Tina Lifford is an American actress and playwright.[1] She is best known for her leading role as single mother Joan Mosley in the critically acclaimed but short-lived Fox comedy-drama series, South Central (1994), and her recurring role as Renee Trussell in the NBC drama series, Parenthood (2010-2015). She has starring roles in the feature films Grand Canyon (1991), Blood Work (2002), and Hostage (2005). In 2016, Lifford began starring as Violet Bordelon (Aunt Vi) in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar.

Tina Lifford
Born (1966-05-01) May 1, 1966 (age 53)
Alma materSanta Monica City College
Years active1983–present

Life and careerEdit

Lifford graduated from the Santa Monica City College.[2] She began her career in 1980s, appearing on television shows include Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Murder, She Wrote. From 1983 to 1988, she had the recurring role on Knots Landing. In film, she made her debut in The Ladies Club (1986).[3] The following years, she had appeared in films include Nuts (1987), Colors (1988), Paris Trout (1991), Grand Canyon (1991), Letters from a Killer (1998), Panic (2000), Pay It Forward (2000), Joe Somebody (2001), Blood Work (2002), Hostage (2005), and Catch and Release (2006).

Lifford played the leading role as single mother Joan Mosley in the critically acclaimed but short-lived Fox comedy-drama series, South Central (1994).[4][5][6][7][8] In addition to her leading role on South Central, Lifford was regular cast member on the short-lived NBC drama, Crisis Center (1997).[9] She had number of starring roles on the made-for-television movies, include The Ernest Green Story (1993), Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story (1996) playing Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mandela and de Klerk (1997) as Winnie Mandela, The Temptations (1998), and The Loretta Claiborne Story (2000) starring Kimberly Elise.[3]

During her career, Lifford had guest starring roles in over 50 shows, include Touched by an Angel, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Any Day Now, NYPD Blue, NCIS, ER, and Nip/Tuck. She also had the recurring roles on Family Law (1999-2001), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2004-2005), Lincoln Heights (2007-2009), Parenthood (2010-2015) as Joy Bryant's mother, and Scandal (2015).

In 2016, Lifford was cast in her first series regular role as of 1990s, in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama Queen Sugar produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. She plays the role of Violet Bordelon, the aunt to the Bordelon siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner). Violet is a spunky woman involved in a long-term relationship with a younger man (played by Omar Dorsey).[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Why Me? Television film
1986 The Ladies Club Patty
1987 Jaws: The Revenge Additional Voices Voice
1987 Nuts Lawyer
1988 Colors Mrs. Craig
1988 Casual Sex? Additional Voices Voice
1989 The Fabulous Baker Boys Background Voice Voice
1991 New Jack City Recovering Addict
1991 Paris Trout Mary Sayers
1991 Wedlock Policewoman
1991 The Rape of Doctor Willis Officer Rollins Television film
1991 Grand Canyon Deborah
1992 Bébé's Kids Voice
1993 Doppelganger Voice
1993 The Ernest Green Story Mrs. Green Television film
1993 Born Too Soon Latanya Television film
1994 In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance Jean Television film
1995 Babe Sheep Voice
1996 Divas Geraldine Television film
1995 A Streetcar Named Desire The Neighbor Television film
1996 America's Dream Sarah Television film
Nominated — CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Special or Series
1996 Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story Jackie Joyner-Kersee Television film
1996 After Jimmy Susan Johnson Television film
1996 The Longest Season Employment Counselor Short film
1997 Mandela and de Klerk Winnie Mandela Television film
1997 Cloned Claire Barnes Television film
1998 Letters from a Killer Elizabeth
1998 The Temptations Haze Television film
2000 The Loretta Claiborne Story Rita Claiborne Television film
2000 Panic Dr. Leavitt
2000 The '70s Aunt Olavee Television film
2000 Pay It Forward Principal
2001 A Girl Thing Sharon Television film
2001 Amy's Orgasm Irene Barris
2001 Joe Somebody Cassandra Taylor
2002 Blood Work Detective Jaye Winston
2005 Mystery Woman: Sing Me a Murder Bonnie Television film
2005 Hostage Laura Shoemaker
2005 Urban Legends: Bloody Mary Grace Taylor
2006 Mystery Woman: Redemption Bonnie Television film
2006 Catch and Release Eve
2010-2015 Parenthood Renee Trussell
2010 The Ties That Bind Karen White Short film
2016 Worry Dolls AKA The Devil's Dolls Della


  1. ^ "Tina Lifford shares her circle - Los Angeles Sentinel". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Tina Lifford Biography ((?)-)". Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Fox Looks Inside 'South Central'". latimes. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  5. ^ "`South Central' Dares To Be Realistic". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  6. ^ "South Central - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  7. ^ Tony Scott. "South Central". Variety. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Actress Tina Lifford changing lives with The Inner Fitness Project". Rolling Out. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Crisis Center". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ Denise Petski. "Tina Lifford, Dondré Whitfield Among Four Cast In 'Queen Sugar' - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 16 February 2016.

External linksEdit