell as Trevor;
Vernee Watson-Johnson as Vibe; and John Amos as Lisa’s father who married Will’s
*(Kevin Mambo) Alex Wood, studious black student living in a coed dormitory at
the fictional Western Pacific University in Southern California.
**(Jarrod Johnson/co-star) Randy Summerfield, an eleven-year-old black youth and
son of a lawyer who explores life with his two white friends, Pete and Nancy.
THE FUNNY SIDE/NBC/1971
**(John Amos & Teresa Graves) Black couple (along with four other couples)
featured in comedy skits and musical vignettes that focused on particular
aspects of married life.
**(John Amos) Bill Bundy, black police officer who along with his white partner
Joe Cleaver were assigned to break in rookie Officer Haven, a robot programmed
to be the perfect cop.
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