Tichina Arnold was popular for her role as Pam James, opposite Martin Lawrence, on the sitcom Martin. After Martin, Arnold made guest appearances on The Jaime Foxx Show and Soul Food. In 2005, she landed a starring role as Rochelle, a tough mom of three, on Everybody Hates Chris. Along with acting, she ran a company called China Moon Rags, making bejeweled bandannas.
Early Life and Career
Tichina Rolanda Arnold was born on June 28, 1971, in Queens, New York. A veteran performer of stage, film and television, Arnold might be best known for her comedic roles as Pam James on the sitcom Martin, and Rochelle Rock, one of television’s toughest mothers, on Everybody Hates Chris.
Attending Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, Arnold started acting from a young age. In 1986, while still in her teens, she made her New York film debut in Little Shop of Horrors. Following that, she worked on two soap operas: Ryan’s Hope (1987-89) and All My Children (1989-90).
Making the move to primetime in 1992, Tichina Arnold landed a supporting role on the sitcom Martin, a showcase for stand-up comedian Martin Lawrence. She played Pam James, a friend of Gina Waters (played by Tisha Campbell), on the series; Lawrence played radio talk show host Martin Payne, who was dating Waters. The show lasted for five seasons.
After Martin, Arnold made guest performances on The Jaime Foxx Show, Norm and Soul Food amongst others. She also had roles in a number of films, including Big Momma’s House (2000), which reunited her with Lawrence. In 2001, Arnold began a recurring role on the sitcom One on One as Nicole Barnes, the ex-wife of the lead character Mark “Flex” Washington played by Flex Alexander.
On Everybody Hates Chris, which debuted in 2005, Arnold landed another starring role. The most popular family sitcom was created by comedian Chris Rock, who drew from his own experiences growing up as an African-American kid living in a rough community who was bussed to an all-white school in the 1980s. The role of Chris Rock was played by Tyler William James and the comedian himself provided the voice over for the series.
Tichina Arnold played the bossy, strict Rochelle Rock, mother of three and wife of Julius, played by Terry Crews. In spite of her somewhat prickly nature, Arnold kept the family going in face of financial difficulty and a hostile living environment as Rochelle. Arnold won a NAACP Image Award for her work on the series in 2005. The show chronicling the life of a young Chris Rock ended in 2009.
Arnold has since found work on yet another sitcom as Judi Mann, the friend of lead actress Fran Drescher, on the series Happily Divorced (2011).
In addition to acting, Arnold operates a company called China Moon Rags, which makes and sells bejeweled bandannas. A resident of Los Angeles, she has a daughter named Alijah Kai.
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