Karen Malina White

Karen Malina White (born July 7, 1965) is an American film and television actress. White is best known for her roles as Kaneesha Carter, in the 1989 drama film Lean on Me, as Charmaine Brown during the two final seasons on The Cosby Show (1990–1992) and its spin-off A Different World (1992–1993); Nicolette Vandross on Malcolm & Eddie (1996–2000)[1] and the voice of Dijonay Jones on the Disney Channel animated comedy The Proud Family (2001–2005).

Karen Malina White
Born (1965-07-07) July 7, 1965 (age 54)
EducationHoward University
Years active1980–present
Known forKaneesha Carter – Lean on Me
Charmaine Brown – The Cosby Show, A Different World
Partner(s)Malcolm-Jamal Warner


White was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. White studied at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. After graduating high school, White continued her studies at Howard University, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.[2] During her senior year, White won the title of "Miss Howard University" and landed her first role as an actress.

In 1989, White starred in Lean on Me alongside actor Morgan Freeman. She was nominated for the 1990 Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for her performance in the film. During the 1990s, White made many guest appearances in various television shows. White portrayed Charmaine Brown during Seasons 7 and 8 of The Cosby Show (1990-1992), and Season 6 of A Different World (1992-1993). White also guest starred as Jewel, Jazz's wife in two episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'.' Shayla' in "Living Single" episode 'Woman to Woman'. From 2001-2005, she performed the voice of Dijonay Jones on the animated Disney Channel series The Proud Family. Betty Lebo is Season 2 of "I Didn't Do It" White has also appeared in various stage productions.

Personal lifeEdit

White has never married and has no children. From 2000 until 2007, White dated actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Contrary to rumors, White was never married nor engaged to Warner. Warner states, "I'm not married. People probably started saying that because we were in a relationship for seven and a half years." [3]


Year Title Role Notes
1980 In Our Lives Jasmine
1989 Lean On Me Kaneesha Carter Young Artist Award (nominated)
1989 A Man Called Hawk Lisa Episode: "Beautiful Are the Stars"
1990–1992 The Cosby Show Charmaine Brown Seasons 7-8
1992–1993 A Different World Charmaine Brown Season 6
1993 Herman's Head Rene Episode: "There's a Fly Girl In My Soup"
1993–1994 Getting By Yolanda Recurring role, 7 episodes
1993–1994 Roc Michelle Episodes: "The Poker Hand That Rocks the Cradle", "God Bless the Child", & "Citizen Roc"
1993, 1996–1997 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Florence Episodes: "Father Fairest", "Seoul Shake", "Episode: Will She or Won't She?", "Security", & "The Spa"
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Jewel Robertson Episodes: "The Ol' Ball and Chain" & "Mother's Day"
1994, 1995 My So-Called Life Abyssinia Churchill Episodes: "Self-Esteem" & "Betrayal"
1995 Me and the Boys Janet Episodes: "The B Word" & "When Stanley Met Shirley"
1995 Chicago Hope Jennifer Koosman Episode: "Hello Goodbye"
1995 The Parent 'Hood Nina Episode: "Track Dreams"
1995 Too Something Episode: "Meter Feeders"
1995 Statistically Speaking Short film
1995 Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored Mary
1996 The Home Court Leslie Episode: "Laborer of Love"
1996 Living Single Shayla Episode: "Woman to Woman"
1996 Dave's World Natalie Episode: "Do You Want To Know A Secret?"
1996–2000 Malcolm & Eddie Nicolette Vandross Series regular; 83 episodes
2000 Seven Days Tracy Donovan Episode: "Mr Donovan's Neighborhood"
2001–2005 The Proud Family Dijonay Jones (voice) Series regular; 52 episodes
2002 Jeremiah Rickie Episode: "City of Roses"
2003 The Shield Episode: "Barnstormers"
2004 Boston Public Sonia Williamson Episode: "Chapter Seventy-Eight"
2004 Fronterz
2005 The Proud Family Movie Dijonay Jones Disney Channel TV-Movie
2006 The Ties That Bind Madison Short
2012 Who's Watching the Kids Susan
2014 How to Get Away with Murder Carla Episode: "Let's Go Scooping"
2015 I Didn't Do It Betty LeBow Recurring role (Season 2)
2016 Mike & Molly Paula Episode: "The Adoption Option"
2016 Veep Kimberly Episode: "C**tgate"
2016-18 Animal Kingdom Dina 3 episodes
2016 Shameless Sylvrie Plum Episode: "Home Sweet Homeless Shelter"
2016 The Middle Mrs. Roberts Episode: "Look Who's Not Talking"
2017 Snowfall Doris Roberts 2 episodes
2018 Kidding Latrice 2 episodes
2018 Raven's Home Loretta Episode: "Keepin' It Real"
TBA The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Dijonay Jones Upcoming series[4]


  1. ^ The A to Z of African-American Television - White, Karen Malina - By Kathleen Fearn-Banks
  2. ^ Hbcu Experience - the Book: A Collection of Essays Celebrating the Black ... edited by Tia C. M. Tyree
  3. ^ http://www.essence.com/news_entertainment/entertainment/articles/flashback_fridays_malcolm_jamal_warner/ Archived April 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Swift, Andy (February 27, 2020). "The Proud Family Revival Ordered at Disney+ With Original Cast — First Look". TVLine.

External linksEdit