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Roxie Roker
Born August 28, 1929(1929-08-28)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Died December 2, 1995 (aged 66)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, Television Personality, News Anchor

Roxie Albertha Roker (August 28, 1929 – December 2, 1995) was an American actress, best known for her groundbreaking role as Helen Willis on the sitcom The Jeffersons, half of one of the first interracial couples to be shown on regular prime time television. She is the mother of musician Lenny Kravitz and the former mother-in-law of actress Lisa Bonet.

Life and career

Roker, a Bahamian American, was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She was a cousin of television news personality Al Roker. She attended Howard University, where she was a member of the drama club and Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She began her professional career with the Negro Ensemble Company and became a successful stage actress. She won an Obie Award in 1974 and was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Mattie Williams in The River Niger.

Roker was a reporter on WNEW-TV in New York in the 1970s. She hosted a public affairs show for the station known as Inside Bed-Stuy, dealing with events in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

She appeared in guest starring roles on many United States television programs from the 1970s through the 1990s, including Punky Brewster, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, A Different World, Murder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, 227, and Beat the Clock. She also had a small role in the television miniseries Roots and in the movie Claudine.

Roker was also a children’s advocate who was cited by the Californian city of Los Angeles for her community work.

Roker was married to television producer Sy Kravitz from 1962 to 1985, and had a son, Lenny Kravitz.

Roker died in Los Angeles on December 2, 1995 of breast cancer at the age of 66.

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