“In Living Color” Star Resurfaces And Has A Totally New Career Added To Her Resume’
Most of us may not know actress, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, by name, but we definitely know her face. She first made her mark in the entertainment game when she had us crackin’ up from her characters on “In Living Color” (1990 to 1994).
She then starred ABC’s “On Own Own,” (which starred the entire popular Smollett family, including Jussie from “Empire” and Jurnee Smollett from “Underground” as well as their siblings). Soon after that, T’Keyah went on to star in Fox’s “The Show,” and Damon Wayans’ animated “Waynehead” for Warner Brothers. Her work also included her role as Bill Cosby’s daughter, “Erica” on CBS’ “Cosby” sitcom (1996- 2000; based on the British show, “One Foot in the Grave”); and then as Raven Symone’s mother in Disney’s “That’s So Raven” (2003- 2005). The acting legend was off the scene for a minute, but she’s now resurfaced, looking just as beautiful as ever and also with a new job title.
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Her New Career
T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh was already known as actor, producer and director, but now at 55 years young, she’s added ‘college instructor’ to her resume.’ She’s now teaching and directing drama students at her alma mater, Florida A&M University (FAMU) and making history at her school while at it:
Via Undefeated- In early August , Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) announced that Keymah will become the university’s first W.K. Kellogg Foundation artist-in-residence in the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities theater program.
“Me being here at FAM was a dream of mine, and I am very excited,” Keymah said. “One of the administrators said, ‘You just seem so happy,’ and I said, ‘Oh, you have no idea. I am so happy.’ She said, ‘I have to take a picture of you smiling before the students get here.’ They’re making such a fuss over it…and it made me think, a lot of working actors went to HBCUs. I’m really hoping that some of my compatriots will join me…they need us to return. They need us to return with our expertise and with our favor.”
Heartbreaking Reason She Had To Step Away From Acting
In a prior interview with MadameNoire, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh explained that the reason she took such a long break from doing what she loved- acting- is because her beloved grandmother, who raised her, needed her more. Her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease just before T’Keyah landed her “That’s So Raven” role, but the amount of time it took to care for her grandmother, caused T’Keyah to finally walk away from Hollywood:
T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh: “I didn’t know anything about Alzheimer’s disease. … I just had no idea what was happening. […] God stepped in, I found wonderful caregivers. They were with me the whole time I was doing the [“That’s So Raven”] show, but my grandmother was getting increasingly worse and it was a bigger and bigger effort to supervise her care and work.
When I started the show, I only agreed to do three seasons and that’s all the network was doing. So when I came to the end of the three seasons…by that point—I mean God bless them. The cast and the crew were just phenomenal and I will always be grateful to them because by that point, my grandmother was so combative that I couldn’t keep a caregiver for her. So I was bringing her to work with me. And [co-stars] Kyle (Massey) and Orlando’s (Brown) mom would watch her in my dressing room while I was on stage. And that just couldn’t go on.
So, when I was done with the third season, I said, ‘Ok, this was all that it was supposed to be.’ And I couldn’t—there was no choice to make, really between work and her. So I chose her and focused on her care. And that became my life until she passed away.”
She’s BACK! Here’s What She’s Doing Now
Years later, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh is pursuing her passion again. She’s currently starring in the Hulu series, “There’s …Johnny,” which is an adaptation of Paul Reiser’s 1970’s comedy. She’s also starring in several roles for independent projects, TV shows, and theatrical plays. At 55, it’s beautiful to see the “In Living Color” veteran out here fulfilling her dreams to the fullest.
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