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Bianca Lawson

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Bianca Lawson
Bianca Lawson publicity shot.jpg
Lawson in 2008
Bianca Jasmine Lawson

(1979-03-20) March 20, 1979 (age 42)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
Years active1988–present

Bianca Jasmine Lawson (born March 20, 1979) is an American actress. She is known for her regular roles in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Goode Behavior, Pretty Little Liars, and Rogue. She has also had recurring roles in the series Sister, Sister, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Steve Harvey Show, Dawson's Creek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, and Witches of East End. In 2016, Lawson began starring in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar.

Early life

Lawson was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Denise (née Gordy) and actor Richard Lawson, making her the step-daughter to Lawson's second wife Tina Knowles, and step-sister to singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles.[1] Lawson is also a grand-niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy.[2] She attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and graduated from Marymount High School, a Catholic school in Los Angeles. She then went on to study film and psychology at University of Southern California.[3] Lawson's parents are both African-American, and she also has Italian, Native American, Portuguese, and Creole ancestry.[4]


Lawson began acting at the age of nine, having appeared in commercials for Barbie and Revlon. In 1993, she was cast in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class as series regular Megan Jones. She appeared in multiple episodes of The WB sitcoms Sister, Sister as Rhonda Coley and The Steve Harvey Show as Rosalind. In 1996, she co-starred in the UPN sitcom Goode Behavior—which lasted for just one season—as Bianca Goode, the teenage daughter of the titular family. In 1997, she appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as vampire slayer Kendra Young. In 1999, she appeared in The WB's Dawson's Creek as rival character Nikki Green.

In 2009, Lawson was cast as Shawna in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. That same year, she was cast in the CW television series The Vampire Diaries, as witch Emily Bennett. In December 2009, she was cast as Maya St. Germain in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, based on the book series by Sara Shepard.[5] She appeared in that show from June 2010 through August 2012. Since 2012, she has had a recurring role as Ms. Morell in the MTV television series Teen Wolf, based on the original film from 1985. In 2014, Lawson had a recurring role as Eva in Witches of East End. In 2015, she was cast as series regular Talia Freeman in season three of Rogue.

Lawson has made appearances in two different television miniseries. In 1998, she appeared in The Temptations as Diana Ross (whom Lawson is related to through Ross's daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick); and in 2001, she was cast as Anna Bella Monroe in Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints. Some of Lawson's film credits to date include Primary Colors (1998), Save the Last Dance (2001), Bones (2001) and Breakin' All the Rules (2004). Aside from film and television, Lawson provided her voice to the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. In 2016, Lawson was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar created by Ava DuVernay.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Twice the Fear Girlfriend Video
Primary Colors Loretta
2000 Big Monster on Campus Darien Stompanato
The Pavilion Mary
2001 Save the Last Dance Nikki
Bones Cynthia
The Feast of All Saints Anna Bella Monroe TV Movie
2004 Dead & Breakfast Kate
Breakin' All the Rules Helen Sharp
The Pavilion Mary TV Movie
2005 Flip the Script Angel
2006 Broken Mia
National Lampoon's Pledge This! Monique
2007 Supergator Carla Masters Video
2009 The Killing of Wendy Brooke
2010 Don't Fade Away Alison Johnson
2011 Heavenly Sasha Grant TV Movie
2012 All About Christmas Eve Lila TV Movie
2014 House of Secrets Julie


Year Title Role Notes
1993–94 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan Jones Main Cast: Seasons 1–2
1994 What'z Up? Herself/Co-Host TV Series
My So-Called Life Third Bathroom Girl Episode: "Pilot"
1995 Me and the Boys Girl Episode: "The Age of Reason"
In the House Rachel Episode: "The Final Cut"
1995–96 Sister, Sister Rhonda Coley Recurring Cast: Season 3
1996–97 Goode Behavior Bianca Goode Main Cast
1997–99 Smart Guy Shirley/Tracy Episode: "Baby, It's You and You and You" & "It Takes Two"
1997 The Parent 'Hood Jasmine Episode: "Zaria Peterson's Day Off" & "Bad Rap"
1997–98 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kendra Young Recurring Cast: Season 2
1998 Silk Stalkings Renee Episode: "Rage"
The Steve Harvey Show Rosalind Recurring Cast: Season 2
The Temptations Diana Ross TV Mini Series
1999–00 Dawson's Creek Nikki Green Recurring Cast: Season 3
2001 Strong Medicine Esperenza Maldonaldo Episode: "Control Group"
2002 For the People Asia Portman Episode: "Textbook Perfect"
Haunted Brandi Combs Episode: "Blind Witness"
2003 Loose Lips Herself TV Series Documentary
2004 The Division Marilynn Resiser Episode: "Play Ball"
The Big House Angela Episode: "Almost Touched by an Angel"
Fearless Harmony Kaye Episode: "Pilot"
2006 Living in TV Land Herself Episode: "Sherman Hemsley"
2008 The Cleaner Jeannie Episode: "Meet the Joneses" & "The Eleventh Hour"
2009 Bones Albie Episode: "Fire in the Ice"
The Secret Life of the American Teenager Shawna Recurring Cast: Season 1
2009–14 The Vampire Diaries Emily Bennett Recurring Cast: Season 1-2, 5
2010 Nikita Emily Robinson Episode: "The Guardian"
2010–12 Pretty Little Liars Maya St. Germain Main Cast: Season 1-2, Recurring Cast: Seasons 3
2011 American Horror Story Abby Episode: "Pilot"
2012 Beauty & the Beast Lafferty Episode: "Trapped"
2 Broke Girls Stacy Episode: "And the Silent Partner"
2012–14 Teen Wolf Marin Morrell Recurring Cast: Season 2-3
2013 Good Day L.A. Herself TV Series
2014 Wolf Watch Herself Episode: "Episode #1.8"
Witches of East End Eva/Selina Recurring Cast: Season 2
2015 Chicago P.D. Kylie Rosales Episode: "We Don't Work Together Anymore"
Rogue Talia Freeman Main Cast: Season 3
2016- Queen Sugar Darla Recurring Cast: Season 1, Main Cast: Season 2-

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic (voice) Provided additional voices

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title Result Refs
2001 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Fight Scene (shared with Julia Stiles) Save the Last Dance Won
2018 Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama Series Queen Sugar Nominated


  1. ^ Webber, Stephanie (April 14, 2015). "Beyonce's New Stepsister Bianca Lawson Is Famous, Too: Details! - Us Weekly". Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Bianca Lawson Biography (1979-), Film Reference
  3. ^ Bianca Lawson's bio Archived June 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine at ABC
  4. ^ Exclusive Bianca Lawson Interview at Facebook
  5. ^ "ABC Family Announces Additional Casting for its Upcoming Pilots "Melissa & Joey," "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project" and "Pretty Little Liars."" (PDF). ABC Family Press Release. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  6. ^ Denise Petski. "'Queen Sugar' Adds Bianca Lawson, Greg Vaughan & Henry G. Sanders - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved February 23, 2016.

External links