Bianca Lawson

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Bianca Lawson
Bianca Lawson publicity shot.jpg
BornBianca Jasmine Lawson
(1979-03-20) March 20, 1979 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education Stella Adler Studio of Acting
Marymount High School
Alma mater University of Southern California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988–present
Parent(s) Richard Lawson
Denise Gordy
Family Gordy

Bianca Jasmine Lawson (born March 20, 1979) is an American film and television actress. She is perhaps best known for her regular roles in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class , Goode Behavior , Pretty Little Liars , and Rogue . She has also had recurring roles in the series Sister, Sister , Buffy the Vampire Slayer , The Steve Harvey Show , Dawson's Creek , The Secret Life of the American Teenager , The Vampire Diaries , Teen Wolf , and Witches of East End . In 2016, Lawson began starring in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar .

<i>Saved by the Bell: The New Class</i> television series

Saved by the Bell: The New Class is a spin-off of the Saved by the Bell series that ran from September 11, 1993 to January 8, 2000. The series lasted for seven seasons on NBC as a part of the network's TNBC Saturday morning line-up. It was the fourth and, at seven seasons, the longest-running and final incarnation of the franchise.

<i>Rogue</i> (TV series) TV series

Rogue is a police drama television series starring Thandie Newton. Though set in Northern California, the series is filmed in Vancouver. A Canadian-British co-production, the series was co-commissioned by DirecTV's Audience network, and the Canadian premium services The Movie Network and Movie Central.

<i>Sister, Sister</i> (TV series) television series

Sister, Sister is an American television sitcom starring identical twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. It premiered on April 1, 1994, and concluded after airing six seasons on May 23, 1999. The premise of the show was that the girls were separated and adopted at birth. One was adopted by a single mother while the other was adopted by a couple, although the mother died a short time later. The two accidentally found each other fourteen years later and reunited.


Early life

Lawson was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Denise (née Gordy) and actor Richard Lawson, making her the step-daughter to Lawson's second wife Tina Knowles, and step-sister to singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. [1] Lawson is also the great-niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy. [2] She attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and graduated from Marymount High School, a Catholic school in Los Angeles. She then went on to study film and psychology at University of Southern California. [3] Lawson's parents are both African-American, and she also has Italian, Native American, Portuguese, and Creole ancestry. [4]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Denise Georgette Gordy is an American former film and television actress.


Lawson began acting at the age of nine, having appeared in commercials for Barbie and Revlon. In 1993, she was cast in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class as series regular Megan Jones. She appeared in multiple episodes of The WB sitcoms Sister, Sister as Rhonda Coley and The Steve Harvey Show as Rosalind. In 1996, she co-starred in the UPN sitcom Goode Behavior—which lasted for just one season—as Bianca Goode, the teenage daughter of the titular family. In 1997, she appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as vampire slayer Kendra Young. In 1999, she appeared in The WB's Dawson's Creek as rival character Nikki Green.

Television advertisement Paid commercial segment on television

A television advertisement is a span of television programming produced and paid for by an organization. It conveys a message, aimed to market a product or service. Advertisers and marketeers may refer to television commercials as TVCs.

Barbie fashion doll brand manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc.

Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

Revlon, Inc. is an American multinational cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, and personal care company founded in 1932 and based in New York City.

In 2009, Lawson was cast as Shawna in The Secret Life of the American Teenager . That same year, she was cast in the CW television series The Vampire Diaries , as witch Emily Bennett. In December 2009, she was cast as Maya St. Germain in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars , based on the book series by Sara Shepard. [5] She appeared in that show from June 2010 through August 2012. Since 2012, she has had a recurring role as Ms. Morell in the MTV television series Teen Wolf , based on the original film from 1985. In 2014, Lawson had a recurring role as Eva in Witches of East End . In 2015, she was cast as series regular Talia Freeman in season three of Rogue .

<i>The Secret Life of the American Teenager</i> television series

The Secret Life of the American Teenager is an American teen drama television series created by Brenda Hampton. The series aired on ABC Family from July 1, 2008, until June 3, 2013.

<i>The Vampire Diaries</i> American television series

The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural teen drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW on September 10, 2009, and concluded on March 10, 2017, airing 171 episodes over eight seasons.

<i>Pretty Little Liars</i> (book series) series of books by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars is a series of young adult novels by Sara Shepard. Beginning with 2006's initial novel of the same name, the series follows the lives of four girls – Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, Aria Montgomery and Emily Fields.

Lawson has made appearances in two different television miniseries. In 1998, she appeared in The Temptations as Diana Ross (whom Lawson is related to through Ross's daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick); and in 2001, she was cast as Anna Bella Monroe in Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints .

<i>The Temptations</i> (miniseries) 1998 television miniseries about Motown band The Temptations directed by Allan Arkush

The Temptations is a four-hour television miniseries broadcast in two-hour halves on NBC, based upon the history of one of Motown's longest-lived acts, The Temptations. Executive produced by former Motown executive Suzanne de Passe, produced by Otis Williams and Temptations manager Shelley Berger, and based upon Williams’ Temptations autobiography, the miniseries was originally broadcast on November 1 and November 2, 1998. It was filmed on location in Pittsburgh, PA in the spring of 1998. Allan Arkush directed the miniseries.

Diana Ross American vocalist, music artist and actress

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown's most successful act, and are the best charting girl group in US history, as well as one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number-one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Child", and "Someday We'll Be Together".

Rhonda Ross is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and public speaker. She is the daughter of singer/actress Diana Ross. She was born in Los Angeles and raised by Ross and her first husband, Robert Ellis Silberstein. Her biological father is Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.

Some of Lawson's film credits to date include Primary Colors (1998), Save the Last Dance (2001), Bones (2001) and Breakin' All the Rules (2004).

<i>Primary Colors</i> (film) 1998 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols

Primary Colors is a 1998 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Elaine May was adapted from the novel Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics, a roman à clef about Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, which was originally published anonymously, but in 1996 was revealed to have been written by journalist Joe Klein, who had been covering Clinton's campaign for Newsweek. The film starred John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney, Larry Hagman and Adrian Lester.

<i>Save the Last Dance</i> 2001 film by Thomas Carter

Save the Last Dance is a 2001 American teen dance film produced by MTV Productions, directed by Thomas Carter and released by Paramount Pictures on January 12, 2001. The film stars Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas as a teenage interracial couple in Chicago who work together to help the main character, played by Stiles, train for a dance audition. A direct-to-video sequel, Save the Last Dance 2, was released in 2006.

<i>Bones</i> (2001 film) 2001 American horror film by Ernest Dickerson

Bones is a 2001 American horror film directed by Ernest Dickerson and starring rapper Snoop Dogg as the eponymous Jimmy Bones, a murdered gangster that rises from the grave to avenge his death. The movie is an homage to blaxploitation films of the 1970s and incorporates numerous elements from the genre.

Aside from film and television, Lawson provided her voice to the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic .

In 2016, Lawson was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar created by Ava DuVernay. [6]



1998Twice the FearGirlfriendDirect-to-video
Primary Colors Loretta
2000Big Monster on CampusDarien StompanatoDirect-to-video
2001 Save the Last Dance Nikki
Bones Cynthia
2003 Jeepers Creepers 2 (uncredited)
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Helen Sharp
Dead & Breakfast Kate
The Pavilion MaryDirect-to-video
2005Flip the ScriptAngelDirect-to-video
2006 Broken MiaIndependent film
National Lampoon's Pledge This! MoniqueDirect-to-video
2007 Supergator Carla MastersDirect-to-video
2009The Killing of WendyBrookeIndependent film


1993–94 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan JonesMain role (seasons 1–2); 39 episodes
1994 What'z Up? HerselfCo-host
My So-Called Life Third Bathroom GirlEpisode: "Pilot"
1995 Me and the Boys GirlEpisode: "The Age of Reason"
In the House RachelEpisode: "The Final Cut"
Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan JonesArchive footage: "Screech's Dream" (#3.19)
1995–96 Sister, Sister Rhonda ColeyRecurring role; 7 episodes
1996–97 Goode Behavior Bianca GoodeRegular role; 22 episodes
1997–99 Smart Guy Shirley/Tracy2 episodes
1997 The Parent 'Hood Jasmine2 episodes
1997–98 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kendra Young 3 episodes
1998 Silk Stalkings ReneeEpisode: "Rage"
The Steve Harvey Show Rosalind3 episodes
The Temptations Diana Ross Television mini-series
1999–2000 Dawson's Creek Nikki Green4 episodes
2001 Strong Medicine Esperenza MaldonaldoEpisode: "Control Group"
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn HerselfGuest
The Feast of All Saints Anna Bella MonroeTelevision mini-series
2002 For the People Asia PortmanEpisode: "Textbook Perfect"
Haunted Brandi CombsEpisode: "Blind Witness"
2003 Loose Lips HerselfTelevision series documentary
2004 The Division Marilynn ResiserEpisode: "Play Ball"
The Big House AngelaEpisode: "Almost Touched by an Angel"
Fearless Harmony KayeUnsold Television pilot
2006 Living in TV Land HerselfEpisode: "Sherman Hemsley"
2008 The Cleaner Jeannie2 episodes
2009 Bones AlbieEpisode: "Fire in the Ice"
The Secret Life of the American Teenager ShawnaRecurring role; 6 episodes
Sorority Wars (uncredited)[ citation needed ]Television film
2009–14 The Vampire Diaries Emily Bennett Recurring role; 6 episodes
2010–12 Pretty Little Liars Maya St. Germain Main role (season 1); 22 episodes
2010 Nikita Emily RobinsonEpisode: "The Guardian"
2011 American Horror Story AbbyEpisode: "Pilot"
HeavenlySasha GrantTelevision film
2012–14 Teen Wolf Marin MorrellRecurring role; 12 episodes
2012 Beauty & the Beast LaffertyEpisode: "Trapped"
All About Christmas EveLilaTelevision film
2 Broke Girls StacyEpisode: "And the Silent Partner"
2013 Good Day L.A. HerselfGuest
2014House of SecretsJulieTelevision film
Wolf Watch HerselfGuest
Witches of East End Eva/SelinaRecurring role; 10 episodes
Pretty Little Liars: We Love You to DeAth HerselfTelevision special
2015 Chicago P.D. Kylie RosalesEpisode: "We Don't Work Together Anymore"
Rogue Talia FreemanMain role (season 3); 10 episodes
2016present Queen Sugar DarlaSeries regular

Video games

2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic (voice)Provided additional voices

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  1. Webber, Stephanie (2015-04-14). "Beyonce's New Stepsister Bianca Lawson Is Famous, Too: Details! - Us Weekly". Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  2. Bianca Lawson Biography (1979-), Film Reference
  3. Bianca Lawson's bio Archived June 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine . at ABC
  4. Exclusive Bianca Lawson Interview at Facebook
  5. "ABC Family Announces Additional Casting for its Upcoming Pilots "Melissa & Joey," "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project" and "Pretty Little Liars."" (PDF). ABC Family Press Release. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  6. Denise Petski. "'Queen Sugar' Adds Bianca Lawson, Greg Vaughan & Henry G. Sanders - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 23 February 2016.