Crystal R. Fox

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Crystal R. Fox
Crystal R. Fox 2020.jpg
Fox in 2020
Born (1964-01-01) January 1, 1964 (age 56)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1989–present

Crystal R. Fox (born January 1, 1964)[1][2] is an American actress and singer. Fox performed in a many stage productions during her career, and best known for her television roles as Luann Corbin in the NBC/CBS police drama series In the Heat of the Night (1989-1995), and as Hanna Young in the Oprah Winfrey Network prime time soap opera, The Haves and the Have Nots (2013–present). Fox also has appeared in a number of films, most notable playing the leading role in the 2020 thriller A Fall from Grace.

Life and career[edit]

Fox was born in Tryon, North Carolina and began her professional acting career in the late 1970s appearing on stage in Atlanta, Georgia.[3] She is the niece of the late singer Nina Simone and half-sister of Lisa Simone Kelly.[4]

Fox made her big screen debut playing Katie Bell in the Academy Award-winning comedy-drama film Driving Miss Daisy (1989) starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. She later joined the cast of NBC police drama series In the Heat of the Night in its third season, playing Luann Corbin. She was a regular cast member through the series finale in 1995, appearing in more than 100 episodes.[5] In the 1990s, Fox had supporting roles in films Drop Squad (1994) and Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored (1995) opposite Phylicia Rashad and Al Freeman Jr.. She co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the 1998 miniseries Mama Flora's Family based on a novel by Alex Haley. On television, she guest-starred on Law & Order, The Sopranos, and Third Watch. Fox also co-starred opposite Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen in the 2001 PBS production of The Old Settler.[6]

Fox with John Beasley in the 2009 production of Fences

Fox has appeared in many stage productions during her career.[7] She has worked in New York City, Alexandria, Silver Spring, and Atlanta, where she lives.[8] She received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for her performance in the 2002 play Home.[8] Her other stage credits include For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, A Raisin in the Sun, The Colored Museum, The Amen Corner, The Boys from Syracuse, Bessie's Blues, Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.[8] She was a member of the Alliance Theatre for many years.[9] She received IRNE Awards and Elliot Norton Awards for Best Actress for playing Rose Maxson in the 2009 production of Fences at the Huntington Theatre Company.[10] During 2014–15, she acted as lead in the play Blues for an Alabama Sky.[11]

In 2013, Fox was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network prime time soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots, produced by Tyler Perry.[12] She plays the leading role of Hanna Young, a single mother who works as the rich family's maid and also serves as the best friend and confidante of the lady of the house, Katheryn Cryer (played by Renee Lawless). The series also stars Tika Sumpter, Angela Robinson, and John Schneider. Fox has received positive reviews for her performance in the show.[13][14][15]

In 2019, Fox was cast for the second season of the HBO drama series Big Little Lies as Zoë Kravitz’s character's mother Elizabeth Howard.[16][17][18] Along with the cast, she was nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. She co-starred opposite Forest Whitaker in the drama film Burden.[19] The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.[20] In 2020, Fox had a leading role in the Netflix thriller film A Fall from Grace.[21] It was Fox's first leading film role in her long career.[22] The film received negative reviews from critics, but her performance was praised by many.[23] Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper wrote in a review: "Best of all is seeing Crystal Fox getting her moment in the spotlight and absolutely shining."[24] Later in 2020, Fox will appear in the Amazon Prime drama series Utopia created by Gillian Flynn.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Driving Miss Daisy Katie Bell
1991 Separate but Equal NAACP telephone receptionist Television film
1994 Drop Squad Zora
1995 Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored Miss Doll
2001 The Old Settler Lou Bessie Segment "Charmaine"
2014 Ir/Reconcilable Pam Short film
2016 Coffee Klatch Cindy Mercer
2018 Burden Janice Kennedy
2020 A Fall from Grace Grace Waters


Year Title Role Notes
1989-1995 In the Heat of the Night Luann Corbin Series regular, 102 episodes
1996 Savannah DA Laine Thompkins Episodes: "From Here to Paternity" and "Creep Throat"
1998 Mama Flora's Family Ruthana Miniseries
2001 Law & Order Mancelli Episode: "White Lie"
2001 The Sopranos Nurse Episode: "Pine Barrens"
2001 Third Watch Nunez Episode: "And Zeus Wept"
2010 Tyler Perry's House of Payne CJ & Janine's nanny/housekeeper, Ms. Willamina Recurring role, 5 episodes
2013–present The Haves and the Have Nots Hanna Young Series regular
2019 Big Little Lies Elizabeth Howard Recurring role, 6 episodes
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2020 Utopia Upcoming series


  1. ^ Fox, Crystal [@Only1CrystalFox] (October 9, 2019). "Hello my HAHN friends & family. If you could, please help me spread the word that Wikipedia has my birthdate WRONG & I can't seem to get it corrected. My birthday is NOT in October at all! My birthday is January 1, 1964 New Year's Day! Thanks all for sending bday wishes though!" (Tweet). Retrieved March 7, 2020 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Crystal Fox, a feature film lead at last, takes on Tyler Perry's 'Fall From Grace' critics". Los Angeles Times. February 13, 2020.
  3. ^ "Crystal R. Fox's Biography". Wall Of Celebrities.
  4. ^ Whaley, Kacie. "Actress Crystal Fox calls film on her aunt, Nina Simone, 'the ultimate rejection'".
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland. 2009. ISBN 978-0786437900.
  6. ^ "The Old Settler". 25 April 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Crystal Fox as 'Hanna Young'". OWN. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  8. ^ a b c "Fox, Crystal R." Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Crystal Fox". Alliance Theatre. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Crystal R. Fox theatre profile".
  11. ^ Jewish Times. "Crystal Fox". Atlanta Jewish Times. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  12. ^ Brian Lowry. "Tyler Perry's "The Haves and Have Nots" Premieres on OWN - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  13. ^ Hollinger, About the Author Michelle. "Crystal Fox shines her light".
  14. ^ Team TVLine. "Keegan-Michael Key's 'Playing House' Performance — Season 2, Episode 4 - TVLine". TVLine. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Crystal Fox spills 'The Haves and the Have Nots' secrets before season finale - Rolling Out". Rolling Out. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (3 April 2018). "'Big Little Lies' Closes Deals For 4 To Return; Adds Two New Season 2 Cast Members". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  17. ^ Nemetz, Dave (3 April 2018). "Big Little Lies: Merrin Dungey to Return, Plus Robin Weigert and 2 Others". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  18. ^ Otterson, Joe (3 April 2018). "'Big Little Lies' Season 2 Brings Back Four Cast Members, Adds Two More". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Burden (2020)" – via
  20. ^ "2018 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS ANNOUNCED". Sundance Institute. January 27, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  21. ^ Bennett, Anita; Bennett, Anita (November 24, 2019). "Tyler Perry Announces Next Project – Netflix Film 'A Fall From Grace'".
  22. ^ "Why Tyler Perry Gave A Fall From Grace Star Her First Big Break In 40 Years". CINEMABLEND. January 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "Tyler Perry's A Fall from Grace (2020)" – via
  24. ^ Roeper, Richard (January 17, 2020). "'A Fall from Grace': Tyler Perry brings the best out from some veteran actors". Chicago Sun-Times.
  25. ^ "The Haves And The Have Nots' Actress Crystal Fox On The Show And Joining 'Big Little Lies'". June 11, 2019.

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