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Erika Alexander
Born November 19, 1969 (1969-11-19) (age 40)
Winslow, Arizona, US
Spouse(s) Tony Puryear (1997-present)

Erika Alexander (born November 19, 1969 in Winslow, Arizona) is an American actress. She is perhaps best known for portraying Maxine Shaw on the popular sitcom Living Single. She has won numerous awards for her contributions to the sitcom including two NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.



Alexander got her big break as Pamela "Cousin Pam" Tucker on the critically-acclaimed NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show. She later starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the 1990 civil rights epic, The Long Walk Home. Perhaps her most memorable role was as acid-tongued attorney, Maxine 'Max' Shaw on the FOX sitcom, Living Single, a role she played for five years.

Erika's role as Pam Tucker brought a fresh spin to The Cosby Show. She played a girl who is sent to live with relatives when her grandmother is taken ill. At first she doesn't feel she fits in due to strict rules, but she soon learns that the rules are out of love. Pam is a simple girl who wants to go to college, but doesn't really have the grades. She is usually with her best friend, the outspoken Charmainne, and Charmainne's boyfriend, Lance.

For a short time she did a TV Series set in Jamaica called "Going to Extremes" in the 1992. This hour-long dramatic comedy featured American medical students undergoing their training on a tropical island.

In 2002, Erika later played a different role in probation officer Dee Mulhern in the Showtime series Street Time. It ran for two seasons and afforded her the opportunity to play a grittier, flawed and layered character.

In international cinema, Ms. Alexander played the role of Hidimbi in Peter Brook's adaptation of The Mahabharata. She also played a young Flora in the TV miniseries Mama Flora's Family.

Her voice is featured on The Bible Experience. She actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton and toured college campuses with Chelsea Clinton, during the 2008 US Democratic Party Primary. She shares her birthday with Living Single co-star TC Carson. She also appeared in Toni Braxton's music video "You're Making Me High."

Personal life

Erika Alexander is married to artist/screenwriter Tony Puryear. Ms. Alexander is one of six children born to Rev. Robert Alexander and school teacher and childrens' book author, Sammie Alexander. Erika also remains a supporter and friend to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Selected Filmography

External links

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