Dedicated film buffs will remember Tichina Arnold as Crystal, one of the three black girls who perform R&B numbers as a Greek chorus, in Frank Oz's imaginative movie musical Little Shop of Horrors (1986). Arnold was only 15 at the time; her career continued steadily after that, with a role or two almost every year. Though the actress' cinematic efforts -- such as How I Got Into College (1989) and the Paul Mazursky/Woody Allen collaboration Scenes from a Mall (1990) -- were typically disappointing, she delighted fans with her neat comic turn as Pam James (opposite Little Shop collaborator Tisha Campbell) in the Martin Lawrence sitcom Martin (1992-1997), and -- on a similar note -- waxed hilarious as housewife and mother Rochelle on the nostalgic Chris Rock sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (premiering in 2005). In 2007, Arnold reunited with Lawrence (as his "straight man" wife) in the big screen road comedy/buddy film Wild Hogs. She next took a decidedly serious turn, playing the lead in the period drama The Lena Baker Story, about the first woman to be executed via the electric chair in Georgia. Arnold continued to make guest appearances on shows like Raising Hope and Hit the Floor, and took a main role on Happily Divorced, beginning in 2011. In 2014, she had a small role in Top Five.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- She and her Martin costar Tisha Campbell played two of a trio of singing narrators in the 1986 film version of the musical Little Shop of Horrors.
- Received a 1988 Daytime Emmy nomination (Outstanding Younger Actress) for her role on Ryan's Hope.
- Won a 1996 NAACP Image Award for Martin.
- Has performed the National Anthem at various sporting events.
- Launched China Moon Rags, a line of upscale, jewel-encrusted bandannas.
- Toured in the lead role of the musical hit If These Hips Could Talk in 2004.
- Appeared in the Encores! production of The Wiz in 2009 as Evillene, the Wicked Witch, opposite Ashanti and Orlando Jones.