By Brenda Alexander
Ever the humble one, Regina King was shocked when her name was announced as the winner for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in Netflix’s Seven Seconds, the first woman of color to take home the honor. The audience reacted overtly different by giving her the standing ovation she deserved for her 30+ years in the business. Though not her first Emmy, it was the first of its kind and of that magnitude. What shocked me by the press breaks that followed was just how little mainstream America has paid attention to her unparalleled talent. WE have had the pleasure of her gift for years and know full-well the impact she’s had on pop culture. Here are 10 of Regina King’s best pop culture moments that started way before this year’s Emmy win.
She’s been stealing our hearts with her wit since she was a teenager by bursting onto the scene in this 1980s sitcom, playing the loveable and studious teenager in an all-black ensemble on NBC.
Boyz In The Hood
Playing Shalika, teenage boys in urban cities began to fantasize over King with her braids, charisma and down to earth personality in roles she’d play similar to those in Boyz throughout the beginning of her career. This 1991 film is known as her breakout role. She would go on to work with co-star Ice Cube in Higher Learning and director John Singleton in Poetic Justice again in later 90s cult classics.
In one of my favorite roles, Regina played opposite Janet Jackson as her turnt up BFF Aisha. Always one to steal a scene, she’s most remembered for the epic fight scene with her onscreen boyfriend. Aisha had every around the way girl talking slick to the hood boys who were too cocky for words.
In Spike Lee’s film about racial tension and cultural insensitivity on a college campus, King played a black roommate to a small town white girl who mingled with a black panther party type of crowd determined to navigate the campus bigotry. Who can forget the scene where her roommates male fling irately refers to her as a “black bitch,” setting off the climax of the fighting between the groups.
In another movie with Ice Cube, she played his sister and had us laughing when she refused to give her brother a loan to pay off his street debt.
A Thin Line Between Love & Hate
Anyone who can play opposite Lynn Whitfield’s crazy character Brandy and come off memorable deserves the ultimate honor. In A Thin Line, she played the role of Mia, Martin Lawrence’s childhood sweetheart that Whitfield’s character tried to take down after finding out Martin desired her instead.
Daddy Day Care
Proving to be multifaceted, she showed off her ability to play the doting wife, businesswoman and mother in this family comedy about an advertising-exec turned stay-at-home dad/daycare owner.
That baby oil beat down scene was one for the books! Regina played a fed up mother and wife with an unappreciative and philandering husband who in the end, ran his car into the LA River and beat him with a belt while he slid across a baby oil-filled bathroom floor…naked. Women scorned around the country learned a new trick from that scene that kept men on high alert!
She could have won a Supporting Actress Oscar for her scene snatching acting as one of Ray Charles’ mistresses. Women were clapping in theaters when she passionately chimed in on his famous “Hit The Road Jack” after an attempt he made to discredit their relationship and deny their unborn child.
Playing LAPD Officer Lydia Adams for TNT’s cop drama, the show ended in 2013, but had a lasting affect.
is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing,
wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful
blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and
Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda and trulybrenda.wordpress.com