Debra Wilson

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Debra Wilson
Debra Wilson Skelton 2010.jpg
Wilson in March 2010
Born Debra Renee Wilson
(1962-04-26) April 26, 1962 (age 51)
South Ozone Park, Queens, New York, U.S.
Other names Debra Wilson Skelton
Occupation Actress, comedian, voice actress, television presenter
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Cliff Skelton (m. 2006; separated 2010)

Debra Renee Wilson (born April 26, 1962), also known as Debra Wilson Skelton or Debra Skelton, is an American actress and comedian. Wilson is known for being the longest-serving original cast member on the sketch comedy series MADtv, having appeared for the show's first eight seasons. She has also done voice work for various productions including Avatar, American Dad!, Family Guy, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, The Proud Family, and The Boondocks.


Wilson was born and raised in New York City, in the neighborhood of Ozone Park, Queens. Wilson attended the New York City High School of the Performing Arts. After graduation, she continued her studies at Syracuse University, working in television and radio broadcasting. Her acting debut was on the television pilot The Apollo Comedy Hour. Following this success she became a series regular on The Uptown Comedy Club and co-hosted Can We Shop? with Joan Rivers. She continued her work in television working as a spokesperson for Burger King, and guest starring in New York Undercover. Her major feature film debut was Let It Be Me which she worked on shortly before starting on MADtv.



Wilson was one of the original eight cast members of MADtv when the series aired in 1995. Wilson came to the show with a background in sketch comedy, improv and television. MADtv was her third TV series, although she had done stand up in New York for one year.

Wilson was credited for creating some of the most popular recurring characters on the show. Among her characters were Latina bimbo Melina (Lida and Melina), Reality Check's Tovah McQueen, Stick Chick Autumn, Kappa Kappa Kappa sorority sister Hayden Brooks, Alexis Dubane (Prehistoric Glamazon Huntresses), blaxploitation actress Cocoa Latette (Son of Dolemite), Lowered Expectations Host and Ms. Not Nice (Jenny Jones). Perhaps her best known character was the fast talking "Black American Princess" Bunifa Latifah Halifah Sharifa Jackson. Her most recognized impressions on the show were of Oprah Winfrey and Whitney Houston. Her Oprah impersonation is so well regarded that in fact she has played Oprah or Oprah-like characters in other media, most notably Scary Movie 4 and The Proud Family.

Celebrity impressions on MADtv[edit]

Television projects[edit]

Since her debut on MADtv, Wilson has done voice acting on episodes on numerous television shows, landing some recurring roles on such shows as Clone High, Family Guy, and The Mr. Potato Head Show. She voiced Captain Lisa Cusak in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Sound of Her Voice".

Wilson has made numerous independent films, including Naked Angel, Jane White Is Sick and Twisted, Skin Deep, and Soulmates. She was also in an episode of Without a Trace as a doctor, and has appeared three times (to date) as working girl Divine in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

She and Sullivan have done commercials for Pepsi's Sierra Mist. She appeared as herself on the February 15, 1999, episode of WCW Monday Nitro accompanying MADtv castmate Will Sasso in his professional wrestling match against Bret Hart. She also appeared on the UK "Whose Line Is It Anyway" - Season 10, Episode 9.

She was the co-host of TV Guide Channel's TV Watercooler with John Fugelsang, until she was replaced by Teresa Strasser in October 2006. She was also a co-host on GSN Live until she left in January 2010.

Theater projects[edit]

Wilson performed Off-Broadway with the improvisational comedy troupe Noo Yawk Tawk directed by Richmond Shepard at The Village Gate (1988–1991).

Personal life[edit]

Wilson married writer and director Cliff Skelton in April 2006. They separated in 2010 citing irreconcilable differences.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Cracking Up N/A
1995 Blue in the Face Statistician
1996 Girl 6 Salesgirl #3
1997 Gridlock'd Medicaid woman #2
1997 B*A*P*S Flight attendant
1997 Soulmates Jennifer Williams
1997 Asylum Belinda Davis
1997 Sleeping Together Wendy
1998 Star Trek: The Experience: The Klingon Encounter Security officer Voice only; short film
2000 Rubbernecking Julia
2002 Jane White Is Sick & Twisted Chi-Chi
2002 Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa Great grandma Voice only; television film
2003 Skin Deep Alex
2004 Target Nolan
2004 Nine Lives Lisa
2005 Bringing Up BayBay Pam Wilcox
BayBay Girl
Short film; also writer
2006 Whitepaddy Aunt Tiny
2006 Danny Roane: First Time Director Rehab nurse
2006 Adventures of Brer Rabbit, TheThe Adventures of Brer Rabbit Sister Buzzard Voice only; direct-to-video
2006 Scary Movie 4 Oprah Winfrey
2006 Over the Hedge Debbie Voice only
2006 Mandingo in a Box Host Short film
2006 Shut Up and Shoot! Nikki Ryder
2006 Rockin' Meera Rudy
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Teresa Reed
2007 Lord Help Us Shariffer Simms Direct-to-video
2007 Super Sweet 16: The Movie Edan Day Television film
2007 Cordially Invited Vivian Dunn
2007 Chosen One, TheThe Chosen One Akia May Voice only
2008 Cuttin' da Mustard N/A
2009 Knight to F4 Cheryl Johnson
2009 Psyche on Melrose Hostess Short film
2009 Haunted World of El Superbeasto, TheThe Haunted World of El Superbeasto Cigarette girl
Bride Fronkenstein
Female patron
Stripper in hall
Telephone victim
Old woman
Voice only; direct-to-video
2009 Avatar Na'vi troupe member
2009 Friends of Dorothy Hillary Short film
2010 Perfect Combination Mrs. Lewis
2011 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil Iana Voice only
2010 Oprah's Last Show Oprah Winfrey Short film
2011 Naked Angel Mama Tony
2011 Division III: Football's Finest Mandy
2012 Back Then Georgia Miller
2012 Bed-Stuy Lullaby Sha'rell Short film
2013 Knock 'em Dead Darien
2013 Midlife Diane Freeland Completed
2013 Cordially Invited – The Wedding Day of Alton & Kenya Vivian Dunn Completed
2013 Untold Merrel Post-production
2013 Lotto Randi Body Filming
2013 Jungle Shuffle Kam Filming
2014 Proof of Innocence Detective Bell Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1992–1993 Uptown Comedy Club, TheThe Uptown Comedy Club Various characters Main cast
1995 New York Undercover Shanna Episode: "High on the Hog"
MADtv Various characters Main cast (seasons 1–8); guest star (seasons 10, 13 and 14); 196 episodes
1998 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Lisa Cusak Episode: "The Sound of Her Voice"
1998 Mr. Potato Head Show, TheThe Mr. Potato Head Show Queenie Voice only; main cast
1998 Whose Line is it Anyway? Herself 1 episode
Family Guy Various voices 6 episodes
2001 Gary & Mike Various voices 13 episodes
2001 Oblongs, TheThe Oblongs Various voices 2 episodes
2002–2003 Clone High Various voices 3 episodes
2002–2003 Proud Family, TheThe Proud Family Oprah Winfrey 2 episodes
2003 Proud Family, TheThe Proud Family Basil
Voice only; episode: "Adventures in Bebe Sitting"
2003 Parkers, TheThe Parkers Zorah Episode: "Kimmie Has Two Moms"
2004 Without a Trace Doctor Episode: "Hawks and Handsaws"
2004–2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Divine 3 episodes
2004 I'm with Her Brenda Episode: "Friends in Low Places"
2004 That's So Raven Miesha Episode: "Spa Day Afternoon"
2005 Second Time Around Deonne Episode: "You're Fired"
2005 Studio House Vicky Unsold pilot
2005 American Dad! Whitney Houston Voice only; episode: "Francine's Flashback"
2006 In Justice Detective Powell Episode: "Confessions"
2006 Celebrity Paranormal Project Herself Episode: "Cult Commune"
2007 City Girls Jen Chase Unsold CW pilot
2007 Higglytown Heroes Marine biologist hero Voice only; episode: "Little Big Fish/Good Sports"
2008 Reno 911! Dominatrix 3 episodes
2008 Boondocks, TheThe Boondocks Debra Leevil Voice only; 2 episodes
2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Lilian Episode: "Automatic for the People"
2009 90210 Teacher Episode: "Hello, Goodbye, Amen"
2009–2010 GSN Live Herself Co-host
2012 Black Dynamite Amazon Moon Bitch leader
Lil' Orphan Penny
Eartha K.I.T.T.
Voice only
2013 2 Broke Girls Delores Episode: "And the Temporary Distraction"
2013 First Family, TheThe First Family Helen Episode: "The First Driver"
2013 Cleveland Show, TheThe Cleveland Show N/A Voice only; episode: "Of Lice and Men"
2013 Save Me Stephanie Episode: "Heavenly Hostess"
2013 DC Super-Pets! Streaky Voice only; episode: "Krypto vs. Streaky"
2013 DC Super-Pets! Aqua Cow
Voice only; episode: "The League of Just Us Cows"
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Everybody's Golf 4 Various voices
2006 Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Ellie Voice only
2006 X-Men: The Official Game Storm Voice only
2007 Halo 3 Marines Voice only
2008 Speed Racer: The Videogame Booster Mbube Voice only
2008 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Crying Wolf Voice only
2008 Fracture N/A Voice only
2009 Halo 3: ODST Marine Voice only
2010 Dead to Rights: Retribution Security guard Voice only
2010 StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Additional voices
2010 Fallout: New Vegas Additional voices
2011 Infamous 2 Female pedestrians Voice only
2013 Grand Theft Auto V Local population Voice only


  1. ^ ""MADTV" STAR Headed for Divorce Court". 10 May 2012. TMZ. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 

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