Alexander at Comic-Con in 2012
Erika Rose Alexander
November 19, 1969
Winslow, Arizona, U.S.
|Education||Philadelphia High School for Girls|
|Occupation||Actress, writer, producer, activist|
|Home town||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
(m. 1997; div. 2017)
|Awards||1996 – NAACP Image Award; Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Living Single)|
1998 – NAACP Image Award; Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Living Single)
Erika Rose Alexander (born November 19, 1969) is an American actress, writer, producer, entrepreneur and activist best known for her roles as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1990–1992), and Maxine Shaw on the FOX sitcom Living Single (1993–1998). She has won numerous awards for her work on Living Single, including two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. Her film credits include The Long Walk Home (1990), 30 Years to Life (2001), Déjà Vu (2006) and Get Out (2017).
Alexander was born in Winslow, Arizona and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona until the age of eleven, when she and her family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is one of six children born to Robert and Sammie Alexander, a school teacher and children's book author. Alexander graduated from Philadelphia High School for Girls.
After graduating from high school, Alexander enrolled in a six-week acting class at the New Freedom Theatre. During the fifth week, Alexander got a major role in her first movie. Alexander made her film debut appearing in the independent drama My Little Girl in 1986. In 1989, Alexander played the role of Hidimbi in Peter Brook's miniseries adaptation of The Mahabharata. She got her big break starring opposite Whoopi Goldberg in the 1990 civil rights epic drama film The Long Walk Home.
Alexander performed in the play The Forbidden City with Gloria Foster, who then talked about her with her friend, Camille Cosby, wife of Bill Cosby. She later was cast as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show starring from 1990 to series finale in 1992. Alexander later went to star in the ABC comedy-drama series Going to Extremes, which centered on a group of American students at a medical school on a fictitious Caribbean island named Jantique. The series was canceled after one season in 1993.
In 1993, Alexander began starring as the acid-tongued attorney Maxine Shaw in the Fox sitcom Living Single, a role she played for five years to 1998. For this role, she won two NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series in 1996 and 1998. She appeared in Toni Braxton's music video for "You're Makin' Me High" in 1996. In 1998, she starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the CBS miniseries Mama Flora's Family based on novel by Alex Haley, and well as appeared in the drama film 54. In 2001, she starred in the comedy film 30 Years to Life receiving Black Reel Award for Best Independent Actress for her performance.
In 2002, Alexander returned to television playing probation officer Dee Mulhern in the Showtime drama series Street Time, which ran for two seasons. She had a recurring roles in Judging Amy, In Plain Sight, Low Winter Sun and Let's Stay Together. Alexander also guest-starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Half and Half, ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Minds, House, Suits and Grey's Anatomy. From 2012 to 2015, she had a recurring role as Carol Larabee, Mike and Vanessa's neighbor, in the ABC comedy series Last Man Standing. Tisha Campbell-Martin replaced her in seventh season in this role.
Alexander has appeared in a number of films in 2000s and 2010s. In 2006 she played the role of Shanti, a technical science engineer in the science fiction action film Deja Vu opposite Denzel Washington. She starred opposite Benjamin Bratt and Jeremy Ray Valdez. in the 2009 drama film La Mission, and in 2014 had supporting role in the comedy-drama Elsa & Fred starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer. In 2017 she played Detective Latoya in the critically acclaimed horror film Get Out.
From 2016 to 2017, Alexander starred as Constance Irving in the Amazon original drama, Bosch. She had a recurring roles in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series Queen Sugar in 2016 and Freeform fantasy drama Beyond from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, she was cast in a recurring role as Perenna in the CW superhero series Black Lightning. In 2019, she received NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series. Later in 2019, she began starring in the Hulu drama series, Wu-Tang: An American Saga.
In 2012, she co-created and co-wrote Concrete Park, a science-fiction graphic novel with then-husband Tony Puryear. In 2018 she penned season eleven of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic Giles alongside Buffy creator Joss Whedon.
|1986||My Little Girl||Joan|
|1989||The Mahabharata||Madri, Hidimbaa|
|1990||The Long Walk Home||Selma Cotter|
|1991||He Said, She Said||Rita|
|1992||Fathers & Sons||Venell|
|2001||30 Years to Life||Joy||Black Reel Award for Best Independent Actress|
|2014||Elsa & Fred||Laverne|
|Secrets of the Magic City||Ms. Fletcher|
|2016||Brave New Jersey||Helen Holbrook||Phoenix Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Acting|
|2017||Get Out||Detective Latoya|
|2019||I See You||Lieutenant Moriah Davis|
|1986||George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation||Oney||TV film|
|1989||The Mahabharata||Madri / Hidimbi||TV miniseries|
|1990||Common Ground||Cassandra Twymon||TV film|
|The Last Best Year||Amy||TV film|
|Law & Order||Doris Carver||Episode: "Poison Ivy"|
|1990–1992||The Cosby Show||Pam Tucker||Main role (21 episodes)|
|1992–1993||Going to Extremes||Cheryl Carter||Main role (17 episodes)|
|1993–1998||Living Single||Maxine "Max" Felice Shaw||Main role (118 episodes)|
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (1996, 1998)
Nomination — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (1997)
|1998||Mama Flora's Family||Young Flora||TV miniseries|
|1999||KnitWits Revisited||Amina||TV film|
|2001||Judging Amy||Fran Winston||Recurring role (7 episodes)|
|The Zeta Project||Agent Rush (voice)||Episodes: "Ro's Reunion", "Absolute Zero"|
|2002–2003||Street Time||Dee Mulhern||Main role (20 episodes)|
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Kema Mabuda||Episode: "Ritual"|
|2005||Half & Half||Maxine Shaw||Episode: "The Big Performance Anxiety Episode"|
|7th Heaven||Lynn Miles||Episode: "Leaps of Faith"|
|2006||Sixty Minute Man||Jane||TV film|
|In Justice||Alyssa Hill||Episode: "The Ten Percenter"|
|Heist||Saundra Johnson||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|ER||Vatima Abika||Episode: "No Place to Hide"|
|2007||Side Order of Life||Colette||Episode: "Pilot"|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||A.D.A. Kirkson||Episode: "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp"|
|Numb3rs||U.S. Marshal Tricia Yaegger||Episode: "In Security"|
|CSI: Miami||Tanya Thorpe||Episode: "Guerillas in the Mist"|
|2009||Criminal Minds||Det. Lynne Henderson||Episode: "The Big Wheel"|
|2010||In Plain Sight||Theresa Simmons||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|2011||House||Ms. Fields||Episode: "Two Stories"|
|2012||Suburgatory||Gloria||Episode: "The Motherload"|
|Suits||Sarah Leighton||Episode: "Discovery"|
|2012–2015||Last Man Standing||Carol Larabee||Recurring role (10 episodes)|
|2013||Low Winter Sun||Louise "LC" Cullen||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|2014||Let's Stay Together||Blanche||Recurring role (3 episodes)|
|NCIS: New Orleans||Navy Commander Louanne Bates||Episode: "Carrier"|
|2015||Grey's Anatomy||Johanna McKay||Episode: "Crazy Love"|
|2016–2017||Bosch||Connie Irving||Recurring Role (10 episodes)|
|2016||Recovery Road||Trish's Mother||1 episode|
|Queen Sugar||LeAnne||Guest Role (2 episodes)|
|2017-2018||Beyond||Tess Shoemaker||Recurring Role (12 episodes)|
|2018||Insecure||Yolanda||Recurring role (3 episodes)|
|2018–present||Black Lightning||Perenna||Recurring Role, 8 episodes|
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series (2019)
|2019||Wu-Tang: An American Saga||Linda Diggs||Series regular|
- Shaw-King, Crystal (April 3, 2017). "Erika Alexander on 'Get Out' and Whether or Not a 'Living Single' Reunion Is Really Happening". EBONY. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Means, Coleman R. R. African American Viewers and the Black Situation Comedy: Situating Racial Humor. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014. p. 134.
- Berry, Torriano, and Venise T. Berry, eds. Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema, 2015. p. 24.
- Hughes, Mike (August 17, 1995). "'Living Single' Cast Faces New Shot". Gannett News Service. Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey).
- Gussow, Mel (April 7, 1989). "A Mother Only a Son Could Love".
- Marin, Rick; Marin, Rick (September 1, 1992). "Going to Extremes".
- McCann, Bob. Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2010.
- "Boca Raton News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
- "Erika Alexander". IMDb.
- "Who plays the new Carol Larabee on Last Man Standing? Actress Tisha Campbell-Martin recurs as Chuck's wife". Monsters and Critics. January 17, 2020.
- Shaw-King, Crystal. "Erika Alexander on 'Get Out' and Whether or Not a 'Living Single' Reunion Is Really Happening - EBONY". www.ebony.com.
- Obenson, Tambay; Obenson, Tambay (March 31, 2019). "50th NAACP Image Awards: 'Black Panther,' 'black-ish' Dominate".
- "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': Erica Alexander shares "deep" challenges Wu-Tang faced during their early days - Music News - ABC News Radio". abcnewsradioonline.com.
- "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': Ashton Sanders, Shameik Moore And Erika Alexander Among 6 Cast In Scripted Hulu Drama". shadowandact.com.
- Brown, Stacia. Clutch Magazine. "Erika Alexander Co-Writes Graphic with Black Heroine"
- "Tony Puryear And Erika Alexander's Concrete Park Returns With Hardcover And New Series!". www.darkhorse.com.
- "Erika Alexander Develops Graphic Novel with Black Female Characters". Essence.
- Commandeur, Jordan (January 9, 2018). "Joss Whedon & Erika Alexander Send Buffy's Giles Back to School". CBR.
- Panzar, Javier. “Democrats Counting on Celebrities to Introduce Heavy Subject Matter.” Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2016. Accessed 30 July 2017.