Berlinda Tolbert’s career as a film and TV actress dates back to 1974 and she has kept it going for several decades. Soon after she ventured into screen acting, the talented actress landed her breakout role as Jenny Willis Jefferson on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. This remains the biggest television role of her career till date as she has only appeared as a guest star on other TV shows. She has appeared in a handful of movies in the course of her long-running career including Eddie Murphy‘s 1989 hit comedy Harlem Nights. Tolbert’s Hollywood career has been rather slow in recent times but we get to take a look back to where it all began.
Berlinda Tolbert – Bio (Age)
Berlinda Tolbert was born on the 4th day in the month of November in the year 1949. She was born in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was encouraged by her father to pursue a career in acting after he watched her deliver a brilliant performance in a school play.
For her high school education, she majored in theatre at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. Her education was sponsored via a scholarship and while at it, she worked several odd jobs which afforded her the funds to intern with a touring acting company during the summer. She is known to have also studied drama in London.
Tolbert began her acting career on stage by joining a touring company after graduating from high school. She got to audition for an off-broadway production and was eventually given the role. Her performance in the play earned her the attention of major Hollywood talent agencies and also ushered her into another phase of her acting career.
Movies and TV Shows
Berlinda Tolbert marked her screen debut as an uncredited extra in the action thriller movie Airport 1975 (1974). Shortly afterward, she appeared in some of the biggest TV series of the 1970s including Sanford and Son (1974), The Streets of San Francisco (1974), Mannix (1975) and Police Woman (1975).
Haven proven her talents beyond any reasonable doubt, Tolbert eventually landed her first major role on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons (1975-1985). Her portrayal of the character Jenny Willis during the highly successful 11-season duration of the hit show catapulted her to instant fame and endeared her among TV viewers across the US. The Jeffersons broke a number of TV records particularly due to its predominantly African-American cast.
Berlinda Tolbert later reprised her Jenny Willis role on an episode of another hit sitcom All in the Family (1975). She also recorded notable guest roles on Fantasy Island (1981-84), The Love Boat (1981-85), Hotel (1985) and Amen (1987). She also starred in a couple of movies between the ’80s and ’90s including Harlem Nights (1989), Goodfellas (1990), Patriot Games (1992) and Dangerous Touch (1994).
Despite the massive success of The Jeffersons, Tolbert was unable to score another regular TV role after the show got canceled in 1985. However, she has continued to guest-star in different TV shows including Jake and the Fatman (1990), FBI: The Untold Stories (1993), 7th Heaven (1998), Home Improvement (1999), Half & Half (2001), ER (2004), Six Feet Under (2005) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2007).
The talented actress, Berlinda Tolbert has recorded only a few movie credits since the turn of the century. She had roles in the thriller film Strange Fruit (2004) as well as the comedy flick Live! (2007), starring alongside Eva Mendes in the latter. She also had a role in the indie movie Last Ride on the Midwest Pacific (2011) after which she took a rather long hiatus from acting.
Her Family Life – Husband and Children
Berlinda Tolbert can be said to have had it quite good in her family life just like her Hollywood career. She is currently married to her husband of over 40 years, Bod Reid and the two are known to have quite an interesting love story. They tied the knot on Valentine’s day in the year 1979 and have remained inseparable ever since. Interestingly, the couple is said to have dated for just eleven days before getting married. Their marriage has undoubtedly stood the test of time which is proof that less than 2 weeks of dating was enough for both parties to make the right choice.
Tolbert’s husband Bob Reid is known to be a former CBS journalist; other than this fact about his profession, there is not so much known about him. It is unclear if this couple has any offsprings and if they do, their identities have not been made public.
Other Facts on Berlinda Tolbert
Relationship with Mike Evans
Tolbert had quite an interesting connection with fellow actor Mike Evans, who played the role of her boyfriend-turned-husband Lionel Jefferson on the sitcom The Jeffersons. The two co-stars were born just one day apart from each other; Tolbert was born on November 4, 1949, while Evans was born on November 3, 1949. They were both also born in North Carolina.
Berlinda Tolbert has a height of 5 feet 4½ inches (164 cm). The film and TV actress has maintained her ageless looks over the years and she is proof that indeed “black don’t crack.”