Erika Rose Alexander (born November 19, 1969) is an American actress, writer, producer, entrepreneur and activist best known for her roles as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1990–1992), and Maxine Shaw on the FOX sitcom Living Single (1993–1998). She has won numerous awards for her work on Living Single, including two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
Alexander at Comic-Con in 2012
Erika Rose Alexander
November 19, 1969
Winslow, Arizona, U.S.
|Education||Philadelphia High School for Girls|
|Home town||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
(m. 1997; div. 2017)
|Awards||1996 – NAACP Image Award; Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Living Single)|
1998 – NAACP Image Award; Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Living Single)
Alexander got her big break as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. She later starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the 1990 civil rights epic The Long Walk Home. Perhaps her most memorable role was the acid-tongued attorney Maxine Shaw on the FOX sitcom Living Single, a role she played for five years. She is the co-creator and co-writer of Concrete Park, a science-fiction graphic novel with Tony Puryear.
In 1992, she appeared in the short-lived sitcom Going to Extremes, which centered on a group of American students at a medical school on a fictitious Caribbean island named Jantique. In 2002, she played probation officer Dee Mulhern in the Showtime series Street Time, which ran for two seasons. In international cinema, Alexander played the role of Hidimbi in Peter Brook's adaptation of The Mahabharata. She also played a young Flora in the TV miniseries Mama Flora's Family.
Her voice is featured on The Bible Experience. She appeared in Toni Braxton's music video for "You're Makin' Me High". In 2009, she appeared in Criminal Minds in the Season 4 episode, "The Big Wheel", as Detective Lynne Henderson, who requests the BAU's help in investigating a serial killer in Buffalo, New York. She also appeared in the 2009 film La Mission opposite Benjamin Bratt. In 2011, she appeared in season 7, episode 13 of House M.D. where she played the character Ms. Fields.
Alexander was born in Winslow, Arizona and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona until the age of 11, when she and her family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is one of six children born to Shaun Alexander and Sammie Alexander, a school teacher and children's book author.
|1986||My Little Girl||Joan|
|1989||The Mahabharata||Madri, Hidimbaa|
|1990||The Long Walk Home||Selma Cotter|
|1991||He Said, She Said||Rita|
|1992||Fathers & Sons||Venell|
|2001||30 Years to Life||Joy|
|2014||Elsa & Fred||Laverne|
|2014||Secrets of the Magic City||Ms. Fletcher|
|2016||Brave New Jersey||Helen Holbrook|
|2017||Get Out||Detective Latoya|
|2019||I See You||Lieutenant Moriah Davis|
|1986||George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation||Oney||TV film|
|1989||The Mahabharata||Madri / Hidimbi||TV miniseries|
|1990||Common Ground||Cassandra Twymon||TV film|
|1990||The Last Best Year||Amy||TV film|
|1990||Law & Order||Doris Carver||Episode: "Poison Ivy"|
|1990–1992||The Cosby Show||Pam Tucker||Main role (21 episodes)|
|1992–1993||Going to Extremes||Cheryl Carter||Main role (17 episodes)|
|1993–1998||Living Single||Maxine "Max" Felice Shaw||Main role (118 episodes)|
|1998||Mama Flora's Family||Young Flora||TV miniseries|
|1999||KnitWits Revisited||Amina||TV film|
|2001||Judging Amy||Fran Winston||Recurring role (7 episodes)|
|2001||The Zeta Project||Agent Rush (voice)||Episodes: "Ro's Reunion", "Absolute Zero"|
|2002–2003||Street Time||Dee Mulhern||Main role (20 episodes)|
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Kema Mabuda||Episode: "Ritual"|
|2005||Half & Half||Maxine Shaw||Episode: "The Big Performance Anxiety Episode"|
|2005||7th Heaven||Lynn Miles||Episode: "Leaps of Faith"|
|2006||Sixty Minute Man||Jane||TV film|
|2006||In Justice||Alyssa Hill||Episode: "The Ten Percenter"|
|2006||Heist||Saundra Johnson||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|2006||ER||Vatima Abika||Episode: "No Place to Hide"|
|2007||Side Order of Life||Colette||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2007||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||A.D.A. Kirkson||Episode: "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp"|
|2007||Numb3rs||U.S. Marshal Tricia Yaegger||Episode: "In Security"|
|2007||CSI: Miami||Tanya Thorpe||Episode: "Guerillas in the Mist"|
|2009||Criminal Minds||Det. Lynne Henderson||Episode: "The Big Wheel"|
|2010||In Plain Sight||Theresa Simmons||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|2011||House||Ms. Fields||Episode: "Two Stories"|
|2012||Suburgatory||Gloria||Episode: "The Motherload"|
|2012||Suits||Sarah Leighton||Episode: "Discovery"|
|2012–2015||Last Man Standing||Carol Larabee||Recurring role (10 episodes)|
|2013||Low Winter Sun||Louise "LC" Cullen||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|2014||Let's Stay Together||Blanche||Recurring role (3 episodes)|
|2014||NCIS: New Orleans||Navy Commander Louanne Bates||Episode: "Carrier"|
|2015||Grey's Anatomy||Johanna McKay||Episode: "Crazy Love"|
|2016–2017||Bosch||Connie Irving||Recurring Role (10 episodes)|
|2016||Recovery Road||Trish's Mother||1 episode|
|2016||Queen Sugar||LeAnne||Guest Role (2 episodes)|
|2017||Beyond||Tess Shoemaker||Recurring Role (6 episodes)|
|2018–present||Black Lightning||Perenna||Recurring Role|
- Shaw-King, Crystal (April 3, 2017). "Erika Alexander on 'Get Out' and Whether or Not a 'Living Single' Reunion Is Really Happening". EBONY. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Means, Coleman R. R. African American Viewers and the Black Situation Comedy: Situating Racial Humor. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014. p. 134.
- McCann, Bob. Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2010.
- Brown, Stacia. Clutch Magazine. "Erika Alexander Co-Writes Graphic with Black Heroine"
- Shaw-King, Crystal. "Erika Alexander on 'Get Out' and Whether or Not a 'Living Single' Reunion Is Really Happening - EBONY". www.ebony.com.
- Berry, Torriano, and Venise T. Berry, eds. Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema, 2015. p. 24.
- Panzar, Javier. “Democrats Counting on Celebrities to Introduce Heavy Subject Matter.” Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2016. Accessed 30 July 2017.