Essence Atkins

Essence Atkins

Date Of BirthFebruary 7, 1972
Age52 years 2 months 16 days
Day of BirthMonday
Place Of BirthBrooklyn, New York, United States
Zodiac SignAquarius
Professions Model , Actress , Producer
Full Name Essence Uhurra Atkins
Other Name Esence Atkins

Personal Information
Residence New York, United States
Religion Christianity
Language English
Star SignAquarius
Nationality American
EthnicitiesMultiracial , African American
Body Features & Measurements
Height157 CM
5 Feet 2 Inches
Eye color Dark Brown
Hair color Black
Weight57 KG
126 lbs
Shoe Size7 (US)
Dress Size8 (US)
Figure Measurements 32-24-33
Figure Type Hourglass
Body Type Average
Bra Size 32B
Family Information
Father Geoffrey Atkins
Mother Sandy Nelson
Son Varro Blair Mendez (born on 25th December 2011)
Cousin Chriss Ifflet
Niece Alyssa Rager-Mendez
Education Qualifications
Education(School) Profession Children School (A school for kids who can not attend regular schools while being busy other professions like acting,)
Alma MaterAlvin Ailey Institute (Dancing Institute)
Love, Romance, Marriage
Husband Jaime Mendez (Football player; married in 2009 & divorced in 2016)
Career Information
Debut (Movie) Nikita's Blues(1999)
Years Active 1986-
Debut (TV) The Cosby Show
Favorites, Hobbies, Likes/ Dislikes
HobbiesHorse Riding
Favorite MoviesA Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Aliens (1986)
Alien (1979)
Social Networks, Web links
Facebook ProfileEssence Atkins Facebook Profile
Twitter ProfileEssence Atkins Twitter Profile
Instagram ProfileEssence Atkins Instagram Profile
More Information
Friends Alfonso Ribeiro
Valarie Pettiford (actress & dancer)
Gabrielle Union
Net worth$5 Million


Essence Atkins is an American TV & Movie actress, Model, voice artist & Producer. She made her acting debut with- The Cosby Show. Nikita's Blues(1999) was her first movie. Essence is popular for playing roles- Kisha in A Haunted House(2013), Jamie in How High(2001), Suzanne Kingston in Are We There Yet?, Tasha Yvette Henderson in Smart Guy, Ashley Wayne in Marlon, Samantha Owens in Mr. Box Office, Dee Dee Thorne in Half & Half, Julie Tate in Malibu Shores, Charlotte in Under One Roof, Paula Young in The Cosby Show.

Essence Atkins

[ Essence Atkins ]

Childhood - Family

Essence Uhura Atkins was born on 7th February 1972 in Brooklyn, New York, United States to Sandy Nelson(Mother) & Geoffrey Atkins(Father). She grew up in St. Albans, Queens.

Essence Atkins Childhood

[ Essence Atkins Childhood ]

Essence Atkins with Father Geoffrey Atkins

[ Essence Atkins with Father Geoffrey Atkins ]


  • Profession Children School: A school for children busy with professions like acting, dancing, singing and were unable to take regular classes.
  • Alvin Ailey Institute: A professional dancing training institute, she attended both school and dancing school simultaneously.

Marriage - Relationship

Essence Atkins & Jaime Mendez

Essence & Jaime met on 14th February 2008 through the online dating service->

They dated for an year and tied the knot on 26th September 2009 in Pasadena, California at the Ambassador Mansion & Gardens. She wore Stephen Yearick gown. Jaime is a football player of Puerto Rican origin, her friend & co-star of Half and Half- Valarie Pettiford performed at the reception event. The couple had taken salsa classes together for the wedding.

Essence Atkins with husband Jaime Mendez

Image: Essence Atkins with husband Jaime Mendez

Essence Atkins filed for divorce in 2016.


Essence & Jaime had a son named Varro Blair Mendez born on 25th December 2011. She was 39 at the time, it was a christmas day.

Essence Atkins with son Varro Blair Mendez

Image: Essence Atkins with son Varro Blair Mendez

Facts & Trivia

  • First African American Soap Opera: Under One Roof(1995) was the first African American prime time soap Opera, Essence was in it.
  • Cosby show: She wanted to be a dancer as a kid, she was attending a dance school(Alvin Ailey Institute), she saw a job description on the bulletin board for a job in the Cosby play, she called the casting manager and was hired for the job after a couple of auditions.
  • Marlon Wayans who has worked with her previously called her 'A Crazy B!t%#' in an impressed way. (They have worked on 5+ projects together)
  • Image Award: She was nominated for the award in 2005 & 2011
  • Bookworm: She liked reading as a child and still loves reading books.
  • This Very Moment(2002): She has appeared in the music video of K-Ci Hailey and Jo Jo Hailey
  • Hostess: She hosted the 365 Black award show in 2017
  • Her advice to new comers- Study, know the greats before you, be creative, you can always be proactive in so many ways like filming yourself, to keep yourself busy, to be creative
  • Middle Name: Her middle name 'Uhura', it comes from the Star Trek character Lieutenant Uhura
  • Weight Loss: When the script of one of her movies demanded that she lose some weight, she lost a considerable amount of weight.
  • Philanthropy
    • Join the Movement: She appeared in the PSA TV Ad which was created to raise awareness about AIDS in association with
  • Looks younger than her age: She played the reel daughter of 'John Marshall Jones' in the TV series- Smart Guy (1997). In real life she is 9 years 6 months junior to him

Questions & Answers

  • What are the qualities in Men she likes to date?
    • Someone who is a combination of The Rock & Jim Carrey. Strong and polite as well as humorous in a silly way.
  • Who is Essence Atkins' Twin sister?
    • Essence is the ONLY child of her parents. In the 2000s she was confused to be a twin of famous twins- Tia Mowry & Tamera Mowry


Movies List

Year Movie Character Comments
2019 Same Difference Tonya / Shauna also as executive producer
2018 Coins for Christmas Madison TV Movie
2017 Illicit Nadine  
2016 You Can't Hurry Love Camille TV Movie
2015 Girlfriends Getaway 2 Lauren TV Movie
2015 Battle Scars Elsie Ramirez  
2015 Sister Code Corrine Wells  
2014 My Other Mother Candy TV Movie
2014 Girlfriends' Getaway Lauren TV Movie
2014 A Haunted House 2 Kisha  
2013 Holiday Road Trip Clara TV Movie
2013 My Sister's Wedding Tandy  
2013 Act Like You Love Me Kelly  
2013 A Haunted House Kisha  
2012 From This Day Forward Patrice  
2012 Dysfunctional Friends Alice  
2011 The Bachelor Party Michelle Direct to video
2010 N-Secure Robin Joyner  
2010 Preacher's Kid Peaches  
2009 Dance Flick Charity  
2008 Love for Sale Candace  
2007 Football Wives   TV Movie
2007 Love... & Other 4 Letter Words Roxanne  
2003 Deliver Us from Eva Kareenah Dandrige  
2002 Looking Through Lillian Andrea  
2001 How High Jamie  
2001 XCU: Extreme Close Up Tamikah Jones  
2001 Nikita Blues Nikita  
2000 Love Song Toni TV Movie


TV Series List

Year Series Character Comments
2019 Ambitions Amara Hughes Main Role; All 18 Episodes 
2019 Carol's Second Act Kathleen "Game Changer" (Season 1 Episode 6)
2019 A Black Lady Sketch Show   "3rd & Bonaparte Is Always in the Shade" ( Season 1 Episode 3)
2019 Wonder Pets! Extra "Save the Choir!/Minions Rules!"(Season 6 Episode 21)
2017-2018 Marlon Ashley Wayne 20 episodes; Main Role
2017 Face Value Team Captain  
2017 The Great Indoors Denise "The Heartbreaker" (Season 1 Episode 20)
2012-2013 Mr. Box Office Samantha Owens 22 episodes; Season 1; Main role
2010-2012 Are We There Yet? Suzanne Kingston-Persons 74 episodes; Main Role; 
2011 House of Payne Monica "Payne Showers", "Playing with Fire", "When the Payne's Away"(Season 7 Episode 2-4)
2009 Nite Tales: The Series Shandra "Dark Heart" (Season 1 Episode 2)
2007 House Captain Greta Cooper "The Right Stuff" ( Season 4 Episode 2)
2007 The Class Melanie Deacon "The Class Has to Go to a Stupid Museum" ( Season 1 Episode 14)
2002-2006 Half & Half Dee Dee Thorne All 91 episodes; Main Role;
 2005 Love, Inc. Renee "Mad About You" (Season 1 Episode 3)
2000 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Marnie "Love in Bloom", "Salem's Daughter" (Season 4 Episode 15,17); Every Witch Way But Loose (Season 5 Episode 1)
1999 Moesha Piper Davis The Party's Over (Here) (Season 5 Episode 3); Unappreciated Interest (Season 5 Episode 9)
1997-1999 Smart Guy Tasha Yvette Henderson Main role; 51 episodes; Seasons 1-3
1997 Promised Land Rachel Mirror Image (Season 1 Episode 14)
1996 The John Larroquette Show Jocelyn The Blues Traveller , Cheeses H. Taste (Season 4 Episode 4,8)
1996 Malibu Shores Julie Tate Main Role; All 10 episodes; Season 1 Episdoes 1-10
1996 The Parent 'Hood Chantel "One Man and a Baby" ( Season 2 Episode 12)
1995 The Wayans Bros. Nina Farmer's Daughter (Season 2 Episode 11)
1995 Under One Roof Charlotte Langston Main role; All 6 episodes; Season 1 Episodes 1-6
1993 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Danielle Marks "Pilot" (season 1 Episode 1)
1992 Here and Now Khalilia Love Handles, A.J.'s Big Leap (Season 1 Episode 7,9)
1992 Family Matters Becky Brown Bombshell (Season 3 Episode 16)
1991 Charlie Hoover Amy Out of the Frying Pan ( Season 1 Episode 5)
1986-1989 The Cosby Show Paula Young Vanessa's Rich ( Season 3 Episode 8); I'm 'In' with the 'In' Crowd (Season 6 Episode 3)


Short Movies

Year Short Movie Character Comments
2017 Solstice Ranch Lola Solstice  
2016 Darryl   as associate producer
1999 Nikita's Blues Nikita  
1991 Sunday in Paris Allison Chase TV



Year Won? Award Project Category Comments
2005 Nomination Image Awards Half & Half Outstanding Supporting Actress (comedy)  
2011 Nomination NAACP Image Awards Are We There Yet? Outstanding Actress ( Comedy Series)  
2018 Nomination NAACP Image Awards Marlon Outstanding Supporting Actress (Comedy Series)  



  • I became an actress by default, it was not a conscious effort.
  • Whenever I have excitement and fear about something, it usually turns out to be something good.
  • Essence Atkins is extremely insecure, I hate red carpets, I hate interviews
  • As actors it is our job to tell stories, and not compromise with the characters
  • As an actress I had to learn to let go of my vanity, in ways that lot of people haven't.
  • I love telling stories, I love exploring what it is that justifies people's behavior. In every role I try to explore what makes characters interesting, what is that made them what they are.
  • I do think that black people, black women are stereotyped in the industry.
  • I think I have a very big heart and that I'm very empathetic. I have a greater sense of compassion from the practice of doing that as an actress.
  • I'm really grateful for what acting has given, it has made me a better person.
  • Hollywood is still, as much progress as we have made, there are still old dinosaurs holding on to the old regime.
  • But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal
  • I think it is very possible even in divorce to have humor and Love.
  • It takes courage to leave home and pursue your dream
  • In order to achieve something you need to know what is motivating you and what is it that you want to do.
  • Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
  • I guess my passion for acting started with the simple task of story telling. When I'm telling a story, I get lost in it.
  • As a working woman I have to remind myself constantly to be present when at home. When I'm not working I have to make sure I'm there for my husband and child.
  • The dream is ever evolving, if it is not you are stagnant.
  • I love Marlon Wayans, we have worked on numerous projects together, we have a great trust. He is so kind to everyone, he is so full of energy and kind to everyone.
  • People love the paranormal and horror genres because it is very close to comedy, horror and comedy are kissing cousins.
  • Everyone has dysfunctional friends, if you don't have one then it is you.
  • It is fantastic to work in horror movies because they have to try to make you look shittier than what you look when you arrive.
  • Fly is about swag, not based on other people's approval, it is when you are self possessed, it is when you don't have to compare with other people, because you are so happy with what you are
  • I like anything apocalyptic and scares the bejesus out of you.
  • If we are not supporting each other at the end of the day, then what are we doing
  • I come to work on time, I come to work prepared, I come to work kind, those sound rudimentary but those contribute to people wanting to work with you again.
  • I was very brave at 18, I had lot of confidence, I did not have lot of money, I was having fun.
  • On screen intimacy is bit weird, there are so many people around choreographing everything
  • Insecurity begets narcissism.


  1. Essence Atkins Wiki

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