A Los Angeles native, Theresa Randle has studied acting since age 6 but she did not entered Hollywood until her early 20s, making her debut in Amy Holden Jones' comedy/fantasy film starring Ally Sheedy, "Maid to Order" (1987). Since then, she continued to add to her resume with roles in films like "Malcolm X" (1992; as the title role's sweetheart), "Sugar Hill" (1994; as Wesley Snipes' girlfriend), "Beverly Hills Cop III" (1994; as Eddie Murphy's lover), "Bad Boys" (1995; as Martin Lawrence's wife), "Girl 6" (1996; as the title role), "Space Jam" (1996; as Michael Jordan's wife Juanita), "Spawn" (1997; as the title role's wife/widow), and "Bad Boys II" (2003; reprising her role as Martin Lawrence's wife).
On the small screen, she has guest starred in such TV shows as "A Different World," "Seinfeld," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." She recently co-starred as Dr. Cordelia Banks in the Lifetime one-hour drama series "State of Mind" (2007), opposite Lili Taylor.
Los Angeles Native
Childhood and Family:
In South Central, Los Angeles, California, Theresa Randle was born on December 27, 1964. She attended Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, California, with a special program for the exceptionally gifted.
Born in Los Angeles, Theresa Randle began acting at age six under the tutelage of acting coach Diane Hardin. She also started her performing career by studying dance (traditional, modern, jazz) and comedy. In her senior year of college, she earned her first role at the Los Angeles Inner City Cultural Center and was seen in commercials. She also has appeared on the stage, playing roles in such local productions as "In Command of the Children," "Sonata," "6 Parts of Musical Broadway," and "Fight the Good Fight."
In 1987, the aspiring actress landed her film debut, playing a bit part in Amy Holden Jones' comedy/fantasy film starring Ally Sheedy, "Maid to Order" (1987). She followed it up with small roles in Kathryn Bigelow's cult vampire Western film "Near Dark" (1987; starring Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, and Bill Paxton), and David O'Malley's action/comedy "Easy Wheels" (1989; starring Paul Le Mat). She was also spotted as a guest in a November 1989 episode of the NBC sitcom "A Different World."
Entering the 1990s, Randle got busier. She was cast in writer/director James D. Parriott's action, comedy, drama film starring Denzel Washington and Bob Hoskins, "Heart Condition," and in William Friedkin's horror/thriller starring Jenny Seagrove, Dwier Brown and Carey Lowell, "The Guardian." She also appeared in Abel Ferrara's crime/action "King of New York," starring Christopher Walken, Laurence "Larry" Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, Steve Buscemi and Giancarlo Esposito.
Randle continued to add to her resume with roles in "The Five Heartbeats" (1991), Robert Townsend-directed musical drama starring Townsend himself, Michael Wright, Leon Robinson, Harry J. Lennix, Tico Wells, Harold Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers, and Diahann Carroll, and "Jungle Fever" (1991), writer/director Spike Lee's romantic drama starring Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra.
She also could be seen in Spike Lee's biographical drama about the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, "Malcolm X" (1992), in which she portrayed the title role's (played by Denzel Washington) sweetheart, and in "CB4" (1993), Tamra Davis' rockumentary about the rise to fame of the fictional rap group "CB4" members: MC Gusto (portrayed by Chris Rock), Stab Master Arson (played by Deezer D), and Dead Mike (played by Allen Payne), in which she played a savvy reporter named Eve.
In 1994, Randle got her first co-starring role, as Melissa, the girlfriend to Wesley Snipes' Harlem drug dealer character, in Leon Ichaso's crime-drama/Neo-noir "Sugar Hill." Afterwards, she romanced Eddie Murphy in John Landis' comedy action "Beverly Hills Cop III" (1994) and played Martin Lawrence's wife Theresa in Michael Bay's mega-hit comedy action "Bad Boys" (1995). She would later reprise her role in its sequel, "Bad Boys II" (2003).
"One day, shortly after my brother died, my mom told me that Spike [Lee] had called and I was shocked because I hadn't heard from him in a long time. So I called back, and he said that he was going to send me this script. I thought he was joking, but the next day I received a FedEx package from him." Theresa Randle.
Randle reunited with Spike Lee in his comedic drama about a phone sex operator, "Girl 6" (1996), in which she played her first starring role as an aspiring actress in New York caught up in the seductively dark world of phone sex.
About the film, she revealed, "The phone-sex dialogue was extremely realistic. I wanted a lead in a feature film, but I didn't know if I wanted it to be rated X. [laughs] When I called Spike, I told him I thought it had a good format but was kind of racy. He said that it was all going to change, and then he asked me if I wanted to be 'Girl 6.'"
Following her first starring role in film, Randle went on to play Juanita, the wife to basketball icon Michael Jordan, in the manic but barely amusing live-action/animated film "Space Jam" (1996), co-starring with Bugs Bunny (voiced by Billy West) and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters. She also received a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Supporting Actress – Horror for her performance as Wanda Blake, the unsuspecting wife/widow to Al Simmons/Spawn (portrayed by Michael Jai White), in Mark A.Z. Dippé's film adaptation of Todd McFarlane's creator-owned Image comic book, "Spawn" (1997). Meanwhile, she provided her voice in an episode of USA Network animated sitcom "Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man."
The new millennium saw Randle portrayed influential R&B singer/songwriter Natalie Cole, daughter of famed singer Nat "King" Cole (portrayed by James McDaniel), in the biographical TV movie, "Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story" (2000), directed by Robert Townsend. Three years later, she co-starred with Jennifer Esposito in the crime/drama TV movie "Partners and Crime" (2003).
In 2006, Randle starred in two straight-to-video released films: the action-packed "The Hunt for Eagle One," alongside Mark Dacascos and Rutger Hauer, and its sequel, "The Hunt for Eagle One: Crash Point." That same year, she appeared as a guest in two episodes of NBC/USA Network police procedural drama, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," playing A.D.A. Patricia Kent.
Recently, in 2007, TV viewers could catch Randle co-starred as Dr. Cordelia Banks in the Lifetime one-hour drama series "State of Mind," opposite Lili Taylor.
“No, because people still ask me, "What have you done?" and "What's your name again?" Hopefully, when this film comes out people will finally know my name. You know, if it does happen for me, I'm going to try to bring back the days of old.” Theresa Randle (when asked if she feels like a movie star now).