Vernee Watson-Johnson

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Vernee Watson-Johnson
Born Vernee Christell Watson
(1954-01-14) January 14, 1954 (age 64)[1]
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Vernee Watson-Johnson
Occupation
  • Actress
  • author
  • voice actress
  • acting coach
Years active 1970–present
Known for Vernajean WilliamsWelcome Back, Kotter
Viola "Vy" SmithThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Spouse(s)
Joe Duckett
(m. 1976; div. 1977)

Van Johnson
(m. 1979; div. 1991)
Children 1

Vernee Christell Watson-Johnson (born Vernee Christell Watson; January 14, 1954) is an American actress, author, voice artist, and acting coach. Watson-Johnson is best known for her recurring roles as Vernajean Williams on Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–79)[2] and as Viola "Vy" Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–96), playing the mother of Will Smith's character. She also voiced Dee Dee on Hanna-Barbera's animated series Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels. She also appeared in an NCIS episode (Season 14, Episode 2: "Being Bad"). “Family Dinner Tonight” American Honda Finance Company Commercial (September 2018)

Career[edit]

Watson-Johnson played Blue's love interest in the 1972 film Trick Baby. She was also a regular cast member of the 1985-86 situation comedy Foley Square as Denise Willums, the secretary for Alex Harrigan, played by the show's star, Margaret Colin. She played a small role on Sister, Sister as Lisa's (Jackée Harry) best friend Patrice, and as the mayor's secretary, Lucille Banks, on Carter Country. She also had a recurring role as "Birdie" on The Young and the Restless. In 2005, she appeared in the film Christmas with the Kranks. In addition, Watson-Johnson has made appearances in episodes of television shows as The Love Boat, Hill Street Blues, Married... with Children, L.A. Law, Suddenly Susan, Dharma & Greg, The X-Files, ER, Days of Our Lives, Malcolm in the Middle, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Desperate Housewives, Ghost Whisperer, Benson, The Big Bang Theory, Good Times, Dexter, Two and a Half Men, Southland, Criminal Minds, A.N.T. Farm, What's Happening!! and several other series.[3]

As a voice actress, she has been tied to Hanna-Barbera Productions and Warner Bros. Animation with roles in shows such as Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Laff-A-Lympics, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, as well as the feature film The Ant Bully, and several video games related to these productions.[4] From 1991 to 1992, she lent her voice to the show Baby Talk, where she was the voice of baby Danielle (played by Alicia and Celicia Johnson). In 2006, Watson-Johnson had roles in three films: The Ant Bully, The Celestine Prophecy and Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.[3] In 2017, Watson-Johnson was cast as Stella Henry on the soap opera General Hospital, aunt of Donnell Turner's character Curtis Ashford.[5][6] She won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series for the role in 2018.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Watson-Johnson has been married twice. Her first marriage was to Joe Duckett from 1976 until 1977, and was last married to photographer Van Johnson from 1979 to 1991. Watson-Johnson has a daughter name Sunde Jinia Johnson (b. 1983) with Johnson.[8] In 2005, Watson-Johnson was a witness in Michael Jackson's second case of child molestation.[9][10]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1970 Cotton Comes to Harlem Woman [11][12]
1972 Trick Baby Cleo Howard
1976 Norman... Is That You? Melody
1978 Death Drug Carolyn Thomas
1981 All Night Long Emily
1991 Showdown in Little Tokyo Nonnie Russell - Coroner
2002 Antwone Fisher Annette Elkins
2006 The Ant Bully Head Nurse (voice)
2018 Home by Spring Mrs. Wilson

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1975–1976 Welcome Back, Kotter Verna Jean Williams 13 episodes
1977 Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics Dee Dee Sykes (voice) Unknown episode/s
1977–1979 Carter Country Lucille Banks 44 episodes
1977–1980 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Dee Dee Sykes (voice) Main [13]
1985–1986 Foley Square Denise Willums 14 episodes
1990–1996 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Viola "Vy" Smith 15 episodes
1991–1992 Baby Talk Baby Danielle Craig (voice) 20 episodes
2004 Two and a Half Men Nurse Episode: "Ate the Hamburgers, Wearing the Hats"
2006 Desperate Housewives Nurse Episode: “Listen to the rain on the roof”
2007–2008,
2010,
2012,
2016
The Big Bang Theory Nurse Althea 5 episodes
Also credited as Vernée Watson
2011 Good Luck Charlie Principal Hibbert Episode: "Teddy's Bear"
2013 Mr. Box Office Mrs. Owens Episode: "Holy Matriphony"
2015 Two And A Half Men Karen Episode: "Boompa Loved His Hookers"
2016 NCIS Miss Helen Frimkes Episode: "Being Bad"
2017–present General Hospital Stella Henry Recurring [5][6]
2017 Young Sheldon Nurse Robinson Guest
Credited as Vernee Watson
Episode: "Poker, Faith, and Eggs"
2018 The Resident Mary Phillips Episode: "The Elopement"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2003 True Crime: Streets of LA Dispatcher
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Pedestrian
2006 The Ant Bully Head Nurse

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Historical Dictionary of African American Television - Watson, Vernee (1954-) - Kathleen Fearn-Banks, Anne Burford-Johnson
  2. ^ The A to Z of African-American Television - Vernee Watson - By Kathleen Fearn-Banks
  3. ^ a b "Vernee Watson-Johnson profile". FilmReference.com. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Vernee Watson-Johnson voiceography". Voice Chasers. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Soaps.com (June 2, 2017). "GENERAL HOSPITAL COMINGS & GOINGS". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Eades, Chris (June 7, 2017). "Who Plays Curtis' Aunt Stella on GENERAL HOSPITAL? — Meet Vernee Watson!". ABC Soaps In Depth. United States: Bauer Publications. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (April 29, 2018). "Daytime Emmy Awards Complete Winners List: Days Of Our Lives, The Talk, GMA Among Honorees". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  8. ^ JET Magazine - Actress Vernee Watson Has First Child, Girl, 6 1/2 Lbs. - May 9, 1983
  9. ^ "Witness Testimony: 5/18: Actress Vernee Watson Johnson". CBS News. New York City: CBS. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  10. ^ "Michael Jackson Trial Continues". Life. United States: Time Inc. May 18, 2005. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "Cotton Comes to Harlem". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  12. ^ Himes, Chester (1966). Cotton comes to Harlem. New York City: Dell Publishing. ASIN B0007EYQFO.
  13. ^ http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/Vernee-Watson-Johnson/

External links[edit]