Toukie Smith is an American model and actress popularly known for the character she played on the hit NBC comedy series 227, which aired from 1989-90. Her character, Eva Rawley, was so beloved that she garnered thousands of fans in such a short time and they continued to follow her work for years, keeping up with whatever she’s doing. She is also well known for the roles she portrayed in big pictures. Some of her most notable film appearances include Me and Him, I Like It Like That, Goosed, Joe’s Apartment, Talkin’ Dirty After Dark, and The Preacher’s Wife.
The actress is also an activist and doesn’t shy away from using her platform to promote and raise awareness for social causes. After her brother, the millionaire fashion designer Willi Smith died from AIDS-related ailments in 1987, she dedicated her time to raising awareness about the terrible disease, even though most people were still ashamed to even mention it out loud. Although she has stayed away from the spotlight for the last couple of years, the former model is still revered in the industry.
Who Is Toukie Smith?
Born Doris A. Smith, on April 25, 1955, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Toukie had a somewhat normal childhood although her family was by no means rich.
It is known that Toukie Smith attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She began her career as a model in the 1970s, strutting the runway and featuring in ads for major fashion brands including Versace, Patrick Kelly, Chanel, Issey Miyake, Thierry Miller, Geoffrey Beene, and Norma Kamali. She found success in print as well, appearing in photo campaigns for Yves St. Laurent, and on the covers and pages of ELLE, Vogue, Seventeen, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and Ebony.
In 1978, Bloomingdale named her the Model of the Year and designed a mannequin in her image. She was the first African American model to achieve the latter feat. Her professional name Toukie was inspired by her grandmother who was fond of singing songs about fire engines to her whenever she hung out with her.
By the start of the late 90s, Toukie Smith had given up courting the spotlight and pretty shied away from being in the media unless it was absolutely necessary. Now actively retired from Hollywood and her modelling career, the gorgeous actress went on to open a chain of restaurants in New York called Toukie’s restaurant. She also faced her catering delivery business Toukie’s Sweets full time. Both businesses seem to be doing very well and show no signs of packing up.
Thanks to her successful acting and modelling exploits, as well as her many enterprises, Toukie has managed to create a sizeable wealth for herself. She is currently estimated to be worth $3 million.
Is She Robert De Niro’s Ex-Wife?
Toukie has never been married and remains unmarried as far as we know. However, she has had several fulfilling relationships, some with established Hollywood celebrities like the legendary Robert De Niro.
The pair began going out in 1988 and were together for a long while until their separation in 1996. While they were together, Toukie suffered a miscarriage in 1988 that led to the loss of their first child. This was a very difficult moment for the couple but they managed to get through it, and their love grew stronger as the years passed.
Robert and Toukie Smith were blessed with twin boys in 1995. The children were conceived through in vitro fertilization and delivered by a surrogate. The boys are named Julian Henry De Niro and Aaron Kendrick De Niro. The children became the center of their lives and they continued to co-parent even after they broke up. The boys were kept away from the spotlight, so there are very few pictures of them circulating in the media. However, they are grown now and likely going about their lives the way they deem best.
Relationship With Willi Smith
Toukie’s parents were blue collar workers. Her father had a job as a butcher and her mother worked in a factory close to home. She had two brothers named Willi and Norman Smith. Sadly, Toukie lost her mother and brother Willi in 1986 and 1987. While her mother died as a result of liver cirrhosis, Willi died from AIDS. Like other aspects of her personal life, Toukie has kept details about her family under wraps and away from the spotlight.