First appearing on television on NBC hit show “The Cosby Show” in 1989 and 1990, Malinda Williams played recurring roles in such shows as “Sister, Sister” and “Moesha” before eventually landed her most popular role to date, as Tracy 'Bird' Van Adams (2000-2004) on Showtime popular drama series "Soul Food," a spin-off of the popular hit film. She recently appeared on the pilot episode and The Getaway episode of NBC drama series "Windfall" (2006), playing Kimberly George.
Meanwhile, moviegoers could catch Williams in Sunset Park (1996), High School High (1996), The Wood (1999), Dancing in September (2000) and Idlewild (2006). Next, she will be seen in the upcoming films Daddy's Little Girls, a romantic comedy by Tyler Perry, and A Day in the Life, a musical by Sticky Fingaz.
Besides acting, the actress who appeared in G Unit's Young Buck music video “Shorty Wanna Ride” in 2004 has started her own lingerie line, Modern Goddess.
New Jersey Girl
Childhood and Family:
In Elizabeth, New Jersey, Malinda Williams was born on December 3, 1975. In 1999, she married actor Mekhi Phifer (born December 29, 1974) and they have a son together, Omikaye. Williams and Phifer divorced in 2003.
A student at The Actor's Conservatory in New York City, Malinda Williams first appeared on television as a guest on NBC massive hit show “The Cosby Show” in 1987, and returned with a different role in 1990. Afterward, she was spotted as a guest in a January 1990 episode of NBC popular crime drama "Miami Vice" and played Michelle on TBS animated edutainment "Captain Planet and the Planeteers." In 1993, she appeared on an episode of NBC sitcom "The John Larroquette Show" and Fox’s sitcom “Roc.” She was also in the TV movie Laurel Avenue.
Williams played Tyra on ABC sitcom "Sister, Sister" in 1994-1995. During that time, she gave guest performances on Fox's short-lived comedy sitcom "South Central," ABC teen drama "My So-Called Life" and the short-lived thriller series based on the book by John Grisham, "The Client." She also appeared in a one-hour TV movie called What About Your Friends.
1996 saw Williams playing Taylor in several episodes of UPN sitcom starring R&B singer Brandy, "Moesha." Meanwhile, moviegoers could catch her in Martin Lawrence's box-office hit romantic comedy A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Steve Gomer's basket ball drama Sunset Park (starring Rhea Perlman and Fredro Starr) and Hart Bochner's highschool comedy movie High School High (starring Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere, Mekhi Phifer and Louise Fletcher). She was also spotted as a guest in December 1996 episode of ABC cop drama "NYPD Blue."
While playing Tasha Morrison (1997-1998) on the WB sitcom "Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher," Williams appeared in Gina Prince-Bythewood's 4-minute film starring Bob Sherer, Damn Whitey, and guest starred in a January 1997 episode of ABC show "Dangerous Minds." She then spent the year 1999 in the short-lived series "Outreach" and co-starred with future husband Mekhi Phifer in writer-director Timothy Wayne Folsome's erotic thriller An Invited Guest. She also starred as Alicia, Omar Epps' first sweetheart, in the MTV film distributed by Paramount, The Wood, which earned her a Black Reel award nomination for Theatrical - Best Actress.
From 2000 to 2004, Williams became a regular on Showtime popular drama series "Soul Food," inspired by the hit 1997 film of the same title. The show, which also stars Nicole Ari Parker and Vanessa A. Williams, Malinda Williams played Tracy "Bird" Van Adams, a role which handed her three times nominations at the Image awards for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.
During her "Soul Food" years, Williams also appeared in Reggie Rock Bythewood's drama Dancing in September (2000; with Nicole Ari Parker, Isaiah Washington and Marcia Cross) and guest starred in an episode of the brief-running comedy show "Movie Stars," UPN sitcom "Half & Half," NBC cop drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and in two episodes of CBS crime drama "The District." She also appeared in G Unit's Young Buck music video “Shorty Wanna Ride” as his love interest in 2004.
After appearing in Tamara LaSeon Bass' 19-minute drama Exposure (2005; with Morocco Omari and Terri J. Vaughn), Williams landed a supporting role as Zora, the wife of Antwan A. Patton's character, in writer-director Bryan Barber's musical drama set in the Prohibition-era American South starring the members of hip-hop group OutKast, Idlewild (2006), based on the city with the same name in Michigan. She also appeared on the pilot episode and The Getaway episode of NBC drama series "Windfall," playing Kimberly George.
Williams will soon complete her upcoming films: writer-director Tyler Perry's romantic comedy Daddy's Little Girls (with Gabrielle Union, Avant and Louis Gossett Jr.) and Sticky Fingaz' musical A Day in the Life. While busy acting, Williams is also dedicated her time running her lingerie line, Modern Goddess, which she started in 2005.