The Upshaws may be a relatively new show, but there are some familiar faces in the cast that make it feel like a television staple.
Netflix recently released its second season of The Upshaws. If you’re into crass comedy that follows the life of a middle-class family, this is the show for you.
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As a self-described television enthusiast, the show is pretty good. That’s not what got me! What did is that the cast is full of legends.
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Dorothy ‘Tootie’ Ramsey
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Kim Fields plays Regina Upshaw in the Netflix series, but the role that really got her noticed was Tootie in The Facts of Life. Appearing in over 200 episodes, Fields grabbed the hearts of viewers as the adorable girl turned young woman. Throughout the ’80s, she was one of the young “it girls.”
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That’s right. She is best known as herself. An accomplished comedian and host of award shows — Wanda Sykes is most known for her comedic prowess and catching commentary on the stage.
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Mike Epps is a comedian, too, but most people got word of his talent when he appeared in the sequel to the cult classic, Friday. His depiction as Craig’s first cousin, Day-Day, is iconic in Black culture. Who doesn’t love his on-screen run-ins with Baby Dee?
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Gabrielle Dennis was the woman everyone loved to hate in The Game. We all blamed her as the one who destroyed the TV romance between Melanie and Derwin. Looking back, the breakup wasn’t her fault, but many of us made her the villain and couldn’t get enough of it.
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Page Kennedy has had his fair share of roles in movies, most notably as Travis in the 2003 film S.W.A.T. He has also been seen in many recurring roles and starring on television shows — many short-lived. No matter how varied his resume, Kennedy has some major acting chops. However, the role I can’t forget is his portrayal of Gerald in the TV version of Rush Hour. It was less about his acting and more about the fact that we did not need that show. Who asked them to turn that movie into a show anyway?!
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Leonard Earl Howze has an acting resume that spans several films and movies, but we love him as the African barber in the Barbershop films. His quirky commentary and cultural innocence were the perfect balance to the antics of the other characters in the film.
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For 44 episodes, Gabrielle Dennis played Pippy Rosewood alongside Morris Chestnut as Beaumont “Rosie” Rosewood, Jr. Known for her character’s expressive character and keen intuition, Pippy was no one to play with. As an add-on, Dennis went on to show her versatility on HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show.
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The series Survivor’s Remorse didn’t last long, and Epps’ character died before the final episode. However, his impact on the short-lived show was lasting. It was a real-life depiction of an uncle stepping up as a father figure. Uncle Julius was fun to watch, from the quirky advice to the escapades of a Gen X bachelor.
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The New Adventures of Old Christine would not have been what it was without the comedic genius of Wanda Sykes. Her portrayal of Barb and serving as best friend to Christine was a highlight of the show and a much-needed point of interest. If you’re wondering — Old Christine wasn’t that great.
Granny — Ice Age
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Any time I wanted the kids in my life (sons, nieces, nephews, god-children) to settle down, Ice Age was my go-to film. We can discuss some life lessons nestled in the movie later. However, today, we are here to talk about Wanda Sykes doing the voice of Granny. Granny’s real name was Gladys, but who refers to their grandparents by their first name? She was a comedic staple in the movie franchise with sage wisdom, often wrapped in sarcasm.
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The ’90s is my all-time favorite decade. One of the highlights from the era is the television perfection that was Living Single. In my brain, Yvette Lee Bowser deserves all the love and honor for creating this timeless television. What made this show great was the perfect mix of the main characters. Kim Fields was a part of that mix as Regine Hunter. She was an on-screen pleasure, a bougie socialite with an affinity for fashion and everything luxury. We love Regine. We stan her antics, and no one could embody all that she was better than Fields.
Many new shows are bringing acting vets to the forefront. Who are some of your favorite actors that have appeared in some of your favorite movies and television shows?
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