Half and Half Mona
"Sometimes I wonder why I'm not working at McDonalds and how come I have the life I have. I don't know. But I'm happy that I have these choices. That's kinda sappy, huh? But whatever, acting beats pumping gas." Rachel True.
First appearing on television in early '90s in two episodes of the hit NBC family sitcom "The Cosby Show," attractive biracial actress Rachel True would popular among TV viewers while co-starring with Essence Atkins, playing half-sisters Mona and Dee Dee respectively, in the UPN comedy series "Half and Half" (2002-2006).
On the wide screen, she caught moviegoers' eyes while co-starring as Rochelle, one of the outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft, in "The Craft" (1996), alongside Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, and Neve Campbell. She also has appeared in films like "CB4" (1993), "Embrace of the Vampire" (1995), "Half Baked" (1998), and "The Perfect Holiday" (2007). The 5' 3" actress with African-American and Caucasian ancestry will next be seen in the upcoming films "Noah's Ark: The New Beginning," "Killing of Wendy," and "My Girlfriend's Back."
Childhood and Family:
Born in New York City, New York, on November 15, 1966, Rachel India True grew up in Edinburgh, New York. After her Caucasian father divorced from her African-American mother, her father married actress Verona Barnes. She has a younger half-sister, actress Noel True.
Rachel met actress Neve Campbell on the set of “The Craft” (1996) and they have become best friends and still talk frequently. She is also close friends with comedian/actress Kathy Griffin.
Stepdaughter to an actress, Rachel True developed a love of acting as a child while watching her stepmother performed. She honed in on her craft by participating in different plays during her youth and got her first break in the early 1990s when she was spotted as a guest in two episodes of the hit NBC family sitcom "The Cosby Show."
The newcomer subsequently landed more guest spots in such TV shows as ABC sitcom "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper," the short-lived ABC/NBC sitcom "Getting By," Lorenzo Lamas' action show "Renegade," popular FOX teen soap opera "Beverly Hills, 90210," ABC sitcom "Thea," and Will Smith's critically-acclaimed NBC sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
Meanwhile, she appeared in two made-for-television movies, the comedy "A Girls' Guide to Sex" (1993) and the NBC fact-based crime drama "Moment of Truth: Stalking Back" (1993). She soon moved to Los Angeles and made her first Hollywood film in Tamra Davis-directed musical comedy starring Chris Rock, "CB4" (1993).
From 1994 to 1995, Rachel had a recurring role on the HBO adult sitcom "Dream On." During this time, she guest-starred in an episode of the ABC/CBS family sitcom "Family Matters" and appeared in the dramatic TV movie set in 1964, "A Walton Wedding" (1995). She was also cast alongside Alyssa Milano and Jennifer Tilly in Anne Goursaud's vampire film famous mostly for Milano's very revealing scenes, "Embrace of the Vampire" (1995), playing a role that was meant for a white actress.
Afterwards, Rachel co-starred with Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, and Neve Campbell in "The Craft" (1996), playing Rochelle, one of the outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft. In the next years, from 1997 to 1998, she played recurring role as a neighbor on the ABC long-running sitcom "The Drew Carey Show."
Meanwhile, she had a featured part as the bisexual African-American girlfriend of an alienated UCLA film student (played by James Duval) in Gregg Araki's drama/comedy movie "Nowhere" (1997), co-starred as Dave Chappelle's adamantly anti-drug girlfriend ironically named Mary Jane Potman in Tamra Davis' comedy "Half Baked" (1998), and appeared in Wendell Jon Andersson's independent romantic drama "With or Without You" (1998). She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the short-lived NBC sitcom "Boston Common" and Damon Wayans' sitcom "Damon."
Rachel then played a regular role, as Mali, on the ABC drama series "Once and Again" from 1999 to 2000. During this time, she co-starred with Martin Hynes and Judy Greer in Hynes-written and -directed inie romantic comedy "The Big Split" (1999), alongside Alan Cox in Evan Oppenheimer's satire "The Auteur Theory" (1999), and opposite Mackenzie Firgens, Lola Glaudini, and Denny Kirkwood in Greg Harrison's dramatic film "Groove" (2000).
She also appeared in the made-for-television movies "The Apartment Complex" (1999), a thriller starring Chad Lowe, and "Love Song" (2000), a romantic drama featuring Essence Atkins and Tyrese Gibson. Additionally, Rachel appeared as a guest in an episode of the NBC drama series starring Melina Kanakaredes, "Providence."
After co-starring with Ethan Embry in the film "Who Is A.B.?" (2001) and guest-starring on the WB primetime television drama "Dawson's Creek," Rachel co-starred with Essence Atkins, playing half-sisters Mona and Dee Dee respectively, in the UPN comedy series "Half and Half." The show that was the second most-watched show on UPN on Monday (next to "Girlfriends") ran from September 23, 2002 to May 15, 2006. It earned Rachel an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series in 2006.
During her "Half and Half" stint, Rachel continued to add to her resume with roles in the films "New Best Friend" (2002), Zoe Clarke-Williams' low-budget movie based on a story by author James Edwards and featuring Mia Kirshner, Meredith Monroe, and Dominique Swain, and "Pink Eye" (2006), Brinton Bryan's 10-minute short comedy starring Ryan Alosio. In 2007, she supported Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, and Terrence Howard in Queen Latifah-produced comedy movie "The Perfect Holiday."
Rachel will soon complete her upcoming films, "Noah's Ark: The New Beginning," an animated film featuring an ensemble voice cast that include Michael Keaton, Elliott Gould, and Ben Kingsley, and "Killing of Wendy," a comedy by David Hickson starring Vanessa Bell Calloway. She is currently filming writer/director Mandel Holland's upcoming comedy movie, "My Girlfriend's Back," in which she will star opposite CCH Pounder.
"As far as developing a career as an actress, I think it's a fine balance between trying to just work, and also be true to yourself." Rachel True.