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Telma Hopkins

Telma Hopkins, 2008
Born Telma Louise Hopkins
October 28, 1948 (1948-10-28) (age 61)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Singer
Years active 1973–present
Spouse(s) Donald B. Allen ?-? (divorced; one son)

Telma Louise Hopkins[1] (born October 28, 1948) is an American singer and television actress. A member of the 1970s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, she later starred in several television sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break!, Family Matters, Getting By, and Half & Half.



She started her career as a background singer in Detroit, Michigan, singing on many of the Golden World/Motown hits and working with stars like Isaac Hayes and George Clinton. In the early '70s, she became one of the members of "Dawn" in the pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, who were famous for hits such as "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" and "Knock Three Times." In 1974, Tony Orlando and Dawn were given their own variety show on CBS, which lasted until 1976. After Tony Orlando and Dawn broke up in 1977, one of Hopkins' first acting roles was in the ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations. Hopkins' acting career took off in the 1980s, when she was a regular on the shows Bosom Buddies (as Isabelle Hammond) and Gimme a Break! (as Nell Carter's best friend and occasional adversary, Addy Wilson). She was also featured on Celebrity Daredevils, Battle of the Network Stars, and Circus of the Stars.

In 1989, she was introduced to another generation as Rachel Crawford on the sitcom Family Matters. She played the role of Rachel Crawford until 1993, when she was given her own show, Getting By. After Getting By was canceled, Hopkins returned to Family Matters as a semi-regular character until 1997.

In 1996, Hopkins was slated to play Bill Cosby's character's wife, Ruth Lucas, in CBS' new TV comedy Cosby. She recorded the pilot but was then replaced by Phylicia Rashad.

From 2002 to 2006, she was featured on the UPN sitcom Half & Half as Phyllis Thorne, the mother of Mona Thorne (Rachel True).

Hopkins recorded A Christmas Reunion with Tony Orlando and Dawn in 2005. She is also the woman who yells "Shut yo' mouth!" on the song "Theme from Shaft."

She played Darren Roanoke's mother in the The Love Guru.

She starred in the play JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman in October 2008.[2]

Also in 2008, Hopkins officially announced her creative partnership, A New Dawn Entertainment with writer-producer Joseph Burton.

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.[3]


Bosom Buddies, as Isabelle Hammond (1980-1982)

Gimme a Break!, as Addy Wilson (1984-1987)

Family Matters, as Rachel Crawford (1989-1993, recurring later)

Getting By, as Delores Dixon (1993)

Half & Half, as Phyllis Thorne (2002-2006)

A New Kind Of Family, as Jess Ashton

Guest starring roles

The Nanny, as Lila Baker (Episode: Fran’s Roots)

The Hughleys, as Paulette Williams (Recurring Role)

Any Day Now, as Judge Wilma Evers (2001)

Psych, as Phyllis Gaffney (2008)

ER as Carlene (Episode: Think Warm Thoughts )


The Wood as Slim's Mother 1999

The Love Guru as Lillian Roanoke 2008

Personal Life

She was married to Donald Allen and had a son with him. They are now divorced. For the past few years, she has been engaged to an actor named Rif Hutton. Hopkins has one son, and her trademark is her hats.


  1. ^ "Telma Hopkins biography". Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ Posted by Karlayne Parker at 11:36 AM (2008-07-27). "". Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  3. ^ "". 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

External links



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