The New Yorker, Essence Atkins, is both an actress and a model. She has been in the movie industry since 1986 and cut her teeth initially by playing guest roles. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that she began to play bigger and recurring roles on television series such as Under One Roof, Malibu Shores, and Smart Guy.
The ambitious actress in her later years has been involved in series and movies such as Dance Flick, Are We There Yet?, Deliver Us From Eva, A Haunted House, and Ambitions. She has also worked with the likes of Terry Crews, Keri Russell, and Gabrielle Union.
Essence Atkins’ Bio, Ethnicity
Born Essence Uhura Atkins in Brooklyn, New York, the Big Apple native attended Profession Children’s School and subsequently, the Alvin Ailey Institute where she trained as a dancer.
She started her career as a wide-eyed African American fourteen-year-old. Some would argue that she couldn’t have started it off better with her first acting role coming with The Cosby Show where she starred alongside the veteran Bill Cosby. She appeared on two episodes of the show in 1986 and 1989 respectively as Paula Young.
She then went on to make a slew of appearances, mostly guest roles up until the late 1990s. Atkins appeared as Allison Chase in the 1991 short television movie Sunday In Paris. She then made a number of single and double episode appearances on Charlie Hoover (1991), Family Matters (1992), Saved By the Bell: The College Years (1993), Promised Land (1997), and The Parent ‘Hood (1996), and Moesha (1999).
After recurring roles in Under One Roof, Smart Guy, and Malibu Shores, Essence Atkins started the 2000s with Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. She appeared in three episodes of the series playing the character Marnie. The next five years saw her play more movie roles than television appearances. She was Toni in Love Song; Nikita in Nikita Blues; Jamie in How High; and Kareenah in Deliver Us from Eva.
In 2002, she started a recurring role as Dee Dee Thorne on the TV series Half & Half. Her time with the show came to an end in 2006 after she had played the character for 91 episodes. Her next big television role came when she joined the cast of TBS’s Are We There Yet? with the likes of Terry Crews, Keesha Sharp, and Teala Dunn, where she played Suzanne Kingston. From 2012 to 2013, she was also on 22 episodes of Mr. Box Office as Samantha Owens.
Since 2005, Essence Atkins has been in a plethora of movies such as Love for Sale (2008), Preacher’s Kid (2010), Dysfunctional Friends (2012), and A Haunted House (2013). More recently the American actress has been on projects such as A Haunted House 2 (2014), Sister Code (2015), Illicit (2017), Marlon (2017 – 2018), and Coins for Christmas (2018).
Parents, Twin Sister
Not much, if anything at all is known about Essence’s parents besides their names. She was born and raised in St. Alban’s, Queens by her parents Geoffrey Atkins and Sandy Nelson.
Atkins has no brothers or sisters as she is the only biological child of her parents. A rumor arose somewhere in between the late 90s and the early 2000s that Essence was a sister to the famous Hollywood twin sisters, Tia and Tamera Mowry. Of course, it didn’t help that on the television series Smart Guy, her character was the sister to the Mowry’s real-life brother, Tahj Mowry. However, the New York native is not related to the Mowry family in any way.
Is Essence Atkins Married? Husband, Son
Tired of dating the same run-of-the-mill guys in her industry, Essence decided to try out a dating website. She set up her profile on Match but left out her picture because she was a public figure and didn’t want to be inundated with requests. It was here, on Valentine’s Day 2008 that she met Jaime Mendez, a Puerto Rican former collegiate football player. After a year of dating, the couple got married in September 2009 in Pasadena, California.
The couple has a son together, Varro Blair Mendez, who was born on Christmas Day in 2011. Essence Atkins and Jaime Mendez called time on their marriage in 2016.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Atkins is diminutive which ironically makes her stand out the more among her peers. The actress stands at a height of 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm) and maintains an athletic weight of 57 kg (126 lb). She also has a bust size of 32 inches; waist size of 24 inches; and hip size of 33 inches.