Telma Hopkins

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Telma Hopkins
Telma Hopkins By Voelker.jpg
Born Telma Louise Hopkins
(1948-10-28) October 28, 1948 (age 65)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Occupation Actress, Singer
Years active 1967-present
Spouse(s) Donald B. Allen (m. 1970–77) (one son)

Telma Louise Hopkins (born October 28, 1948 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American singer and actress. A member of the 1970s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, she later starred in several television sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Getting By and Half & Half.[1] Hopkins is best known for her roles as Adelaide "Addy" Wilson on Gimme a Break! from 1984–87, Rachel Crawford on Family Matters from 1989-1998. She currently has a semi-regular role as Marilyn Persons in the series Are We There Yet?. Hopkins is set to star in the upcoming FX sitcom Partners as Ruth Jackson, Martin Lawrence's character (Marcus Jackson) mother.


Hopkins started her career as a background singer in Detroit, Michigan, singing on many of the Golden World/Motown hits and working with legendary acts like The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. She also sang back up for Isaac Hayes and can be heard famously exclaiming "Shut your mouth!" on Hayes' hit song Theme From Shaft as well as the hip hop track "Thuggish Ruggish Bone". In 1971, Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson were recruited by Tony Orlando to form the vocal group Dawn. (Orlando had released a single, "Candida"—performed with session vocalists Toni Wine and Linda November backing him, in late 1970, under the name Dawn; when the single charted, Orlando found himself needing to assemble an actual backing group to tour and record with.) As a recording act, Tony Orlando and Dawn would have much success throughout the second half of the 1970s, releasing 16 top-40 singles, three of which reached #1, and starring in a CBS variety show from 1974-1976.

Hopkins played Darren Roanoke's mother in the The Love Guru. She starred in the play JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman in October 2008.[2] Also in 2008, Hopkins officially announced her creative partnership, A New Dawn Entertainment, with writer-producer Joseph Burton. Hopkins often volunteers her time for charitable causes. She has worked with Caring For Babies with AIDS, Act on Arthritis, and the PTA. She also mentors children.[3] Hopkins remains a huge supporter of inspirational radio and granted permission for The Jazz Joy and Roy radio show to use her supportive remarks on the program's promos. Hopkins said to Jazz Joy and Roy, "I was raised by a grandmother who told me I could do whatever I wanted to do, as long as I was willing to work hard for it...." She currently plays the role of Marilyn Persons on the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet?



  1. ^ Villasenor, Ann (1994-01-23). "Telma Hopkins, the accidental actress with a message to tell". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  2. ^ Posted by Karlayne Parker at 11:36 AM (2008-07-27). "". Retrieved 2009-07-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ "". 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

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