Gabrielle Union Alfonso Ribeiro Valarie Pettiford (actress & dancer)
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 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 & Jaime Mendez Marriage:
Essence & Jaime met on 14th February 2008 through the online dating service-> Match.com.
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 Valarie Pettiford performed at the reception event. The couple had taken salsa classes together for the wedding.
Image: Essence Atkins with husband Jaime Mendez
Image: Essence Atkins with son Varro Blair Mendez
Essence & Jaime had a son named Varro Blair Mendez born on 25th December 2011. Essence applied for divorce in 2016.
Essence Atkins: Education:
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.
Essence Atkins: Facts & Trivia
Under One Roof(1995): It 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.
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.
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
She likes 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
Join the Movement: She appeared in the PSA TV Ad which was created to raise awareness about AIDS in association with greaterthan.org
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' comes from the Star Trek character Lieutenant Uhura
She lost considerable amount of weight for one of her movie
Essence Atkins: Quotes
I became an actress b default, it was not a conscious effort.
Whenever I have excitement and fear about something, it usually turns out to be something good.
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.
Essence Atkins is extremely insecure, I hate red carpets, I hate interviews
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 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.
I do think that black people, black women are stereotyped in the industry.
Hollywood is still, as much progress as we have made, there are still old dinosaurs holding on to the old regime.
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.
I think it is very possible even in divorce to have humor and Love.
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
Everyone has dysfunctional friends, if you don't have one then it is 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
Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Insecurity begets narcissism.
Essence Atkins: Career
Same Difference(2019): She acted the Mystery movie directed by Derege Harding featuring Albert Soto, Demetrius Shipp Jr., Ginger Gonzaga in the cast.
Illicit(2017): Essence Atkins portrayed the character of Nadine in the Thriller movie by Corey Grant produced by Corey Grant, Lanett Tachel, with the cast of Shireen Crutchfield, McKinley Freeman, David Ramsey
You Can't Hurry Love(2016): Essence Atkins portrayed the character of Camille in the , it was directed by Ogden Bass, Patricia Cuffie-Jones starring Richard Brooks, Essence Atkins, Victoria Rowell in the lead.
Girlfriends Getaway 2(2015): She portrayed the role- Lauren in the tv movie directed by Roger Bobb featuring Essence Atkins, Victoria Lauture, Garcelle Beauvais in the cast.
Sister Code(2015): She played the role- Corrine Wells in the Romantic Comedy directed by Corey Grant , cast included Eva Marcille, Drew Sidora, Amber Rose
Battle Scars(2015): Essence was Elsie Ramirez in this Drama movie directed by Danny Buday starring Zane Holtz, Fairuza Balk, Heather McComb in the lead.
A Haunted House 2(2014): She portrayed the role- Kisha in this Fantasy Comedy movie , it was directed by Michael Tiddes with Marlon Wayans, Cedric the Entertainer, Jaime Pressly in the lead cast.
My Other Mother(2014): Essence Atkins portrayed the character of Candy in the tv Drama directed by Stan Foster with Lynn Whitfield, Jasmine Guy, Essence Atkins in the lead.
Girlfriends' Getaway(2014): She acted as Lauren in the tv Comedy , it was directed by Roger M. Bobb with the cast Frances De Lancey, Essence Atkins, Garcelle Beauvais
My Sister's Wedding(2013): Essence was Tandy in this Comedy movie directed by Paul D. Hannah , it stars K.D. Aubert, Flex Alexander, Essence Atkins in the cast.
Holiday Road Trip(2013): She played the role of Clara in the Romantic Comedy TV Drama directed by Fred Olen Ray starring Patrick Muldoon, Ashley Scott, Kip Pardue in the lead.
Act Like You Love Me(2013): She portrayed the character- Kelly in this Comedy movie directed by Dan Garcia with Denyce Lawton, Christian Keyes, Essence Atkins in the lead.
A Haunted House(2013): Essence played Kisha in this Comedy movie directed by Michael Tiddes with actors- Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte, Marlon Wayans playing main roles.
Dysfunctional Friends(2012): She acted as Alice in the Drama movie , it was directed by Corey Grant with Stacey Dash, Wesley Jonathan, Jason Weaver in the lead cast.
From This Day Forward(2012): Essence played Patrice in the Family TV drama directed by Roger Melvin with the cast Essence Atkins, Jo Marie Payton, Leon
Preacher's Kid(2010): Essence played Peaches in the Drama movie by Stan Foster created by Stan Foster featuring Durrell Babbs, Letoya Luckett, Tammy Townsend in the cast.
N-Secure(2010): Essence appeared as Robin Joyner in this Crime Thriller movie directed by David M. Matthews with stars- Cordell Moore, Essence Atkins, Denise Boutte in the main roles.
Dance Flick(2009): She portrayed Charity in the Musical Comedy directed by Damien Dante Wayans starring Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Shoshana Bush in the main roles.
Love for Sale(2008): She played the character of Candace in this Romantic Comedy Drama movie directed by Russ Parr , cast included Jackie Long, Mya, Jason Weaver
Football Wives(2007): She acted as in this TV Drama by Bryan Singer , it was produced by Marco Pennette, it features Gabrielle Union, Kiele Sanchez, Lucy Lawless in the cast.
Love... & Other 4 Letter Words(2007): She acted in the role of Roxanne in the Romantic Comedy movie directed by Steven Ayromlooi featuring Essence Atkins, Flex Alexander, Tangi Miller in the cast.
Deliver Us from Eva(2003): Essence appeared as Kareenah Dandrige in this Comedy Drama movie directed by Gary Hardwick with actors- Essence Atkins, Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J in the lead cast.
Looking Through Lillian(2002): Essence played Andrea in this Thriller Drama movie by Jake Torem starring Robert Glen Keith, Jade Henham, Sam Bottoms in the lead.
XCU: Extreme Close Up(2001): She played the role- Tamikah Jones in the Thriller movie directed by Sean S. Cunningham with Jay Michael Ferguson, Susan Egan, Sarah Chalke in the lead cast.
How High(2001): She portrayed the role- Jamie in the Fantasy Comedy movie directed by Jesse Dylan starring Redman, Obba Babatundé, Method Man in the lead.
Nikita Blues(2001): She portrayed the character- Nikita in the Drama movie by Marc Cayce , it has Essence Atkins, Mari Morrow, Roz Ryan in the lead cast.
Love Song(2000): Essence played Toni in the Romantic Drama directed by Julie Dash with actors- Essence Atkins, Monica, Christian Kane in the lead cast.
Marlon(2017): She played the character of Ashley Wayne in the Comedy Series with actors- Bresha Webb, Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins in the lead cast.
The Great Indoors(2017): Essence Atkins was Denise in the Comedy TV Series with actors- Chris Williams, Joel McHale, Christopher Mintz-Plasse playing the lead characters.
Mr. Box Office(2012): Essence Atkins was Samantha Owens in this Series created by Byron Allen, Entertainment Studios starring Bill Bellamy, Jon Lovitz, Alex Thomas in the lead.
House of Payne(2011): She acted in the role of Monica in this Comedy Drama Series with actors- Cassi Davis, LaVan Davis, Lance Gross in the lead cast.
Are We There Yet?(2010): She acted in the role of Suzanne Kingston in this Comedy Series with stars- Essence Atkins, Teala Dunn, Keesha Sharp playing important roles.
Nite Tales: The Series(2009): She played the role- Shandra in the Horror TV Series created by Deon Taylor Enterprises with stars- Flavor Flav, Camilla Romestrand, Brigitte Nielsen playing important roles.
The Class(2007): Essence Atkins portrayed the character of Melanie Deacon in this Comedy Series , it has Lizzy Caplan, Andrea Anders, Jon Bernthal in the lead cast.
House(2007): She portrayed Captain Greta Cooper in the Drama TV Series with the cast Robert Sean Leonard, Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps
Love, Inc.(2005): Essence appeared as Renee in this Romantic Comedy Series , cast includes Reagan Gomez-Preston, Busy Philipps, Vince Vieluf
Half & Half(2002): Essence was Dee Dee Thorne in the Comedy Series produced by Jeffrey Klarik with stars- Essence Atkins, Chico Benymon, Rachel True in the main roles.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch(2000): She acted as Marnie in the Fantasy TV Series starring Beth Broderick, Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea in the lead.
Moesha(1999): She acted in the role of Piper Davis in the Family Comedy Series , cast includes Marcus T Paulk, William Allen Young, Brandy Norwood
Smart Guy(1997): She acted as Tasha Yvette Henderson in the Family Comedy TV Series with the cast Tahj Mowry, John Marshall Jones, Jason Weaver
Promised Land(1997): She acted as Rachel in this Series starring Austin O'Brien, Wendy Phillips, Gerald McRaney in the lead.
Malibu Shores(1996): She played the role- Julie Tate in this Drama Series , it stars Tony Lucca, Keri Russell, Christian Campbell in the cast.
The Parent 'Hood(1996): She played the character- Chantel in this TV Series with actors- Robert Townsend, Suzzanne Douglas, Reagan Gomez-Preston in the lead cast.
The John Larroquette Show(1996): Essence Atkins was Jocelyn in the Comedy Series starring Daryl Mitchell, John Larroquette, Liz Torres in the lead.
The Wayans Bros.(1995): She acted in the role of Nina in the Comedy Series starring John Witherspoon, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans in the lead.
Under One Roof(1995): She portrayed the character- Charlotte Langston in the Series , it has Joe Morton, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Essence Atkins in the lead cast.
Saved by the Bell: The College Years(1993): Essence played Danielle Marks in the Romantic Series with stars- Dustin Diamond, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen in the main roles.
Here and Now(1992): She played the role- Khalilia in the Comedy TV Series , it features Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Daryl Mitchell, Charles Brown in the cast.
Family Matters(1992): She played the role- Becky in this Comedy Drama Series starring Kellie Shanygne Williams, Jaleel White, Reginald VelJohnson in the lead.
Charlie Hoover(1991): She portrayed the character- Amy in the TV Series , cast includes Julie Hayden, Tim Matheson, Lucy Webb
The Cosby Show(1986): She played the role- Paula Young in the Romantic Series starring Bill Cosby, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Phylicia Rashad in the lead.
Solstice Ranch(2017): She played the character- Lola Solstice in the short Comedy directed by Christianna Carmine
Darryl(2016): Essence produced the short movie
The Bachelor Party(2011): She portrayed the role- Michelle in the Video directed by Donald Welch
Nikita's Blues(1999): She played the character- Nikita in this short Drama directed by created by featuring Kenney Lee, Essence Atkins, Damion Hall in the cast.
Sunday in Paris(1991): She acted in the role of Allison Chase in the Comedy directed by Hugh Wilson created by Susan Fales-Hill, Jeff Stetson , cast included Essence Atkins, Brandon Quintin Adams, Debbie Allen.