Essence Atkins was born on February 7, 1972 in New York City, New York, USA as Essence Uhura Atkins. She is an American actress and model. She had her first television acting role at age 13 on a 1986 episode of The Cosby Show, before regular role on the short-lived first African American prime time soap opera, Under One Roof. She played Tahj Mowry‘s on-screen older sister in the Disney series Smart Guy even though she is less than ten years his junior in real life. Atkins is best known for Half & Half (2002), Are We There Yet? (2010) and A Haunted House (2013).
Atkins married Puerto Rican collegiate football free safety Jaime Mendez in 2009. They met Valentine’s Day 2008 through the online dating service Match.com. Her Half and Half co-star Valarie Pettiford performed during the reception. In 2016, she and husband Jamie Mendez have filed for divorce. They have a son together, Varro Blair Mendez.
Family of Essence Atkins
Spouse: Jaime Mendez (m. 2009)
Parents: Sandy Nelson, Jeffery Atkins
Children: Varro Blair Mendez