Born in Columbus, Georgia, Walker was attending New York’s prestigious High School of the Performing Arts when she was cast in her Broadway debut, "The Sign in Sidney Brustien’s Window" by Lorraine Hansberry. She went on to stand by for Stephanie Mills as Dorothy in the original Broadway run of The Wiz. In 1987 she starred in the Broadway revival of Dreamgirls in the role of Lorrell Robinson, and eventually achieved the distinction of being the only woman to have played all three of that show’s principal characters.
Walker’s films include For Love of the Game, Love Crimes, Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She also appeared in the HBO movie Cast a Deadly Spell (starring Fred Ward). She has worked extensively in television, including as a series regular in the ABC sitcom The Big House, Camp P, the NBC sitcom, Nurses, and as a guest star in "Living Single", Midnight Caller, Everybody Loves Raymond, City of Angels, Touched by an Angel, The Steve Harvey Show, Just Shoot Me, and NYPD Blue.
She is married to television news anchor/reporter Elliott Francis, and they have one child, Trevor. Her nickname is Netia.
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