Lela Rochon

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Lela Rochon
Antoine Fuqua Lela Rochon crop.jpg
Rochon with husband Antoine Fuqua, 2013.
Born Lela Rochon Staples
(1964-04-17) April 17, 1964 (age 52)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education Cerritos High School
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Occupation Actress
Years active 1984–present
Spouse(s) Adolfo Quiñones (m. 1982–87)
Antoine Fuqua (m. 1999)
Children 2

Lela Rochon (born Lela Rochon Staples; April 17, 1964) is an American actress, best known for her breakthrough role as Robin Stokes in the 1995 romantic drama film Waiting to Exhale.[1] She later had starring roles in films The Chamber (1996), Gang Related (1997), Knock Off (1998), and Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998).

Early life[edit]

Rochon was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Zelma, a nurse practitioner, and Samuel Staples, a business owner and graphic artist, who are both of Haitian descent.[2][3] She graduated Cerritos High School in Cerritos, California. She attended California State University, Dominguez Hills where she earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism, with minors in Sociology and Theatre.[4]

Career[edit]

Early works[edit]

From 1986 to 1988, while attending college, Rochon was one of the "Spudettes" featured in over 30 national spots for the Spuds Mckenzie Budweiser/Bud Light TV commercials. She also appeared in the 1985 made-for-television film A Bunny's Tale starring Kirstie Alley and Delta Burke, based on Gloria Steinem's experiences as a Playboy Bunny. She appeared as the love interest of Gerald Levert in the video for "My Forever Love" by Levert,[5] and in Luther Vandross's "It's Over Now" video. She also appeared in the music video for Lionel Richie's single "All Night Long (All Night)", as well as in Al B. Sure's video for the song "Natalie".[6] She had many guest starring roles in a number of sitcoms, include The Cosby Show, Amen, 227, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.

Rochon made her film debut in 1985, when she starred opposite Fred Williamson in Fox Trap. In 1987, she played the role of Debby in the film The Wild Pair, starring Beau Bridges and Bubba Smith. In 1989, Rochon acted opposite Eddie Murphy in 1989's Harlem Nights, as the memorable "Sunshine" character. She again worked with Murphy in the successful 1992 romantic comedy, Boomerang. In 1995, she was regular cast member during the first season of The WB sitcom, The Wayans Bros.[7]

Breakthrough[edit]

Rochon' biggest break came in 1995, when she landed one of the lead roles opposite Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine in the adaptation of the Terry McMillan novel and highly successful drama film Waiting to Exhale. She played the character Robin Stokes, for which she was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. Rochon was chosen by People magazine as one of the "50 most beautiful people in the world" in 1996.[8]

In 1996, Rochon starred opposite Timothy Hutton in the Showtime cable network film Mr. and Mrs. Loving, receiving a Cable Ace Award nomination for Best Actress. Later that year, she played the female lead in the crime thriller film The Chamber. The following year, she starred alongside Jim Belushi and Tupac Shakur in the crime thriller Gang Related. In 1998, Rochon had the leading role alongside Halle Berry and Vivica A. Fox in the romantic drama Why Do Fools Fall in Love, and well starred in Knock Off with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and The Big Hit, as love interest to Mark Wahlberg's leading character. In 1999, she appeared in Any Given Sunday directed by Oliver Stone. In 2001, Rochon made her return to television with one of leading roles alongside Bonnie Bedelia, Nancy McKeon, Tracey Needham, and Lisa Vidal in the Lifetime crime drama series, The Division. She left the series after single season.[9]

2000s-present[edit]

In 2004, Rochon co-starred opposite Katie Holmes in the romantic comedy film First Daughter.[9] In 2009, she had cameo in crime drama Brooklyn's Finest directed by her husband, Antoine Fuqua.[9] In 2013, she played one of leading roles in Regina King's directorial debut Let The Church Say Amen, the film adaptation of ReShonda Tate Billingsley's 2005 novel for BET.[10] She later had roles in films Supremacy (2014) with Danny Glover and Derek Luke, and Reversion (2015), playing Aja Naomi King's character's mother.[11][12][13]

Personal life[edit]

On March 28, 1987; Lela married John Anderson (June 2, 1960). They have 6 children. On September 7, 1989; Lela gave birth to Kyle Anderson. On July 13, 1991; she gave birth to Kyliana. On May 4, 1994; Kaylei was born. On November 30, 1996; Kason was born. Kai and Kaine were both born on February 22, 1998.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Breakin' Extra Uncredited
1984 Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Dancer
1985 A Bunny's Tale Charlotte Television film
1986 Foxtrap Lindy
1986 Stewardess School School Instructor
1987 The Wild Pair Debby
1987 Into the Homeland Exquisite Woman
1989 Harlem Nights Sunshine
1991 Extralarge: Black and White Wendy
1992 Boomerang Christie
1993 The Meteor Man Vanessa
1995 Waiting to Exhale Robin Stokes Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
1996 Mr. and Mrs. Loving Mildred Loving Television film
Nominated — CableACE Award for Outstanding Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1996 The Chamber Nora Stark
1997 Gang Related Cynthia Webb
1997 Legal Deceit Sydney Banks
1998 Ruby Bridges Lucielle 'Lucy' Bridges Television film
1998 The Big Hit Chantel
1998 Knock Off Karen Lee
1998 Why Do Fools Fall in Love Emira Eagle
1999 Any Given Sunday Vanessa Struthers
1999 The Charlotte Austin Story Charlotte Austin Also executive producer
2000 Labor Pains Lulu Brown
2004 First Daughter Liz Pappas
2006 Running Out of Time in Hollywood
2009 Balancing the Books Sharlene Also executive producer
2009 Brooklyn's Finest Investigator Cameo
2010 Blood Done Sign My Name Roseanna Allen
2013 Let the Church Say Amen Loretta Jackson Television film
2014 Supremacy Odessa
2015 Reversion Maya

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Facts of Life Diana Episode: "The Greek Connection"
1987 The Cosby Show Veronica Episode: "The Shower"
1988 Amen Young Bride Episode: "Wedding Bell Blues"
1990 21 Jump Street Denise Price Episode: "Change of Heart"
1990 227 Leslie Episode: "Gone Fishing"
1990 1st & Ten Joy Brock Episode: "Don't Powerburst My Bubble"
1991 Generations Brandy Alexander Recurring role
1991 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cindy Episode: "Will Gets a Job"
1992 Homefront Mary Louise Episode: "At Your Age"
1992 Roc Carol Episode: "Roc Throws Joey Out"
1992 Tales from the Crypt Mercedes Episode: "Werewolf Concerto"
1993 Out All Night Victoria Episode: "Mall in the Family"
1993 The Sinbad Show Denise Episode: "Pilot"
1994 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Denise Episode: "The Courtship of Mark Cooper"
1995 The Wayans Bros. Lisa Series regular, 13 episodes
1997 The Outer Limits Beth Carter Episode: "The Awakening"
2001 The Division Inspector Angela Reide Series regular, 22 episodes
2011 Reed Between the Lines Sherri Episode: "Let's Talk About Affairs"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Angela Bassett Reaches a Stellar Groove at Last". The Los Angeles Times. 1996-03-30. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  2. ^ "Model, Movies, and Most Beautiful". Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Lela Rochon Biography (1964?-). Filmreference.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-12.
  4. ^ Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 1998. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  5. ^ Levert. "My Forever Love". music video. mtv.com. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  6. ^ Sure!, Al B. "Natalie". music video. mtv.com. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  7. ^ Tony Scott. "The Wayans Bros.". Variety. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Lela Rochon". Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c "Lela Rochon". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Tambay A. Obenson (14 September 2012). "Steve Harris, Naturi Naughton, Lela Rochon Headline Regin - Shadow and Act". Shadow and Act. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Tambay A. Obenson (26 June 2014). "Deon Taylor's Racially-Charged Thriller 'Supremacy' Picke - Shadow and Act". Shadow and Act. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Dave McNary. "Danny Glover Supremacy U.S. Distribution - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Tambay A. Obenson (18 September 2015). "EXCLUSIVE Trailer & Poster: Aja Naomi King Headlines Sci- - Shadow and Act". Shadow and Act. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 

External links[edit]