T'Keyah Crystal
Born Crystal Walker

October 13, 1962 (1962-10-13) (age 48) Chicago, IL, United States

Occupation Actress, director, producer and writer
Years active 1987-present

T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (born Crystal Walker January 13, 1962) is an American actress, writer, director, producer, singer, and comedienne. In addition to her status as an original cast member of the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color, she is perhaps best known for her roles as Erica Lucas on the CBS sitcom Cosby, and as Tanya Baxter on the Disney Channel sitcom That's So Raven.


[hide]*1 Biography

[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Born in Chicago, Illinois,[1] from the age of three, Keymáh enjoyed entertaining her family—singing, dancing, and reciting original poems and stories. She wrote her first play and her first song in elementary school. She performed with Ali LeRoi and Lance Crouther in the Mary Wong Comedy Group in high school before Florida A & M University's School of Business and Industry recruited the National Merit Scholar Champ.[2] During and after college, Keymáh taught theater, dance, and pantomime. She has also done many theater performances and produced and directed films. She was Miss Black America from Illinois and was second in the national Miss Black America contest. She is a National Merit Scholar and a graduate of Florida A & M University.

[edit] Career

One of the original cast members of Fox Television's Emmy winning variety show, In Living Color, where for five seasons she played a number of characters, including Cryssy, the central character of her self written signature piece, "In Black World". She also sang and danced on the show. Keymáh starred for three seasons on the Disney series That's So Raven as Raven's mom, Tanya Baxter. In the fourth season of the show her character was written out by saying she went to England, to continue pursuing her career in law school. Keymáh was also a series regular for for seasons on Cosby, where she played flight attendant turned lawyer turned pastry chef turned wife and teacher Erica Lucas, TV daughter of Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashād. She also starred on The Show, where she played writer Denise Everett, and on On Our Own, where she played contractor Scotti Decker.

T'Keyah is currently an Artistic Associate of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, Inc. located in Jacksonville, FL where she recently performed her hit variety show T'Keyah Live! with Founder Darryl Reuben Hall in the Annual Aurora Jacksonville Black Arts Festival. T'Keyah Live! was performed July 28, 2008 at the Stage Aurora Performance Hall in Gateway Town Center.[3] She is also a Consulting Director of Bronzeville Community Theatre Company in Chicago, IL where she co-wrote and directed the world premier of S.I.S.T.E.R. (Sharing Intimate Secrets, Trials & Errant Reflections) and will direct it there again in May of 2010.

[edit] In Living Color Characters

  • LaShawn
  • Shawanda Harvey, host of Go On Girl
  • Mrs. Buttman (The Buttmans)
  • Hilda Hedley (Hey Mon)
  • Leslie Livingston (Homey the Clown)
  • Cryssy (Black World)

[edit] Impressions

[edit] T'Keyah Live!

T'Keyah Live! is a variety show and is Keymáh’s fourth self-produced theatrical show. The show includes witty repartee, musical numbers, endearing characters, audience participation, impressions, video presentations, jokes and a special guest. She has performed the show since 1999 with a number of different guest performers including Todd Bridges, Terrence C. Carson, Ralph Harris, Dawnn Lewis and Karen Malina White.

[edit] Personal life

Keymáh is an avid gardener and a vegetarian,[4] as well as an active, life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.[5] She is also a professional poet, singer and dancer, and an amateur visual artist.

[edit] Named for Keymah

There is a theater scholarship named for Keymáh at her alma mater, Florida A&M University and a medical scholarship named for her at Meharry Medical College. Associated Black Charities operates the donor advised Keymah Cultural Fund. The Keymah Cultural Fund provides tickets to youth groups for theatrical performances and funds artistic groups that serve or are composed of teens and children.

[edit] Books Published

Keymah is the author of "Some of My Best Friends: A Collection of Characters," the book version of the stage show she performed for ten years, and "Natural Woman / Natural Hair: A Hair Journey - Hairstyles and Hairstories from the Front with Simple, Step-by-Step Instructions on Taking Care of your Natural Hair," an instructional manual on hair with anecdotes on her experiences as one of the first actresses to wear her hair naturally on prime time television.

[edit] Filmography

Year Title Role Other notes
2007–2008 Jury Duty Herself 5 episodes
2005–2006 American Dragon: Jake Long Trixi's Mom and Marsha Brubert 3 episodes
2004–2005 Teen Titans Bumblebee 4 episodes
2004 My Wife and Kids Realtor 1 episode
The Creature of the Sunny Side Up Trailer Park Tonya
2002–2005 That's So Raven Tanya Baxter 54 episodes, seasons 1-3 ("Mother Dearest" - "Food for Thought")
2002–2003 Static Shock Allie/Nails 2 episodes
2001–2003 Batman Beyond Dispatch Operator, Max, Old Lady, Makeba 3 episodes
2001 The Gilded Six Bit Missy Mae
2000 Tweety's High-Flying Adventure Aoogah voice
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Robber Girl, Grandmother Snow Queen episode
1998–1999 Pinky and The Brain Nurse, Singer, Mom and Little Boy 2 episodes
1998 Aloha Parade Host/Herself
NAACP ACT-SO Awards Host
1997–2000 Cosby Erica Lucas 94 episodes
1997 Jackie Brown Raynelle
Soul Train Host 2 episodes
1996 Waynehead Roz, Aki, Shavonne and others 13 episodes (voice)
The Show Denise Everett 9 episodes
1995 On Our Own Scotti Decker 7 episodes
1994–1995 The John Larroquette Show Sarah 2 episodes
1994 The Commish Grace Caldwell 1 episode
1993 Roc Darrelle 1 episode
1992 Quantum Leap Paula 1 episode
1990–1994 In Living Color Cast member 126 episodes
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