Trained as a dancer from early childhood, Essence Atkins made the switch to acting as a teenager when she was cast in a guest role on "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992). She went on to small parts on other television shows before landing a starring role on the drama "Under One Roof" (CBS, 1995), which lasted a mere six weeks. Atkins continued undaunted in her career, however, winning a number of roles in feature films and starring on several more television series including "Smart Guy" (The WB, 1997-99), "Half & Half" (UPN, 2002-06), and "Are We There Yet?" (TBS, 2010-13), as well as working alongside Marlon Wayans in the spoof of found-footage horror films, "A Haunted House" (2013).
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Essence Uhura Atkins (born February 7, 1972) is an American actress and model. She began her career appearing on television sitcoms, before regular role on the short-lived first African American prime time soap opera, (, 1995).