Wednesday's Woman to Woman Salute: Roxie Roker

Every time I see this pic, I just think FOXXY!
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It may be hard to believe, but family sitcoms were causing controversy over 30 years before Modern Family, and "Olitz" is not the first interracial couple to get viewers heated at home. The Jeffersons, first aired on CBS in 1975 as a spin-off of All in the Family. In addition to the comical match up between the characters of Sherman Hemsley and Marla Gibbs, the Willis couple shook up America. Most known for her role as Helen Willis, Roxie Roker was a multi-talented actress that let us all know that it is OK go down a different road.

Roker was stunning and unapologetic as Helen Willis.
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Roker was raised in Brooklyn, New York where she started acting with the Negro Ensemble Company. Concurrently she worked in television as a reporter on WNEW-TV. At age 46, the talented actress received her most notable role on The Jeffersons, where her charater is married to a White Author/Publisher, and the neighbors of George and Louise Jefferson. In a case of art imitating life, Roker was married to Jewish TV producer, Sy Kravitz. Their only son, Lenny Kravitz, went on to reclaim Rock n' Roll as a Black artist, and has acheived great fame in the entertainment industry.
In addition to Roxie Roker's personal and acting accomplishments, she was recognized by the city of Los Angeles for her work as a children’s advocate.

Even though she died of breast cancer in 1995, Roker's brilliant light continues to shine through the work and family she left behind. I could keep writing words, but I'll just share this clip that warmed my heart to no end.

 Yes, Old School Arsenio is everything. :)

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