Telma Hopkins

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Telma Hopkins
Telma Hopkins By Voelker.jpg
Hopkins in 2008
Born Telma Louise Hopkins
(1948-10-28) October 28, 1948 (age 67)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1967–present
Spouse(s) Donald B. Allen (m. 1970–77) (one son)

Telma Louise Hopkins (born October 28, 1948) is an American singer and actress. She rose to prominence as a member of the 1970s pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn, which had several number one songs.[1] She also performed on the CBS variety show Tony Orlando and Dawn from 1974 to 1976 along with Tony Orlando and Joyce Vincent Wilson.

In late 1970s, Hopkins began working as actress, playing roles on various sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies (1980–82), Gimme a Break! (1983–87) and Family Matters (1989–1997) as Rachel. As lead actress, she starred on Getting By from 1993 to 1994. In later years, Hopkins was regular cast member on Half & Half (2002–06), Are We There Yet? (2010-13), and short-lived Partners (2014). In film, she co-starred in 1984 science fiction film Trancers and in its sequels Trancers II (1991) and Trancers III (1992), and well as appeared in The Wood (1999) and The Love Guru (2008).

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

Hopkins started her career as a background singer in Detroit, Michigan, singing on many of the Golden World and Motown hits and working with legendary acts like The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. She also sang back up for Isaac Hayes and can be heard famously exclaiming "Shut your mouth!" on Hayes' hit song "Theme From Shaft" as well as the hip hop track "Thuggish Ruggish Bone". In 1971, Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson were recruited by Tony Orlando to form the vocal group Dawn. (Orlando had released the singles "Candida" and "Knock Three Times", recorded with session vocalists Linda November and Toni Wine backing him, under the name Dawn; when the singles charted, Orlando found himself needing to assemble an actual backing group to tour and record with.) As a recording act, Tony Orlando and Dawn would have much success throughout the second half of the 1970s, releasing 16 top-40 singles, three of which reached #1, and starring in a CBS variety show (entitled Tony Orlando and Dawn) from 1974-1976. In 1977, Tony Orlando and Dawn announced their retirement.[1]

Television and film[edit]

In 1979, Hopkins has made her acting debut playing Daisy in the ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations. Later that year, she co-starred alongside Eileen Brennan on the short-lived ABC sitcom A New Kind of Family. The following year, she was cast opposite Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in another ABC sitcom, Bosom Buddies. The series was cancelled in 1982 after two seasons. She also guest-starred on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and The New Odd Couple during early 1980s.

In 1983, Hopkins joined the cast of NBC sitcom Gimme a Break! starring Nell Carter.[2] She played Adelaide "Addy" Wilson, Nell's childhood friend, to series finale in 1987. In 1989, Hopkins began starring as Rachel Baines-Crawford in the ABC sitcom Family Matters. She left the series after four season as regular cast member, making guest appearances in later years to its finale in 1997. She left Family Matters for starring as series' lead in ABC sitcom Getting By which aired from 1993 to 1994.[3]

Hopkins also has had number of supporting film roles. She played Engineer Ruth "Ruthie" Raines in 1984 science fiction film Trancers starring Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt, and its sequels Trancers II (1991) and Trancers III (1992). In later years, she appeared as Richard T. Jones' mother in 1999 romantic comedy film The Wood, and in 2008 played Romany Malco's mother in the comedy film The Love Guru. She starred in the play JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman in October 2008.[4]

From 2002 to 2006, Hopkins starred in the UPN sitcom Half & Half alongside Rachel True, Essence Atkins and Valarie Pettiford. She had the recurring roles on The Hughleys and Any Day Now. From 2010 to 2013, she co-starred alongside Terry Crews and Essence Atkins in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet?.[5] In 2014, she played Martin Lawrence's mother on the FX sitcom Partners.[6][7] In 2016, she was cast as Jerrika Hinton' mother in the ABC comedy pilot Toast produced by ShondaLand.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Hopkins was born in Louisville, Kentucky,[9] and raised in Highland Park, Michigan.[3] She has one son from marriage.[3]

Hopkins often volunteers her time for charitable causes. She has worked with Caring For Babies with AIDS, Act on Arthritis, and the PTA. She also mentors children.[10] Hopkins remains a huge supporter of inspirational radio and granted permission for The Jazz Joy and Roy radio show to use her supportive remarks on the program's promos. Hopkins said to Jazz Joy and Roy, "I was raised by a grandmother who told me I could do whatever I wanted to do, as long as I was willing to work hard for it...."

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Kid with the Broken Halo Gail Desautel Television film
1984 Trancers Ruth "Ruthie" Raines
1988 Pulse Pounders Ruth "Ruthie" Raines Cameo
1990 Vital Signs Dr. Kennan
1990 How to Murder a Millionaire Teresa
1991 Trancers II Ruth "Ruthie" Raines
1992 Trancers III Ruth "Ruthie" Raines
1999 The Wood Slim's Mother
2001 Down to Earth Woman in Audience Cameo
2001 Rain Short film
2008 The Love Guru Lillian Roanoke
2013 Trancers: City of Lost Angels Ruth "Ruthie" Raines Short film
2015 Welcome to the Family Deborah Television film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1974-1976 Tony Orlando and Dawn Herself
1979 Roots: The Next Generations Daisy Miniseries
1979-1980 A New Kind of Family Jess Ashton Series regular, 5 episodes
1980-1982 Bosom Buddies Isabelle Hammond Series regular, 37 episodes
1982-1983 The New Odd Couple Frances Episodes: "Frances Moves In" and "Oscar Dates Felix's Frances"
1984 Fantasy Island Doris Wilson Episode: "Bojangles and the Dancer/Deuces Are Wild"
1979-1985 The Love Boat 4 episodes
1983-1987 Gimme a Break! Addy Wilson Series regular, 68 episodes
1988 Amen Charlotte Holloway Episode: "Wedding Bell Blues"
1989-1997 Family Matters Rachel Crawford Series regular, 93 episodes
1993-1994 Getting By Dolores Dixon Series regular, 31 episodes
1995 Women of the House Officer Rhoda Episode: "The Conjugal Cottage"
1997 The Nanny Lila Baker Episode: "Fran's Roots"
1998 ER Carlene Episode: "Think Warm Thoughts"
2000 Suddenly Susan Denise Episode: "The Reversal"
2001 For Your Love Miss Hope Episode: "The Next Best Thing"
1999-2001 The Hughleys Paulette Williams 5 episodes
2000-2001 Any Day Now Judge Wilma Evers 4 episodes
2002-2006 Half & Half Phyllis Thorne Series regular, 91 episodes
2008 Psych Phylis Gaffney Episode: "There's Something About Mira"
2010-2013 Are We There Yet? Marilyn Persons Series regular, 90 episodes
2013 Getting On Beverly Raymes Episode: "Born on the Fourth of July"
2014 Partners Ruth Jackson Series regular, 10 episodes
2012-2014 Lab Rats Grandma Rose 3 episodes
2015 K.C. Undercover Miss Holley Episode: "Debutante Baller"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Steve Huey. "Dawn". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Losing Job Was Her Best Break Telma Hopkins Has Made The Switch From Singer To Actress". philly-archives. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "WITH AN EYE ON ... : Telma Hopkins, the accidental actress with a message to tell". latimes. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Karlayne Parker at 11:36 AM (2008-07-27). "Baltimoresun.com". Weblogs.baltimoresun.com. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  5. ^ "Are We There Yet?". canceled TV shows - TV Series Finale. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Lesley Goldberg (16 December 2013). "Telma Hopkins Set as Martin Lawrence's Mother in FX Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "- EW Community - EW.com". EW.com. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Megan Schaefer. "'Grey's Anatomy' Cast Reunites In Set Photo From New Shonda Rhimes Comedy 'Toast'". International Business Times. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "Telma Hopkins Biography (1948-)". Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  10. ^ "Kellie.de". Kellie.de. 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

External links[edit]