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King, Regina 1971–

Regina King 1971

Actress

Debuted in Film

Started a Family

Sources

Regina Kings versatility as a performer and down to earth good looks have made her one of Hollywoods most in-demand young actresses. Equally adept at comedy and drama, King has appeared in a wide range of films, most notably Jerry Maguire, the 1996 box-office smash starring Tom Cruise, Boyz N the Hood, a 1991 drama of gang warfare, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, a glossy 1998 romance starring Angela Bassett, and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde, a 2003 rollicking comedy starring Reese Witherspoon. Usually King plays a supporting role as a wife, sister, or friend. Though she would like larger parts, King sees some advantages in not being a big name. Ive gotten much more life span in roles because Im not the flavor of the month, King told Joan Morgan of Essence.

King was born in Los Angeles in 1971. Her father, Thomas, was an electrician, and her mother, Gloria, was a special education teacher. After her parents divorced in 1979, King and her younger sister, Reina, lived with their mother and were given an assortment of lessons. Everythingtap dancing, baton twirling, ice skating, King told Tom Gliatto of People. Acting lessons were also on the agenda. Her remarkable dramatic talent was so apparent that a professional career was encouraged. King began acting professionally at age twelve in local theatre productions and on televisions shows, including The Cosby Show on which she appeared as a friend of Tempestt Bledsoes character, Vanessa. Being on television did not change Kings upbringing much. I came from a very grounded family Even though everyone on our block was well off, there were drug dealers around the corner selling. I grew up knowing what it was like to be around gangstas and superrich kids. Thats why Ive never been the type to ignore someone just because theyre not like me, King explained to Morgan.

In 1985, at age 14, King landed a regular role on the NBC series 227, a situation comedy about working class neighbors in a Washington, D.C., apartment building. King played Brenda, the often petulant teenage daughter of the shows star, Marla Gibbs. King and Gibbs, along with several other members of the shows cast, had earlier performed in a Los Angeles stage version of 227. Regina took pride in what she was doing, Gibbs said of King to Gliatto. Though never a television ratings powerhouse, 227 drew enough of a following to last for five seasons. During her years on the show, King attended a regular high school whenever her shooting schedule permitted, and was even on the track team. I wanted to be in tune with normal people, King told Gliatto.

Debuted in Film

Soon after 227 left the air, King made her film debut in Boyz N the Hood, a gut-wrenching depiction of a young mans coming of age in a tough section of Los Angeles. Directed by John Singleton and starring Laurence Fishburne, the well-received 1991 drama featured a cast made up of future screen notables including Cuba Gooding, Jr., Angela Bassett, and Nia Long. King did not personally associate with the difficulties of the characters in the film. Fortunately, Ive never had

At a Glance

Born Regina King in 1971 in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Thomas (an electrician) and Gloria (a special education teacher); married Ian Alexander (a recording company executive), 1997; children: Ian, Jr.

Career; Actor, 1984-; Paio restaurant, Los Angeles, CA, co-owner, 1998-.

Awards: Acapulco Black Film Festival nomination for best actress for A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, 1996; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award nomination for Enemy of the State, 1998.

Addresses: Agent Chuck James, Gersh Agency, 232 N, Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

serious trauma. I havent had somebody die from drugs. I havent been caught up in drugs, and I dont have a mother or father who didnt have jobs or education. The Boyz N the Hood story was not my story. That I cant give you that story is a nice story to tell, King said to Morgan.

King went on to appear in two more films directed by Singleton: Poetic Justice and Higher Learning. Released in 1993, Poetic Justice starred Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur as a beautician and a mailman finding romance amidst the poverty and violence of South Central Los Angeles. King was part of a large cast including Fishburne, Tyra Banks, Ice Cube, Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport, and Jennifer Connolly in 1995s Higher Learning, a drama about racial and romantic problems at a contemporary university. Returning to lighter fare, King appeared in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, a 1996; comedy written and directed by Martin Lawrence about a Lothario who finds himself the object of a wronged womans vengeance.

In the comedie drama Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise portrayed a ruthless sports agent who decides to walk a more virtuous path only to find himself abandoned by all his clients save one, Rod Tidwell, a second-string wide receiver played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. King played Tidwells forthright and strongly supportive wife, Marcee. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire was one of the most popular films of the year and originated the catch phrase Show me the money! The smash picture brought fame to Gooding, who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his exuberant performance as Rod Tidwell, and to Renee Zellweger, who played Cruises love interest. The film did not do as much for Kings career. I signed with a really huge publicity company and I felt like I just got lost. They didnt care about my career. And I was never really into the whole publicity thing, so it was kind of new to me I couldnt dwell on being disappointed. I was so happy to play a role that got to show a functional Black family. Plus the response I got from peoplefrom the streets to the industrywas just incredible, King said of the Jerry Maguire fallout to Morgan. But her work on Jerry Maguire did ultimately benefit King. She told Entertainment Weekly in 2003 that Jerry Maguire just took it all to another level. I was able to audition for bigger movies.

Started a Family

In January of 1996, shortly before commencing work on Jerry Maguire, King gave birth to a son, Ian Alexander, Jr. I was nursing Ian between takes, King told Gliatto. King and the childs father, Ian Alexander, Sr., an executive at Quincy Jones Qwest Records, were married in 1997. King said of her husband to Morgan: Ian is a very secure person. He knows who he is and knew it long before we got together. He works in the entertainment industry, so its cool because we can respect and understand the demands of the business.

After a respite from acting to devote herself to motherhood, King returned to the screen in three films released in 1998. How Stella Got Her Groove Back was a film adaptation of Terry McMillans novel about a forty-year-old stockbroker who finds love with a much younger man while on a trip to Jamaica. The film starred Angela Bassett and newcomer Taye Diggs. King played Vanessa, Bassetts smart-mouthed ambulance driver sister. Regina is smart and funny. Shes got the snap we wanted, said McMillan, who also wrote the films screenplay, to Gliatto. In the political conspiracy thriller Enemy of the State out that same year, King played the wife of Will Smith. King moved away from the sister and wife roles to play wildlife researcher Dr. Cecily Banks in Mighty Joe Young, a Christmastime release from the Disney studio. A remake of a 1948 film of the same name, which also starred Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron, tells the story of giant gorilla brought a California animal sanctuary. Im really excited about this movie. Its the first film Ive done that every single person in my family, no matter what age, can come and see. This is a fun family film, King told the Los Angeles Sentinel.

King continued to act in comedies. In 2003 she played Eddie Murphys wife in Daddy Day Care. That same year, in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde, she played Reese Witherspoons nemesis. And she continues work in film and television. Of her performances, Interview noted that King has developed consistency, what it called the industrys most enviable asset. King added that I have a platform to remind people how much control women have in this world.

Kings professional interests are not restricted to show business. In August 1998, King and other investors opened a restaurant in Los Angeles called Paio (Italian for pair), featuring nouvelle American cuisine. Its my way of giving back to L.A., which is long overdue for a place that has great atmosphere and good food and is not about the industry, King explained to Morgan. Though King continues with a busy career and has not ruled out the possibility of someday being a major star, she tries to keep her life in balance. As she told Morgan, I stay in tune with my family and God. I want to live a full lifeperiod.

Sources

Periodicals

Ebony, August 2003, p. 40.

Essence, October 1998, p. 98.

Interview, March 2001, p. 77.

Los Angeles Sentinel, January 6, 1999, p. B6.

Los Angeles Times, August 14, 1998, p. Fl, 22.

Newsweek, January 12, 1998, p. 58.

People, August 31, 1998, p. 103-104.

Tri-State Defender, June 11, 1997, p. B2.

Tom and Sara Pendergast

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"King, Regina 1971–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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King, Regina 1971–

Regina King 1971

Actress

At a Glance

Sources

Regina Kings versatility as a performer and down to earth good looks have made her one of Hollywoods most in-demand young actresses. Equally adept at comedy and drama, King has appeared in a wide range of films, most notably Jerry Maguire, the 1996 box-office smash starring Tom Cruise, Boyz N the Hood, a 1991 drama of gang warfare, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, a glossy 1998 romance starring Angela Bassett. Usually King plays a supporting role as a wife, sister, or friend. Though she would like larger parts, King sees some advantages in not being a big name.Ive gotten much more life span in roles because Im not the flavor of the month, King told Joan Morgan of Essence.

King was born in Los Angeles in 1971. Her father, Thomas, was an electrician, and her mother, Gloria, was a special education teacher. After her parents divorced in 1979, King and her younger sister, Reina, lived with their mother and were given an assortment of lessons. Every-thingtap dancing, baton twirling, ice skating, King told Tom Gliatto of People. Acting lessons were also on the agenda. Her remarkable dramatic talent was so apparent that a professional career was encouraged. King began actingprofessionally at age twelve in local theatre productions and on televisions shows, including The Cosby Show on which she appeared as a friend of Tempestt Bledsoes character, Vanessa. Being on television did not change Kings upbringing much.I came from a very grounded familyEven though everyone on our block was well off, there were drug dealers around the corner selling. I grew up knowing what it was like to be around gangstas and superrich kids. Thats why Ive never been the type to ignore someone just because theyre not like me, King explained to Morgan.

In 1985, at age 14, King landed a regular role on the NBC series 22 7, a situation comedy about working class neighbors in a Washington, DC apartment building. King played Brenda, the often petulant teenage daughter of the shows star, Marla Gibbs. King and Gibbs, along with several other members of the shows cast, had earlier performed in a Los Angeles stage version of 227.Regina took pride in what she was doing, Gibbs said of King to Gliatto. Though never a television ratings powerhouse, 227 drew enough of a following to last for five seasons. During her years on the show, King attended a regular high school whenever her shooting schedule permitted, and was even on the track team.I wanted to be in tune with normal

At a Glance

Born in Los Angeles, CA, the daughter of Thomas (an electrician) and Gloria (a special education teacher). Married to lan Alexander (a recording company executive), 1997-; onechiid, lan, Jr, Education;Westchester High School, Los Angeles, CA, class of 1988.

Career: A professional actress since 1984. Film appearances in Boyz N the Hood, 1991; Poetic Justice, 1993; Friday, 1995; Higher Learning, 1995; jerry Maguire, 1996; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, 1996; How stella Cot Her Groove Back, 1998; Enemy of the State, 1998; Mighty foe Young, 1998, Television appearances include a regular role on the series 227, NBC, 1985-90; recurring roles on Living Single, Fox, 1993-94; and New York Undercover, Fox, 1994-95; guest appearances on The Cosby Show, Silver Spoons, Northern Exposure, Also appeared on the special programs BETs Voices Against Violence, 1995; Why Colors?, 1995; and Rituals, 1998. Co-owner of the restaurant Paio, Los Angeles, CA.

Awards: Acapulco Black Film Festival nomination for best actress for A Thin Line Between Love and Hate/ 1996; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award nomination for Enemy of the State, 1998,

Addresses: Home Los Angeles, CA, Agent-Chuck James, Gersh Agency, 232 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

people, King told Gliatto.

Soon after 227 left the air, King made her film debut in Boyz N the Hood, a gut-wrenching depiction of a young mans coming of age in a tough section of Los Angeles. Directed by John Singleton and starring Laurence Fishburne, the well-received 1991 drama featureda cast made up of future screen notables including Cuba Gooding, Jr., Angela Bassett, and Nia Long. King did not personally associate with the difficulties of the characters in the film.Fortunately, Ive never had serious trauma. I havent had somebody die from drugs. I havent been caught up in drugs, andl donthave a mother or father who didnt have jobs or education. The Boyz Nthe Hood story was not my story. That I cant give you that story is a nice story to tell, King said to Morgan.

King went on to appear in two more films directed by Singleton Poetic Justice and Higher Learning. Released in 1993, Poetic Justice starred Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur as a beautician and a mailman finding romance amidst the poverty and violence of South Central Los Angeles. King was part of a large cast including Fishbume, Tyra Banks, Ice Cube, Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport, and Jennifer Connolly in 1995s Higher Learning, a drama about racial and romantic problems at a contemporary university. Returning to lighter fare, King appeared in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, a 1996 comedy written and directed by Martin Lawrence about a Lothario who finds himself the object of a wronged womans vengeance.

In the comedic drama Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise portrayed a ruthless sports agent who decides to walk a more virtuous path only to find himself abandoned by all his clients save one, Rod Tidwell, a second-string wide receiver played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. King played Tidwells forthright and strongly supportive wife, Marcee. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire was one of the most popular films of the year and originated the catch phraseShow me the money! The smash picture brought fame to Gooding, who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his exuberant performance as RodTidwell, and to Renee Zellweger, who played Cruises love interest. The film did not do as much for Kings career.I signed with a really huge publicity company and I felt like just got lost. They didnt care about my career. And I was never really into the whole publicity thing, so it was kind of new to meI couldnt dwell on being disappointed. I was so happy to play a role that got to show a functional Black family. Plus the response I got from people--from the streets to the industrywas just incredible, King said of the Jerry Maguire fallout to Morgan.

In January of 1996, shortly before commencing work on Jerry Maguire, King gave birth to ason, Ian Alexander, Jr.I was nursinglan between takes, King told Gliatto. King and the childs father, Ian Alexander, Sr., an executive at Quincy Jones Qwest Records, were married in 1997. King said of her husband to Morgan -Ian is a very secure person. He knows who he is and knew it long before we got together. He works in the entertainment industry, so its cool because we can respect and understand the demands of the business.

After a respite from acting to devote herself to motherhood, King returned to the screen in three films released in 1998.How Stella Got Her Groove Back was a film adaptation of Terry McMillans novelabout a forty year old stockbroker who finds love with a much younger man while on a trip to Jamaica. The film starred Angela Bassett and newcomer Taye Diggs. King played Vanessa, Bassetts smart-mouthed ambulance driver sister.Regina is smart and funny. Shes got the snap we wanted, said McMillan, who also wrote the films screenplay, to Gliatto. In the political conspiracy thriller Enemy of the State, King played the wife of Will Smith. King moved away from the sister and wife roles to play wildlife researcher Dr. Cecily Banks in Mighty Joe Young, a Christmastime release from the Disney studio. A remake of a 1948 film of the same name, Mighty Joe Young, which also starred Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron, tells the story of giant gorilla brought a California animal sanctuary.Im really excited about this movie. Its the first film Ive done that every single person in my family, no matter what age, can come and see. This is a fun family film, King told the Los Angeles Sentinel

Kings professinonal interests are not restricted to show business. In August 1998, King and other investors opened a restaurant in Los Angeles called Paio (Italian for pair), featuring nouvelle American cuisine.Its my way of giving back to L.A., which is long overdue for a place that has great atmosphere and good food and is not about the industry, King explained to Morgan.

King has completed filming of Loue and Action in Chicago, in which she co-stars with Courtney B. Vance, Kathleen Turner, and Jason Alexander. Future projects include the film Quest for Atlantis. Though King continues with a busy career and has not ruled out the possibility of someday being a major star, she tries to keep her life in balance. As she told MorganI stay in tune with my family and GodI want to live a full lifeperiod.

Sources

Periodicals

Essence, October 1998, p. 98.

Los Angeles Sentinel, January 6, 1999, p. B6.

LosAngeles Times, August 14, 1998, pp. Fl, 22.

Newsweek, January 12, 1998, p. 58.

People, August 31, 1998, pp. 103-104.

Tri-StateDefender, June 11, 1997, p. B2.

Mary Kalfatovic

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"King, Regina 1971–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"King, Regina 1971–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/king-regina-1971

"King, Regina 1971–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/king-regina-1971