Since it is Black History month, Chitownstarconnections has decided to continue our long time tradition of bringing fun facts about television characters to our devoted readers. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and our tribute to our favorite current Afro-American actors.
Nichelle Nichols in the original Star Trek as Lt Uhura became quite the fantasy to young boys in the sixties. She proved that a woman could be brainy and sexy. Her legendary kiss with Capt Kirk was quite the eye raiser in the civil right sixties.
Back in the day, ABC made the Jackson Five into a cartoon. Young girls could follow the adventures of the hip five and dance to their music. Dig those threads and afros.
Another cool dude from the seventies was Lawrence Hilton Jacobs as Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington . Freddie was the hip “Sweathog”
Many a girl spent Saturday nights with this guy. Ted Lange was “your bartender Isaac” on The Love Boat .
Robert Guillaume started off as the butler to the Tates on “Soap” But America loved the way that Benson told off his employers, so he got his own spin off in the early eighties.
They moved on up from being Archie Bunker’s neighbors to the East Side in their own show. The late Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley portrayed the couple that gave people a positive message that blacks could move up as well.
He was the hip night dj at WKRP in Cincinnati, “Venus Flytrap” But later Tim Reid would do guest appearances on “That 70’s show” and appear on the sitcom “Sister, Sister”
One of the biggest breakout shows was “The Cosby Show” Bill Cosby had already made his mark on tv and his comeback with Phylicia Rashad as his lawyer wife cemented his place in television history. Cliff and his brood also remained a staple of Thursday nights, which allowed NBC to dominate the ratings for almost twenty years. It also begat “A Different World” with Kareem Hardison and Jasmine Guy.
Diahann Carroll has made history and remained a presence on television. As “Julia” , she was the first black female character that was not portrayed as a household servant. She stirred things up on “Dynasty” as she battled Joan Collins. Most recently, she played Burke’s mother on “Gray’s Anatomy”
“In Living Color” was one of the first hits of the fledgling Fox network. Damon Wayans was “Homey” the Clown. The show was also a launching pad for Jim Carrey and future Oscar winner , Jamie Foxx
Oprah Winfrey started in Chicago on Channel Seven and from there she took off. Winfrey and her HARPO productions became a force to reckon with. The Oprah Winfrey Show was a household staple for nearly two decades.
Will Smith became the charming teen who was a fish out of water in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” He then graduated to being a serious actor and box office king.
Martin Lawrence was the fool on his own Fox show. “Martin”
It may have be known as the black version of “Friends” but these girls had it goin on. “The cast of Living Single included Queen Latifeeh, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, and Kim Fields.
Eriq LaSalle made his mark as Dr Peter Benton, surgeon on the legendary “ER”
Donald Faison first appeared on the tv scene from “Clueless”, a role he played in the original film. As Dr. Christopher Turk on “Scrubs” , he became the partner in crime to Zack Braff’s “JD” Today he appears on the TV Land original series, “The Exes”
James Pickens Jr. plays father figure to his staff as Dr Richard Webber on “Grey’s Anatomy” His wife was played by the always amazing Loretta Devine.
The most recent shows include the heroes of “Chicago Fire” Shot right in Chicago, Eamonn Walker and Charlie Barnett are the men who save lives as part of their day.
He played the young Chris Rock on “Everybody Hates Chris” and now he is starring on Matthew Perry’s series, “Go On” as Owen, Tyler James Williams.
Tracy Morgan played the hilarious Tracy Jordan on NBC’s beloved hit, “30 Rock”
It became a first for prime time, a teen playing a transsexual. Alex Newell as Wade “Unique” Adams on “Glee”
Jennifer Hudson gives it her all on “Smash”
She helps Castle and Beckett solve crimes as Lainie Parish, Tamala Jones
Long before she had her girls in Manhattan, Carrie Bradshaw had to be taught all about NYC. Freema Agyeman plays Larissa on CW’s “The Carrie Diaries.”
Seth McFarlane introduced us to Cleveland Brown on “Family Guy.” Now he has his own spinoff starring his new family, “The Cleveland Show.”
She tells everyone what she thinks on the NBC hit “The New Normal.” Neene Leaks as Rocky. She has also appeared on “Glee.” as Sue’s rival .
She is the woman with the power who is in love with the President on Shonda Rhimes new smash, “Scandal.” Kerry Washington shines as Olivia Pope
She is fierce and fabulous. She is an entertainer , astute business woman, and a role model . She is the host of the hit show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She is RuPaul Charles.
Finally we end with the show with attitude. Chicago shines with it’s own reality show. AJ rules the roost on “Chicagolicious!”