African American model/actress Robin Givens first gained national prominence as a regular on the TV series Head of the Class. From 1986 through 1991, Robin played Darlene Merriman, a prep-school type attending a high school honors program. Though she was but one of an ensemble, Givens's participation in the series was hyped by the network on the occasion of her marriage to boxing champ Mike Tyson. The marriage ended in divorce, after only a few years, amidst accusations of brutality and infidelity. Givens has proven she is not merely an adjunct to Mike Tyson's fame with excellent performances in such TV and movie projects as The Women of Brewster Place (1989) and A Rage in Harlem (1991), and the TV series Courthouse. Givens would remain active on screen over the coming decades, starring on other series, like Sparks, and in movies like Head of State and The Family That Preys.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Took acting classes at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts when she was 10 years old.
- Enrolled as a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College to study medicine at age 15; decided to pursue acting during her junior year.
- Made film debut in 1978 as an extra in The Wiz.
- Debuted on TV in 1985 in a guest-starring role in an episode of the sitcom The Cosby Show.
- Was founder and director of Never Blue Productions in New York City.
- Worked as a model for the Ford Agency in New York.
- Posed nude for Playboy magazine in September of 1994.
- Performed in an off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues in 2000.
- Debuted on Broadway in 2006 in the role of Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago.
- Penned her own memoir in 2007, entitled Grace Will Lead Me Home.