Essence Atkins

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Essence Atkins
Born Essence Uhura Atkins
(1972-02-07) February 7, 1972 (age 44)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Other names Essence Uhurra Atkins
Occupation Actress, Model
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Jaime Mendez (2009–present)
Children Varro Blair Mendez (born December 25, 2011)

Essence Uhura Atkins (born February 7, 1972) is an American actress and model. She is best known for the roles of Dee Dee Thorne on the UPN sitcom Half & Half and as Yvette Henderson on The WB sitcom Smart Guy. She has also starred in the TV series Are We There Yet? as Suzanne Kingston-Persons. In 2013 and 2014, Atkins appeared as "Kisha Davis" in the films A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2.


Atkins has appeared in a variety of movies and TV shows, including How High, Deliver Us from Eva, Family Matters, Moesha, and The Cosby Show. One of her television roles was in the Saved by the Bell spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years. She appeared in the pilot, but when Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, a regular from the original, opted to return, Atkins's character was written out. She also had a main role in Smart Guy as the older sister Tasha Yvette Henderson, as well as the starring role of Dee Dee Thorne in the series Half & Half, playing half-sister to Rachel True's character. Atkins has also appeared in "A Haunted House" and its sequel.

She was starring in the TBS sitcom series Are We There Yet? before its cancellation in 2013, and has a recurring role on Mr. Box Office, starring Bill Bellamy.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In September 2009, Atkins married Puerto Rican collegiate football free safety Jaime Mendez. They met Valentine's Day 2008 through the online dating service Her Half and Half co-star Valarie Pettiford performed during the reception.[2]

On August 9, 2011, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together. Essence gave birth to a son in December 2011. The happy couple announced the news via Twitter. [3]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Nikita's Blues Nikita Short film
2001 Nikita Blues Nikita
2001 XCU: Extreme Close Up Tamikah Jones
2001 How High Jamie
2002 Looking Through Lillian Andrea
2003 Deliver Us from Eva Kareenah Dandridge
2007 Love... & Other 4 Letter Words Roxanne
2008 Love for Sale Candace
2009 Dance Flick Charity
2010 Preacher's Kid Peaches
2010 N-Secure Robin Joyner
2011 Bachelor Party, TheThe Bachelor Party Michelle Video
2012 Dysfunctional Friends Alice
2013 Haunted House, AA Haunted House Kisha Davis
2013 Act Like You Love Me Kelly Post-production
2013 Another Stateside Elsie Ramirez Post-production
2013 My Sisters Wedding Tandy Post-production
2014 A Haunted House 2 Kisha Davis


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show Paula Young Episode: "Vanessa's Rich"
1989 Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show Paula Young Episode: "I'm "In" with the "In" Crowd"
1991 Sunday in Paris Allison Chase TV short
1991 Charlie Hoover Amy Episode: "Out of the Frying Pan"
1992 Family Matters Becky Episode: "Brown Bombshell"
1992 Here and Now Khalila Episodes: "Love Handles", "A.J.'s Big Leap"
1993 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Danielle Marks Episode: "Pilot"
1995 Under One Roof Charlotte "Charlie" Langston Main role (6 episodes)
1995 Wayans Bros., TheThe Wayans Bros. Nina Episode: "Farmer's Daughter"
1996 Parent 'Hood, TheThe Parent 'Hood Chantel Episode: "One Man and a Baby"
1996 Malibu Shores Julie Tate Main role (10 episodes)
1996 John Larroquette Show, TheThe John Larroquette Show Jocelyn Episodes: "The Blues Traveller", "Cheeses H. Taste"
1997–1999 Smart Guy Yvette Henderson (51 episodes)
1998 Promised Land Rachel Episode: "Mirror Image"
1999 Moesha Piper Davis Episodes: "Party's Over (Here)", "Unappreciated Interest"
2000 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Marnie Episodes: "Love in Bloom", "Salem's Daughter"
2000 Love Song Toni TV film
2002–2006 Half & Half Dee Dee Thorne (91 episodes)
2005 Love, Inc. Renee Episode: "Mad About You"
2007 Football Wives TV pilot
2007 Class, TheThe Class Melanie Deacon Episode: "The Class Has to Go to a Stupid Museum"
2007 House Capt. Greta Cooper Episode: "The Right Stuff"
2009 Nita Tales: The Series Shandra Episode: "Dark Heart"
2010–2012 Are We There Yet? Suzanne Kingston-Persons Main role (68 episodes)
2011 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Monica (5 episodes)
2012 From This Day Forward Patrice TV film
2012 Mr. Box Office Samantha Owens Main role (21 episodes)
2014 Girlfriends' Getaway Lauren Main role
2014 "My Other Mother" Candy TV film Main role

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ LexiB (2009-10-26). "Essence Atkins Returns To Television In TBS Comedy, Are WCategory:People_from_New_York_Citye There Yet". 
  2. ^ Elaine Aradillas (2009-10-15). "Half and Half's Essence Atkins Says I Do". People Magazine. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  3. ^ Elaine Aradillas (2009-10-15). "Half and Half's Essence Atkins Says I Do". People Magazine. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 

External links[edit]