Robin Givens is an award-winning actress, author and advocate for women’s rights who has been a powerful force in Hollywood for more than three decades.
Givens is also a fierce advocate for women, dedicating her life to the protection of others. In fact, since the beginning of her career she has had the rare opportunity to work with powerful female icons such as Oprah Winfrey and Cicely Tyson (The Women of Brewster Place) Faye Dunaway (Beverly Hills Madam) and Farrah Fawcett (Hollywood Wives: The New Generation), Alfre Woodard and Taraji P. Henson (The Family that Preys) hat helped inspire her choices as an actress and set the stage for an illustrious career that is thriving today.
Givens now finds herself in the enviable position of having four prestige television projects on the air at the same time. This indefatigable woman currently appears on the hit CW series “Riverdale” as Sierra McCoy, the former mayor and mother to Josie of Josie and the Pussycats. In early 2019, she will appear in a heavily recurring role as Julianne Johnson in ABC’s highly-anticipated series “The Fix,” from Marcia Clark playing the ex-wife of Sevvy (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), an A-list actor accused of murder. In March 2019, Givens will take the lead in the new series “Ambitions” from producer Will Packer and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. She plays Stephanie Carlisle, the wife of the mayor of Atlanta, whose true loyalty is to her family’s prestigious law firm, which she is lobbying to run. The cast includes Brian White, Essence Atkins and Kendrick Cross.
Robin has always gravitated towards strong, independent characters. Those choices resonated with audiences and put her in early conversations about diversity and equality in Hollywood. Her first big break as an actress came in when she was cast as Darlene Merriman, an outspoken high school student on ABC’s hit series Head of the Class. While shooting the series, Givens took on several additional roles that propelled her to become one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood. Givens starred with icon Faye Dunaway in the NBC television movie Beverly Hills Madam. Then, she starred in the acclaimed ABC miniseries The Women of Brewster Place from Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. It featured a stellar cast, including Winfrey, Cicely Tyson, Jackee Harry, Paul Winfield and Lynn Whitfield and received two Emmy® nominations.
Givens’ first feature film followed when she was cast in Miramax’s A Rage in Harlem, directed by Bill Duke (who was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his direction), which also starred Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines and Danny Glover. Givens’ was awarded the prestigious ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow Award for her performance in the film, which is awarded annually to male and female actors who made a mark in film that year and are on the rise in their careers.
Givens showed her range as an actress when she followed that role up with a high-profile comedy opposite Eddie Murphy in the Paramount Pictures hit movie Boomerang. The film also starred Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Chris Rock and is still a cult hit today.
She also starred in two early projects from powerhouse director, writer and producer Tyler Perry, with a recurring role in the long-running series House of Payne and a starring role in the feature film The Family that Preys for Lionsgate, in which she appeared opposite Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, Cole Hauser, Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry and Kathy Bates
Givens also currently appears on Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners” and the long-running CBS daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
She can also currently be seen on the big screen in the recently-released indie film Never Heard, which also stars Romeo Miller, Karrueche Tran, David Banner, Brian White and Kandi Burruss.
Givens, is a former pre-med major, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence college where she studied with actors such as Lauren Holly and Cary Elwes, and for a brief time a Harvard Graduate Student, before acting came calling.
She is also a theater darling, planting her feet on the Great White Way when she took over the lead role of “Roxie Hart” in the Broadway production of CHICAGO. She followed that starring starred as “Angel” in a revival of Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Pasadena Playhouse. The production, directed by Sheldon Epps, received rave reviews for its jubilant, stylish take on the original and was nominated for numerous NAACP Theater Awards. Givens also starred in the acclaimed original off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues with Donna Hanover and Susie Essman and later reprised her role in a Los Angeles production at the Canon theater alongside JoBeth Williams and Lea Thompson.
Additionally, Robin can be seen in the Toni Braxton music video “He Wasn’t Man Enough” and will star in a new music video by Chromeo that will be out by the end of 2018.
As a TV Host, co-hosted The View and Access Hollywood Live and presented at such Awards shows as The Primetime Emmy Awards, The People’s Choice Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
Additional television credits include a starring role in Warner Bros. Television’s series Angel Street for CBS and the UPN series Sparks as well as numerous television movies, including The Verdict for Lionsgate Television and LifetimeTV, Perfect Match for Hallmark Channel, Tagged for 20th Century Fox, Fear Files for TV One and Hollywood Wives: The New Generation, in which she starred with Farrah Fawcett and Melissa Gilbert. Givens also guest-starred on numerous iconic series including Once Upon a Time, Lucifer, 90210, RuPaul’s Drag U, Chuck, Drop Dead Diva, The Game, Everybody Hates Chris, Burn Notice, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Cosby Show, among many others.
In film, Givens’ numerous credits include Dreams I Never Had, which also starred Malcolm McDowell and won Givens the WIND International Film Festival’s Jury Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2017; God Bless the Broken Road, also starring Jordin Sparks, Kim Delaney and Andrew W. Walker; God’s Not Dead 2, with Melissa Joan Hart and Ernie Hudson; Lionsgate’s The Perfect Match, which also starred Terrence Jenkins, Donald Faison and Paula Patton; Tyler’ Perry’s hit The Family That Preys for Lionsgate, in which she appeared opposite Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, Cole Hauser, Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry and Kathy Bates; Chris Rock-directed Head of State for Dreamworks, which also starred Rock, Bernie Mac, Dylan Baker, Lynn Whitfield and Tracy Morgan and the comedy Blankman, also starring Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier and Jason Alexander.
Her work for women’s advocacy has been an enduring passion since the Women Against Violence Act in 1994 strongly encouraged her that change was possible. She uses her voice daily to remind women that they do have a choice. She has been the national spokesperson for the Domestic Violence Hotline and has worked with numerous domestic violence organizations who give support and hope to women and children who have experienced abuse.
In 2007, Givens wrote Grace Will Lead Me Home, a powerful and revealing memoir that chronicled the legacy of domestic abuse in her family and coming to terms with it in her own life. She writes about breaking the cycle through the strong women she had in her life and her faith in God.
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