Since it is Black History Month, Chitownstarconnections has decided to continue our long time tradition of bringing fun facts about television characters to our devoted readers. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and our tribute to our favorite current Afro-American actors.
Nichelle Nichols in the original Star Trek as Lt Uhura became quite the fantasy to young boys in the sixties. She proved that a woman could be brainy and sexy. Her legendary kiss with Capt Kirk was quite the eye raiser in the civil right sixties.
They moved on up from being Archie Bunker’s neighbors to the East Side in their own show. The late Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley portrayed the couple that gave people a positive message that blacks could move up as well.
Maude’s maid , Florida and her family moved to Chicago in the hilarious spin off to “Maude” Good Times”
He was the hip night dj at WKRP in Cincinnati, “Venus Flytrap” But later Tim Reid would do guest appearances on “That 70’s show” and appear on the sitcom “Sister, Sister”
Originally a spin off of “The Cosby Show”, A Different World” featured the students and faculty of Hillman College including sweethearts Whitley and Dwayne . The show is now known for the famous wedding scene where Whitley was marrying another man when Dwayne declared his love for Whitley. The jilted groom was Joe Morton who went on to earn an Emmy as “Eli Pope” on “Scandal”
Diahann Carroll has made history and remained a presence on television. As “Julia” , she was the first black female character that was not portrayed as a household servant. She stirred things up on “Dynasty” as she battled Joan Collins. Most recently, she played Burke’s mother on “Gray’s Anatomy”
“In Living Color” was one of the first hits of the fledgling Fox network. Damon Wayans was “Homey” the Clown. The show was also a launching pad for Jim Carrey and future Oscar winner , Jamie Foxx
Oprah Winfrey started in Chicago on Channel Seven and from there she took off. Winfrey and her HARPO productions became a force to reckon with. The Oprah Winfrey Show was a household staple for nearly two decades.
A spin off from “Perfect Strangers” Family Matters was about the Winslow family and their hilarious next door neighbor who had a crush on the oldest daughter, Laura. Everyone loved the antics of Steve Urkel super nerd.
LeVar Burton was first introduced to television audiences in the historical miniseries Roots” as Kunta Kinte. He is now infamous as Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek The Next Generation” , originally helmsman and becoming Chief Engineer of the USS Enterprise D . Today he plays the best friend and boss of Eric McCormack on “Perception”
Eriq LaSalle made his mark as Dr Peter Benton, surgeon on the legendary “ER”
Donald Faison first appeared on the tv scene from “Clueless”, a role he played in the original film. As Dr. Christopher Turk on “Scrubs” , he became the partner in crime to Zack Braff’s “JD” Today he appears on the TV Land original series, “The Exes”
Ron Glass first was seen on “Barney Miller” as fussy Det Harris , then went on to be on “Friends”as Ross’s divorce lawyer . Now he will forever be known to “Browncoats” as Shepherd Book , preacher on the Serenity on “Firefly”
In 2005 , Shonda Rhimes introduced television audiences to the staff of Seattle Grace Memorial on the power hit “Grey’s Anatomy” .Here are cast members James Pickens Jr. Chandra Wilson and Jesse Williams
Here is the most powerful black woman on television. Shonda Rhimes has created the most memorable romances and characters in a total of three series. Her females are fierce and her heroes have sacrificed for the women they love. She is the queen of TGIT and millions watch her three shows. “Grey’s Anatomy” Scandal” and the newest hit “How To Get Away With Murder”
Shonda takes us for a roller coaster ride every Thursday with the OMG Crazy “Scandal” Here is Kerry Washington, former cast member Columbus Short, and Olivia’s lover Tony Goldwyn. Kerry is Olivia Pope , a former White House communications director who continues to have relations with the married President
She is fierce and fabulous. She is an entertainer , astute business woman, and a role model . She is the host of the hit show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She is RuPaul Charles.
The family that plays together doesn’t necessarily stay together on the newest hit . “Empire” Terrence Howard and Taryn J Herndon are reunited after their roles in “Hustle and Flow” as the heads of the Lyon family, Lucius and Cookie