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Mekia Cox (born November 18, 1981) is an American actress and dancer, known for her recurring role as Sasha in the second and third seasons of 90210 and her role as a dancer in the Michael Jackson concert series This Is It and the related film Michael Jackson's This Is It. In 2010, she assumed a supporting role in Lost creator J. J. Abrams's cancelled spy drama, Undercovers. Lastly, she is also known for portraying Princess Tiana on Once Upon A Time.

Mekia Cox
20070521 Mekia Cox.jpg
Cox in 2007
Born (1981-11-18) November 18, 1981 (age 37)
OccupationActress, dancer, vocal artist
Years active2005–present
Britt Leach (m. 2018)

As a youth, Cox had a history of dance and theater training experience. Much of her early work was associated with Universal Studios and Nickelodeon. She continued to train in the performing arts in high school and college. Subsequently, she toured nationally in stage productions of musicals such as Fame.



Cox, a St. Croix native,[1] moved with her family to Orlando, Florida at age seven after spending five years of her youth studying dance in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1989, Cox was invited to participate in the Disney's Magic Kingdom Christmas Spectacular show. Due to her proximity to Universal Studios, Cox was able to earn roles as a child actor in various Nickelodeon shows such as My Brother and Me, Kenan and Kel, and All That.[2]

Cox was a 1999 graduate of Dr. Phillips High School where she was enrolled in the Visual and Performing Arts magnet program for vocal performance.[3] Cox earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University in 2003 after being accepted to their Musical Theater program. During her summers she worked at the Heritage Repertory Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia where she played roles in Smokey Joe's Cafe and Anything Goes one summer and performed as a recurring character in Nickelodeon's show Noah Knows Best during another.[2] Other regional theater credits include Rent in which she played club dancer and drug addict Mimi Márquez, the Chicago role of Liz, and Frenchie in Cabaret.[4]

After graduating, she performed the role of Sarah in Ragtime, the musical at Merry-Go-Round Theater in Auburn, New York. Cox then toured nationally for two years as Carmen in Fame as well as revisiting her role as Brenda in Smokey Joe's Café. After touring and landing her first television role she moved to Los Angeles,[2] where she continues to reside.[1] Among her personal interests are learning how to play guitar and painting.[1]

Television and film careerEdit

Prior to her role on Undercovers Cox made guest appearances on several television shows. In 2005, she appeared in CSI: NY, and Half & Half, and she appeared in One Tree Hill as Faith in season 3 episode 10 the following year. She also has a role in the marital crisis comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.,[5] which was released in July 2011.[6]

Cox was one of only two women selected for the 11-member dance group from a field of over 500 for the This Is It concert series.[3] She was one of the featured dancers in the documentary film Michael Jackson's This Is It.[1] She can be seen dancing with Jackson during the rehearsal of "The Way You Make Me Feel".[3]

During the 2009 second season of 90210 she appeared in six episodes.[5] She also appears in the fourth episode of season three (October 4, 2010).[7] Her 20-something character, Sasha, becomes the controversial love interest of Tristan Wilds' 17-year-old character, Dixon Wilson. The character is a DJ who met his character at a pizza parlor and a party she DJed on a yacht. Dixon led her to believe he was her age.[8][9] One of the things that helped them bond despite his status as a high school junior was that they had the same cell phone ringtone.[10] Eventually, Cox's character lies about becoming pregnant to keep Dixon from breaking up with her.[11][12]

On October 29, 2009, she was one of the This is It dancers who appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to fulfill host Ellen DeGeneres' birthday wish.[13]

She appeared in all first-season episodes of Undercovers.[5] She plays a character named Lizzy Gilliam, who is the sister of the female lead and who is unaware of her family's involvement in Central Intelligence Agency activities. Originally, Jessica Parker Kennedy was cast in the role, but Cox replaced her in June 2010 before the first episode of the first season was aired in September 2010.[14][15] Her character is described as "Boy crazy".[16] Cox says that Lizzy's character, which spends much of her onscreen time running the family catering business, embodied much of her own true character and described the character as follows: "Lizzy's a good character; very light-hearted, very fun loving, she’s got a good heart and an interesting past and she’s trying to deal with it".[17]

In 2016, Cox appeared in the Modern Family episode "The Cover-Up" .[18] On August 23, 2016, Cox joined Chicago Med in a recurring role.[19] She portrays Tiana in the seventh season of Once Upon a Time.[20] In August 2017, Cox was promoted to a series regular on the series.[21][22]

Personal lifeEdit

On April 28, 2018, Cox married Britt Leach.[23] In December 2018, the couple announced that they had welcomed their first child, a daughter.[24][25]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 I Kissed a Vampire Nikki No
2011 Crazy, Stupid, Love. Hip Hairdresser AKA Tiffany
2012 Battlefield America Sarah Miller
2013 The Exchange Lisa Short
2013 After Dark Bree
2015 The Squeeze Lana


Year Title Role Notes
1994 My Brother and Me Unknown Episode: #1.3
2005 CSI: NY Kia Rowe Episode: #2.5
2005 Half & Half Alicia Episode: #4.7
2006 One Tree Hill Faith Banks Episode: #3.10
2008 Bones Celeste Cutler Episode: #3.11
2009-2010 90210 Sasha Recurring: 6 Episodes (Season 2)

Guest: 1 Episode (Season 3)

2010 Undercovers Lizzy Gillian Main: 11 Episodes (Season 1)
2011 The Mentalist Tracy Zuniga Episode: #3.23
2012 Necessary Roughness Zetty Liston Guest: 2 Episodes (Season 2)
2012 Common Law Destiny Episode: #1.7
2012 Leverage Katrina Hardt Episode: #5.9
2012 Key and Peele Girlfriend Episode: #2.5
2013 Mob City Anya Recurring: 3 Episodes (Season 1)
2013 Key and Peele Michelle Obama Episode: #3.5
2013-2014 Almost Human Anna Guest: 2 Episodes (Season 1)
2014 Untitled Jerrod Carmichael Pilot Maxine Unsold Television Series
2014 Key and Peele Girl on Date Episode #4.4
2014 Gotham Dr. Thawson Episode: #1.7
2015 Grey's Anatomy Claire Vinson Episode: #11.16
2016 Modern Family Angie Episode: #7.16
2016 Impastor Jasmine Evans/Cox Recurring: 3 Episodes (Season 2)
2016 Secrets and Lies Amanda Warner Main: 10 Episodes (Season 2)
2016–Present Chicago Med Dr. Robin Charles Recurring: 14 Episodes (Season 2-Season 4)
2017-2018 Once Upon a Time Tiana/Sabine Main: (Season 7)


  1. ^ a b c d "Mekia Cox". Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Mekia Cox, Lizzy Gilliam". NBC. August 18, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Abbott, Jim (October 27, 2009). "Dr. Phillips grad Mekia Cox talks about working with Michael Jackson". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  4. ^ "Mekia Cox". Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Mekia Cox". Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  6. ^ "Crazy, Stupid, Love". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "90210 Episodes on CW". TV Guide. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  8. ^ Mangino, Marcy (September 23, 2009). "'90210' recap: season two, episode three 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat'". 90210 Examiner (blocked website)|format= requires |url= (help).
  9. ^ "Sasha meets Dixon … New Casting Calls For Season 2!". Spoilers Guide. July 10, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  10. ^ Mangino, Marcy (September 24, 2009). "90210 vs. Beverly Hills, 90210: Don't tell them I'm really in high school". 90210 Examiner (blocked website)|format= requires |url= (help).
  11. ^ Mangino, Marcy (November 1, 2009). "DJ Samantha Ronson appears on this week's '90210'". 90210 Examiner (blocked website)|format= requires |url= (help).
  12. ^ "Ellen's "This Is It" Birthday Performance". January 27, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  13. ^ "This Is It dancers – Michael Jackson – Live On Ellen Show 10-29-2009". September 10, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  14. ^ Hibberd, James (June 14, 2010). "Mekia Cox cast in NBC's 'Undercovers': Replaces Jessica Parker Kennedy on J.J. Abrams series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  15. ^ Duboff, Josh (June 15, 2010). "Industry Roundup: Criminal Minds Cuts A.J. Cook". New York. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  16. ^ Nededog, Jethro (September 3, 2010). "'Undercovers': Introducing Mekia Cox, the 'boy crazy' Lizzy Gilliam". American Idol News Today. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  17. ^ Reeves, Ri (October 27, 2010). "How Newcomer Mekia Cox Heats Up NBC's 'Undercovers'". Vibe. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  18. ^ "Scoop: MODERN FAMILY on ABC - Tonight, March 16, 2016". March 16, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 23, 2016). "'Chicago Med' Adds Mekia Cox As Recurring For Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  20. ^ Swift, Andy (July 22, 2017). "Once Upon a Time @ Comic-Con: Season 7's Secret Roles Revealed, a 'Prominent LGBQT Storyline' and More". TVLine. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  21. ^ Abrams, Natalie (August 31, 2017). "Spoiler Room: Scoop on Once Upon a Time, Supergirl, Teen Wolf, and more". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  22. ^ Carbone, Gina (September 1, 2017). "'Once Upon a Time' Season 7 Has Big News for Tiana and Her Mom". Moviefone. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  23. ^ Chen, Joyce (April 30, 2018). "'Once Upon a Time' Actress Mekia Cox Marries Longtime Love Britt Leach in "Caribbean Chic" Wedding: Details". The Knot. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  24. ^ Mekia Cox (October 15, 2018). "It's been quite a year! Got married, bought a home, and now we have this little bundle of joy on the way". Instagram. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Mekia Cox (December 25, 2018). "MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Cox-Leach family!!!! ❤️🎄❤️🎄😍 Photo by : @clindbergphoto (She's awesome 😉)". Instagram. Retrieved December 25, 2018.

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