Tina Lifford

Last updated
Tina Lifford
Tina Lifford 2019.jpg
Lifford in 2019
Occupation(s)Actress, author, playwright
Years active1983–present
Website www.tinalifford.com

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 .


Life and career

Tina Lifford 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). [2] 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). [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] In addition to her leading role on South Central , Lifford was regular cast member on the short-lived NBC drama, Crisis Center (1997). [8] 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. [2]

Over her career, Lifford has guest-starred 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 has also had 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 played the role of Violet Bordelon, the aunt to the Bordelon siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner). Violet was a spunky woman involved in a long-term relationship with a younger man (played by Omar Dorsey). [9] For her performance, Lifford received two NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, as well as Black Reel Awards nomination. [10] [11]



1984Why Me?-TV movie
1986 The Ladies Club Patty
1987 Jaws: The Revenge Additional Voices
Nuts Lawyer #2
1988 Colors Mrs. Craig
Casual Sex? Additional Voices
1989 The Fabulous Baker Boys Background Voice
1991 New Jack City Recovering Addict
Paris Trout Mary Sayers
Wedlock Policewoman
The Rape of Doctor WillisOfficer RollinsTV movie
Grand Canyon Deborah
1992 Bébé's Kids Additional Voices
1993 The Ernest Green Story Mrs. GreenTV movie
Doppelganger Additional Voices
Born Too SoonLatanyaTV movie
1994In the Line of Duty: The Price of VengeanceJeanTV movie
1995 Babe Sheep (voice)
DivasGeraldineTV movie
A Streetcar Named Desire The NeighborTV movie
1996 America's Dream SarahTV movie
Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story Jackie Joyner-Kersee TV movie
After Jimmy Susan JohnsonTV movie
The Longest SeasonEmployment CounselorShort
1997 Mandela and de Klerk Winnie Mandela TV movie
ClonedClaire BarnesTV movie
1998 Letters from a Killer Elizabeth
The Temptations HazeTV movie
2000 Panic Dr. Leavitt
The '70sAunt OlaveeTV movie
Pay It Forward Principal
2001A Girl ThingSharonTV movie
Amy's Orgasm Irene Barris
Joe Somebody Cassandra Taylor
2002 Blood Work Detective Jaye Winston
2005 Hostage Laura Shoemaker
Urban Legends: Bloody Mary Grace TaylorVideo
2006 Catch and Release Eve
2010The Ties That BindKaren WhiteShort
2016 The Devil's Dolls Della
2017A Gift to RememberMrs. HenleyTV movie
2019Cherished Memories: A Gift to Remember 2Mrs. HenleyTV movie
2021A Holiday in HarlemMama BelleTV movie
2024 We Strangers Willie MartinCompleted


1983 Hill Street Blues StenographerEpisode: "Death by Kiki"
1983-88 Knots Landing TinaGuest: season 4 & 6 & 9, recurring cast: season 7-8
1984 Cagney & Lacey Precinct OfficerEpisode: "The Bounty Hunter"
1984-85 T.J. Hooker Lorraine/NurseEpisode: "Hooker's Run" & "The Assassin"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Leora CargillEpisode: "Tough Guys Don't Die"
1986 Amen RuthEpisode: "Maitre D'eacon"
1987 Perfect Strangers Mrs. CooperEpisode: "Dog Gone Blues"
It's Garry Shandling's Show Nurse HelenEpisode: "Pete Has an Affair"
Jake and the Fatman -Episode: "Fatal Attraction"
Days of Our Lives Dora/Nurse AudreyEpisode: "Episode #1.5424" & "Episode #1.5601"
Frank's Place Ray's WifeEpisode: "Season's Greetings"
1988 Simon & Simon Elissa ByersEpisodes: "Love Song of Abigail Marsh" & "Shadows"
1989 Tour of Duty Nurse PritchardEpisode: "Doc Hock"
1990 Hunter Frankie MasonEpisode: "Unacceptable Loss"
1991 True Colors RuthEpisode: "A Moment of Ruth"
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Mrs. HooverEpisode: "The Mother of All Battles"
Beverly Hills, 90210 Felicity AsheEpisode: "Ashes to Ashes"
1993 Love & War Dee Dee BurnetteEpisode: "Valentine's Day"
Life Goes On Admitting NurseEpisode: "Five to Midnight
L.A. Law Faith GlassmanEpisodes: "Pacific Rimshot" & "Safe Sex"
1994 South Central Joan MoselyMain cast
1995 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine LeeEpisodes: "Past Tense: Part I & Part II"
Courthouse Holly BakerEpisode: "Conflict of Interest"
1995-96 American Gothic Loris HoltRecurring cast
1997 Crisis Center Tess RobinsonMain cast
Gun SallyEpisode: "All the President's Women"
1998 Touched by an Angel SisEpisode: "Doodlebugs"
The Practice Mrs. JohnsonEpisode: "Trees in the Forest"
Martial Law Halle WinshipEpisode: "How Sammo Got His Groove Back"
JAG Juanita ResslerEpisode: "Act of Terror"
1999-2001 Family Law Judge Alice KingstonRecurring cast
2000 Any Day Now Savannah DakarEpisode: "Homegirl"
The Wonderful World of Disney Rita ClaiborneEpisode: "The Loretta Claiborne Story"
NYPD Blue Lorraine WigginsEpisode: "Brothers Under Arms"
That's Life -Episode: "Pilot"
JAG Juanita ResslerEpisode: "JAG TV"
2001 Judging Amy Ms. ArroyoEpisode: "Darkness for Light"
Strong Medicine Brenda BabsonEpisode: "Bloodwork"
2003 For the People -Episode: "Power Play"
Karen Sisco Anya DevlinEpisode: "Blown Away"
The Lyon's Den Halle BergerEpisode: "Hubris"
2004 Threat Matrix The Female PathologistEpisode: "PPX"
2004-05 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Judge WitherspoonRecurring cast: season 5, guest: season 6
2005 NCIS Dr. Pamela FoxEpisode: "Witness"
ER Evelyn PrattRecurring cast: Season 12
2006 Mystery Woman BonnieEpisode: "Sing Me a Murder" & "Redemption"
Heroes Paulette HawkinsEpisode: "Chapter Three 'One Giant Leap'"
2007-09 Lincoln Heights Dorothy HammondRecurring cast: season 2-4
2008 In Plain Sight Denise McBride / Denise MorrisEpisode: "Iris Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
Cold Case Phoebe Curtis '08Episode: "Triple Threat"
2009 Nip/Tuck Warden DeMarcoRecurring cast: Season 6
2010 Criminal Minds NoraEpisode: "...A Thousand Words"
2010-15 Parenthood Renee TrussellGuest: season 1 & 3, 5-6, recurring cast: season 2 & 4
2011 The Protector -Episode: "Class"
Friends with Benefits MarshaEpisode: "The Benefit of Forgetting"
2012 Drop Dead Diva Judge Nora LaffordEpisode: "Welcome Back"
Single Ladies Evelyn LancasterRecurring cast: season 2
2015 Minority Report Lily VegaRecurring cast
2015-17 Scandal CIA Director LowryRecurring cast: season 4 & 6
2016 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Brenda WillisEpisode: "Denial"
2016-22 Queen Sugar Violet BordelonMain cast
2020 The Rookie Warden MillerEpisode: "Under the Gun"
Filthy Rich MoniqueRecurring cast

Awards and nominations

1996 CableACE Awards CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Special or Series "America's Dream"Nominated
2018 NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series "Queen Sugar"Nominated
2019 Black Reel Awards Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama Series "Queen Sugar"Nominated
2020 NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series "Queen Sugar"Nominated

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  11. "NAACP's Image Awards List of Winners: Lizzo, 'Just Mercy,' 'black-ish-". February 23, 2020.