Tasha Smith

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Tasha Smith
Tasha Smith 2017.jpg
Smith in 2017
Born (1971-02-28) February 28, 1971 (age 51)
OccupationActress, director, producer
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)
Rory "Keith" Douglas
(m. 2010; annulled 2015)
[1]

Tasha Smith (born February 28, 1971)[2] is an American actress, director and producer. She began her career in a starring role on the NBC comedy series Boston Common (1996–97), and she later appeared in numerous movies and television series.

Smith has appeared in the films The Whole Ten Yards (2004), Daddy's Little Girls (2007), The Longshots (2008), Couples Retreat (2009), and Jumping the Broom (2011). She starred as Angela Williams in the Tyler Perry films Why Did I Get Married? (2007), its sequel Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), and on the television series based on the movies, For Better or Worse (2011–2017). In 2015, she began a recurring role as Carol Holloway on the Fox musical drama series Empire. Later in the same year, Smith made her directorial debut.

Early life and education[edit]

Smith was born in Camden, New Jersey, and was raised by a single mother. She has an identical twin sister Sidra Smith, who currently lives in Harlem.[2] Smith dropped out of Camden High School in her freshman year, and at age 19 moved to California.[3]

Career[edit]

Smith made her acting debut with a small role in the comedy film Twin Sitters (1994).[4] From 1996 to 1997, she starred in the NBC comedy series, Boston Common. Later in 1997, she was cast alongside Tom Arnold in another short-lived comedy series, The Tom Show on The WB.[4] In 2000, she had supporting role in the HBO miniseries, The Corner in which she played a drug addict.[4] In the 2000s, Smith had guest starring roles on The Parkers, Without a Trace, Nip/Tuck, and Girlfriends. She has made number of supporting roles in movies such as Playas Ball (2003), The Whole Ten Yards (2004), and ATL (2006).

Smith has played roles in multiple Tyler Perry projects. In 2007, she appeared as the main antagonist in the romantic comedy-drama film, Daddy's Little Girls. She played the role of Angela Williams in the Why Did I Get Married? (2007), and its sequel Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010). The role she later played in the comedy series based on films, Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse.

Smith co-starred alongside Ice Cube and Keke Palmer in the family comedy-drama film, The Longshots (2008). She had supporting role in the romantic comedy film Couples Retreat (2009), and co-starred alongside Salli Richardson, Nicole Ari Parker and Michael B. Jordan in Pastor Brown (2010). In 2011, she appeared in the comedy-drama film Jumping the Broom alongside Angela Bassett and Paula Patton, and in 2014, she played a psychotherapist in the erotic thriller, Addicted.[5] In 2014, she also was cast in a recurring role in the Fox drama series Empire as Carol Hardaway, Cookie Lyon's younger sister.[6]

In 2015, Smith made her directorial debut with the short film Boxed in, which premiered during the 19th Annual American Black Film Festival.[7] In 2017, Smith directed the television film When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, starring Lil Mama and Lance Gross, based on a true story.[8][9] It premiered to 1.6 million viewers, ranking as TV One's #1 original movie premiere of all time among all key demos.[10] In October 2017, she also directed an episode in the BET drama anthology series Tales. Smith worked as Mary J. Blige's acting coach for her role in Mudbound.[11]

In 2019, Smith appeared in the comedy-drama film Dolemite Is My Name, and starred opposite Lisa Kudrow and Whitney Cummings in the Amazon comedy pilot Good People.[12] Also that year, she directed episodes of Star, 9-1-1 and Black Lightning. In 2020, Smith directed the episode "Legacy" on the Starz TV series P-Valley. In 2021, Smith directed the Starz drama series Black Mafia Family.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In December 2010, Smith married her boyfriend of one-year Keith Douglas, who was also her manager.[14] In November 2014, Smith appeared in court to request a restraining order against Douglas. In documents filed prior to the court appearance, she accused him of having affairs with other women. Smith's friend Tisha Campbell-Martin acted as a character witness.[15] The final divorce decree was issued in March 2015.[16] However, Smith contested the divorce by alleging that Douglas concealed information from her that she should have known before the marriage. Smith alleged that Douglas was not "man of the cloth" that he presented himself to be during their courtship.[1] She also said that, if she had known about Douglas' background, she would not have married him. The allegations about Douglas' background included five marriages before he married Smith, multiple children that he did not claim and disclose to Smith, and non-payment of income taxes for nearly a decade. The judge in the case granted Smith an annulment of the marriage in December 2015 on the basis of fraud committed by Douglas.[1]

In an interview with D.L. Hughley in 2014, Tasha Smith shared that during most of her teenage years and young adulthood she was an atheist, despite her family being devout religious Christians, because of the "hardships, tragedies, and misfortune she saw her family endure throughout her childhood."[17] However, she said after learning that one of her family members had gotten very sick and was not able to visit them at the hospital, she turned to prayer "and ask God to show himself to her and help her unbelief."[18] After doing so, she says that she became a devout, practicing Christian and uses her Christian faith as one of her motivators for her career and philanthropy.[17][18][19]

Smith is the creator of TSAW - an actor's workshop that empowers and inspires performers at various stages in their careers with focus on the Black community.[20]

Filmography[edit]

Film/Movie[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Twin Sitters The Aleem's Wives
1995 Let It Be Me Student
1998 Max Q Karen Daniels TV Movie
1999 Chameleon II: Death Match IBI Director Tasha Webster TV Movie
2003 Playas Ball Vonda Watson
2004 The Whole Ten Yards Jules "Julie" Figueroa
My Purple Fur Coat Ruth Smith Short
2006 Miles from Home Keisha Knight
ATL Gayle
You, Me and Dupree Co-Worker
Glass House: The Good Mother Caseworker Niecy Jameson Video
2007 Love... & Other 4 Letter Words Lucille Ames
Daddy's Little Girls Jennifer Jackson
Why Did I Get Married? Angela Williams
2008 The Longshots Claire Plummer
Finnegan Det. Nenna McCants TV Movie
2009 Pastor Brown Angelique Todd
End of the Line Woman 3 Short
Couples Retreat Jennifer
2010 Why Did I Get Married Too? Angela Williams
Something Like a Business Angela
2011 Jumping the Broom Shonda Peterkin
2014 Addicted Dr. Marcella Spencer
2015 Stock Option LaTonja TV Movie
2016 Polaris Sophie
2017 Snowed-Inn Christmas Simone Jenkins TV Movie
2018 Running Out of Time Brenda
2019 The One You Never Forget Sherry Short
Dolemite Is My Name Jimmy's Wife
2020 Good People Shar Johnson TV Movie

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Sinbad Show - Episode: "I Coulda' Been the Man"
1996–97 Boston Common Tasha King Main Cast
1997 Chicago Hope Dr. Denise Potter Episode: "Brain Salad Surgery"
1997–98 The Tom Show Tanya Cole Main Cast
1999 The Steve Harvey Show Kimberly Davis Episode: "Steve Don't Get Nun"
2000 The Corner Veronica 'Ronnie' Boice TV Mini Series
2001 The Parkers Rachel Jones Episode: "A Knockout Times Two"
2003 Without a Trace Veronica Boyce Episode: "The Friendly Skies"
2004 Nip/Tuck Carol Nelson Episode: "Joan Rivers"
2005 Second Time Around Laura James Episode: "Big Bank, Little Bank"
Girlfriends Shandara Durrani Episode: "See J-Spot Run"
2007 All of Us Jewel Jones Episode: "The B-R-E-A-K-U-P"
2009 The Game Sheila Episode: "The Third Legacy"
2009–10 Meet the Browns Tanya Gould Recurring Cast: Season 2-3
2011–16 Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse Angela Williams Main Cast: Season 1-3, Guest: Season 5
2014 Chopped Herself/Contestant Episode: "Chopped Tournament of Stars: Actors!"
2015 Power Jarita J. Recurring Cast: Season 2
2015–20 Empire Carol Holloway Recurring Cast
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself/Guest Judge Episode: "RuCo's Empire"
2017 Daytime Divas Portia Camden Episode: "Shut It Down"
Star Carol Holloway Episode: "The Winner Takes It All"
2018 In Contempt - Episode: "Necessary Force"
Rel Monique Episode: "Brittany's Mom"

Directing[edit]

Year Title Season Episode
2015 Boxed In (Short)
2017 When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story (TV Movie)
2017 Tales Season 1 "99 Problems"
2019 Star Season 3 "Square One"
"Toxic"
2019 Tales Season 2 "My Life"
2019 Black Lightning Season 3 "The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis"
2019 9-1-1 Season 3 "Athena Begins"
2020 P-Valley Season 1 "Legacy"
2020 Big Sky Season 1 "Unfinished Business"
2021 9-1-1 Season 4 "First Responders"
2021 Our Kind of People Season 1 "My Mother, Myself"
"Reparations"
2021 Big Sky Season 2 "You Have To Play Along"
2021 Black Mafia Family Season 1 "See It... Touch It... Obtain It"
"Rumors"
"The King of Detroit"
2022 Bel Air Season 1 "PA to LA"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Eromosele, Diana Ozemebhoya (December 23, 2015). "Judge Annuls Tasha Smith's Marriage After Finding That Her Husband Hid Kids, Marriages and Debt". The Root. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Black Star News - Black Star News". Blackstar News. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Ortiz, Eric (December 20, 2007). "Camden's "Funny Chick". New Jersey Monthly. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Tasha Smith Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  5. ^ Courtney (October 29, 2012). "Tasha Smith Confirmed For Zane's 'Addicted'". IndieWire. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 18, 2014). "Macy Gray Boards Lee Daniels' Hip-Hop Drama 'Empire' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Evans, Madge (June 23, 2015). "Tasha Smith Makes Directorial Debut with 'Boxed In' at 2015 ABFF (WATCH)". EURweb.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Manyando, Abesi (August 28, 2017). "Tasha Smith Delivers in Directorial Debut of "When Love Kills."". HuffPost. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  9. ^ Jones, Tashara (August 18, 2017). "Director says 'When Love Kills' examines 'humanity' of murderous stripper". New York Post. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  10. ^ "WHEN LOVE KILLS: THE FALICIA BLAKELY STORY Ranks as TV One's No. 1 Original Premiere of All Time". BroadwayWorld.com. August 31, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Feinberg, Scott (January 11, 2018). "'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Mary J. Blige ('Mudbound')". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (June 6, 2019). "'Good People': Tasha Smith Joins Amazon Comedy Pilot".
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (January 13, 2021). "'Black Mafia Family': Demetrius "Lil Meech" Flenory Jr. & Da'Vinchi To Star In Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's Series On Starz; Tasha Smith To Direct".
  14. ^ "Tasha Smith : My Black Is Beautiful". BET. April 12, 2010. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Qwest7 (November 27, 2014). "Tasha Smith Files Retraining Order Against Keith Douglas". EURweb.com.
  16. ^ Diaz, Evelyn (March 29, 2015). "Tasha Smith Reaches Divorce Settlement With Husband". BET. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Tasha Smith Shares Her Journey From Atheist to Believer". BET. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Tasha Smith Reveals Why She Was An Atheist [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]". Black America Web. April 17, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  19. ^ Grant, Jasmine. "Tasha Smith On Dating By Her Own Rules and Leaving Her Mark In Hollywood". Essence. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  20. ^ "Cover". Backstage.com. September 2020.

External links[edit]