Telma Hopkins

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Telma Hopkins
Telma Hopkins By Voelker.jpg
Hopkins, 2008.
Telma Louise Hopkins

(1948-10-28) October 28, 1948 (age 70) [1]
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active1967–present
Donald B. Allen
(m. 1970;div. 1977)

Telma Louise Hopkins (born October 28, 1948) [1] is an American singer and actress. Hopkins rose to prominence as a member of the 1970s pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn, which had several number one songs. [2] She also performed on the CBS variety show Tony Orlando and Dawn from 1974 until 1976 along with Tony Orlando and Joyce Vincent Wilson. In the late 1970s, Hopkins began working as an actress, playing roles on various sitcoms, including Isabelle Hammond on Bosom Buddies (1980–82), Adelaide "Addy" Wilson on Gimme a Break! (1983–87) and Family Matters (1989–1997) as Rachel Baines–Crawford. As lead actress, Hopkins starred on Getting By from 1993 to 1994. In recent years, Hopkins was a regular cast member on Half & Half (2002–06) portraying Phyllis Thorne, Are We There Yet? (2010–13), and short-lived Partners (2014). In film, Hopkins co-starred in 1984 science fiction film Trancers and in its sequels Trancers II (1991) and Trancers III (1992), and well as appearing in The Wood (1999) and The Love Guru (2008).

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Tony Orlando and Dawn band that plays pop music

Tony Orlando and Dawn is an American pop music group that was popular in the 1970s. Their signature hits include "Candida", "Knock Three Times", "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree", "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose", and "He Don't Love You ".

Tony Orlando and Dawn is a television variety show that aired from 1974–1976 on CBS. The show featured the American pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn. The show was entitled The Tony Orlando and Dawn Rainbow Hour during the 1976–1977 television season.




Hopkins (left) with Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1974. Tony Orlando and Dawn 1974.JPG
Hopkins (left) with Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1974.

Hopkins started her career as a background singer in Detroit, Michigan, singing on many of the Golden World and Motown hits and working with legendary acts like The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. She also sang back up for Isaac Hayes and can be heard famously exclaiming "Shut your mouth!" on Hayes' hit song "Theme from Shaft”.[ citation needed ]

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Golden World Records was a record label owned by Ed Wingate and Joanne Bratton. The recording studio was located in Detroit, Michigan, United States, first on 11801 12th Street, and then on 3246 West Davison, within the area of the present-day Davison Freeway. A business office on some of the labels reads 4039 Buena Vista, Joanne's home address. Besides the following discography, the studio's national hits included "Oh How Happy" by Shades of Blue, from Livonia, Michigan, and "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet" by The Reflections. The early, pre-Motown songs by Edwin Starr ("War"), such as "Agent Double-O-Soul", were recorded in the Golden World studio.

In 1971, Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson were recruited by Tony Orlando to form the vocal group Dawn. (Orlando had released the singles "Candida" and "Knock Three Times", recorded with session vocalists Linda November and Toni Wine backing him, under the name Dawn; when the singles charted, Orlando found himself needing to assemble an actual backing group to tour and record with.[ citation needed ] As a recording act, Tony Orlando and Dawn would have much success throughout the second half of the 1970s, releasing 16 top-40 singles, three of which reached #1, and starring in a CBS variety show (entitled Tony Orlando and Dawn) from 1974-76. In 1977, Tony Orlando and Dawn announced their retirement. [2]

Joyce Vincent Wilson is an American singer, most famous as part of the group Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Candida (song) 1970 single by Tony Orlando and Dawn

"Candida" was the first single released by the American pop music group Dawn, with vocals by Tony Orlando, in July 1970. The song, written by Irwin Levine and Toni Wine, was produced by Dave Appell and Hank Medress for Bell Records. Appell and Medress originally recorded another singer on the track, but decided that a different vocal approach would be preferable. Medress then approached Orlando to do the vocals. Orlando had been a professional singer in the early 1960s, but now worked as a music publishing manager for Columbia Records. Although initially worried about losing his job at Columbia, Orlando eventually agreed to lend his voice to the track.

Knock Three Times 1970 single by Tony Orlando and Dawn

"Knock Three Times" is a popular song credited simply to "Dawn". Tony Orlando was not named on the record. The actual singers were Tony Orlando, Toni Wine, and Linda November, prior to the creation of "Dawn" with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson. The song was released as a single, paired with Orlando's other hit song, "Candida". The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1971 and eventually sold six million copies. The song registered well at Adult Contemporary stations, reaching #2 on Billboard's "Easy Listening" survey. Outside the US, "Knock Three Times" also claimed the number-one spot on the UK Singles Chart.

Television and film

In 1979, Hopkins made her acting debut playing Daisy in the ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations . Later that year, she co-starred alongside Eileen Brennan on the short-lived ABC sitcom A New Kind of Family . The following year, she was cast opposite Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in another ABC sitcom, Bosom Buddies . The series was cancelled in 1982 after two seasons. She also guest-starred on The Love Boat , Fantasy Island and The New Odd Couple during early 1980s.[ citation needed ]

<i>Roots: The Next Generations</i> American TV miniseries

Roots: The Next Generations is an American television miniseries, introduced in 1979, continuing, from 1882 to the 1960s, the fictionalized story of the family of Alex Haley and their life in Henning, Lauderdale County, Tennessee, USA. This sequel to the 1977 miniseries is based on the last seven chapters of Haley's novel entitled Roots: The Saga of an American Family plus additional material by Haley.

Eileen Brennan American film, television, musical theatre and stage actress

Verla Eileen Regina Brennan was an American film, stage, and television actress. She made her film debut in the satire Divorce American Style (1967), followed by a supporting role in Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show (1971), which earned her a BAFTA award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

A New Kind of Family is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from September 1979 to January 1980. The series stars Eileen Brennan, Rob Lowe, and Telma Hopkins. It is not to be confused with, nor is it related to, the series Family, which aired concurrently on ABC.

In 1983, Hopkins joined the cast of NBC sitcom Gimme a Break! starring Nell Carter. [3]

<i>Gimme a Break!</i> television series

Gimme a Break! is an American sitcom that aired on NBC for six seasons from October 29, 1981, until May 12, 1987. The series starred Nell Carter as the housekeeper for a widowed police chief and his three daughters.

Nell Carter actress, singer

Nell Carter was an American singer and actress.

She played Adelaide "Addy" Wilson, Nell's childhood friend, until the finale of the series in 1987. In 1989, Hopkins began starring as Rachel Baines-Crawford in the ABC sitcom Family Matters . She left the series after four seasons as a regular cast member, making guest appearances in later years to its last season in 1997. She left Family Matters to star as the co-lead (with Cindy Williams) of the sitcom Getting By which aired for two seasons (one on ABC, the other on NBC) from 1993-94. [4]

<i>Family Matters</i> Television series

Family Matters is an American television sitcom that originated on ABC from September 22, 1989 to May 9, 1997, before moving to CBS from September 19, 1997 to July 17, 1998. A spin-off of Perfect Strangers, the series revolves around the Winslow family, a middle-class African American family living in Chicago, Illinois. Midway through the first season, the show introduced the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel, who quickly became its breakout character and eventually the show's main character. Having run for nine seasons, Family Matters became the second longest-running non-animated U.S. sitcom with a predominantly African-American cast, behind only The Jeffersons (11). Having aired 215 episodes, Family Matters is ranked third, behind only Tyler Perry's House of Payne (254), and The Jeffersons (253).

Cindy Williams American actress

Cynthia Jane "Cindy" Williams is an American actress best known for her role as Shirley Feeney on the television sitcom Laverne & Shirley (1976–1982).

Getting By is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from March 5, 1993, until May 21, 1993, and on NBC from September 21, 1993, until June 18, 1994. The series was created by William Bickley and Michael Warren, who also served as executive producers with Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett. The final Miller-Boyett series to begin its run under parent studio Lorimar Television, Getting By was folded into Warner Bros. Television for its second season, following Warner Bros.' absorption of Lorimar.

Hopkins also has had number of supporting film roles. She played Engineer Ruth "Ruthie" Raines in the science fiction film Trancers (1984) starring Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt, and its sequels Trancers II (1991) and Trancers III (1992).[ citation needed ]

In later years, she appeared as Richard T. Jones' mother in the romantic comedy The Wood (1999), and played Romany Malco's mother in the comedy film The Love Guru (2008). She appeared onstage [ where? ] in JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman in October 2008. [5]

From 2002-06, she starred in the UPN sitcom Half & Half alongside Rachel True, Essence Atkins and Valarie Pettiford. She had the recurring roles on The Hughleys and Any Day Now . From 2010 to 2013, she co-starred alongside Terry Crews and Essence Atkins in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? . [6]

In 2014, she played Martin Lawrence's mother on the FX sitcom Partners . [7] [8] In 2016, she was cast as Jerrika Hinton' mother in the ABC comedy pilot Toast produced by ShondaLand. [9]

Personal life and other work

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, [10] , Hopkins was raised in Highland Park, Michigan. [4] Hopkins has been married once to Donald B. Allen from 1970 until 1977. [4] Together, they have a son. Hopkins often volunteers her time for charitable causes. She has worked with Caring For Babies with AIDS, Act on Arthritis, and the PTA. She also mentors children. [11] Hopkins remains a huge supporter of inspirational radio and granted permission for The Jazz Joy and Roy radio show to use her supportive remarks on the program's promos. Hopkins said to Jazz Joy and Roy, "I was raised by a grandmother who told me I could do whatever I wanted to do, as long as I was willing to work hard for it...."[ citation needed ]



1982 The Kid with the Broken Halo Gail DesautelTelevision film
1984 Trancers Ruth "Ruthie" Raines
1988 Pulse Pounders Ruth "Ruthie" RainesCameo
1990 Vital Signs Dr. Kennan
1990 How to Murder a MillionaireTeresa
1991 Trancers II Ruth "Ruthie" Raines
1992 Trancers III Ruth "Ruthie" Raines
1999 The Wood Slim's Mother
2001 Down to Earth Woman in AudienceCameo
2001RainShort film
2008 The Love Guru Lillian Roanoke
2013 Trancers: City of Lost Angels Ruth "Ruthie" RainesShort film
2015Welcome to the FamilyDeborahTelevision film


1974–1976 Tony Orlando and Dawn Herself
1979 Roots: The Next Generations DaisyMiniseries
1979 Marie K.C. JonesEpisode: "Pilot"
1979–1980 A New Kind of Family Jess AshtonSeries regular, 5 episodes
1980–1982 Bosom Buddies Isabelle HammondSeries regular, 37 episodes
1982–1983 The New Odd Couple FrancesEpisodes: "Frances Moves In" and "Oscar Dates Felix's Frances"
1984 Fantasy Island Doris WilsonEpisode: "Bojangles and the Dancer/Deuces Are Wild"
1979–1985 The Love Boat Various4 episodes
1983–1987 Gimme a Break! Addy WilsonSeries regular, 68 episodes
1988 Amen Charlotte HollowayEpisode: "Wedding Bell Blues"
1989–1997 Family Matters Rachel CrawfordSeries regular, 93 episodes
1993–1994 Getting By Dolores DixonSeries regular, 31 episodes
1995 Women of the House Officer RhodaEpisode: "The Conjugal Cottage"
1997 The Nanny Lila BakerEpisode: "Fran's Roots"
1998 ER CarleneEpisode: "Think Warm Thoughts"
2000 Suddenly Susan DeniseEpisode: "The Reversal"
2001 For Your Love Miss HopeEpisode: "The Next Best Thing"
1999–2001 The Hughleys Paulette Williams5 episodes
2000–2001 Any Day Now Judge Wilma Evers4 episodes
2002–2006 Half & Half Phyllis ThorneSeries regular, 91 episodes
2008 Psych Phylis GaffneyEpisode: "There's Something About Mira"
2010–2013 Are We There Yet? Marilyn PersonsSeries regular, 90 episodes
2013 Getting On Beverly RaymesEpisode: "Born on the Fourth of July"
2014 Partners Ruth JacksonSeries regular, 10 episodes
2012–2014 Lab Rats Grandma Rose3 episodes
2015 K.C. Undercover Miss HolleyEpisode: "Debutante Baller"
2016 2 Broke Girls PilarEpisode: "And the Rom-Commie"
2019 Dead to Me Yolanda3 episodes

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  1. 1 2 McCann, Bob. "Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television". Google Books. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  2. 1 2 Steve Huey. "Dawn". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  3. "Losing Job Was Her Best Break Telma Hopkins Has Made The Switch From Singer To Actress". philly-archives. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "WITH AN EYE ON ... : Telma Hopkins, the accidental actress with a message to tell". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  5. Karlayne Parker (2008-07-27). "". Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  6. "Are We There Yet?". canceled TV shows - TV Series Finale. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
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  8. "EW Community". Retrieved April 13, 2016.
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  11. "". 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2009-07-15.