Regina King distinguished herself as a skilled actress in the 1990s with a number of supporting roles in prominent films. Born and raised in Los Angeles, King first made her mark as a TV actress when she was cast in the sitcom 227 in 1985. During her five seasons on TV, King also played small parts in the Bill Murray comedy Scrooged (1988) and Charles Burnett's domestic drama To Sleep With Anger (1990). After 227 ended in 1990, King moved to films full-time with a role in John Singleton's acclaimed directorial debut Boyz N the Hood (1991). King worked with Singleton again in Poetic Justice (1993) and Higher Learning (1995). Showing her ability with film comedy as well as drama, King appeared in F. Gary Gray's cult-hit comedy Friday (1995) and co-starred opposite Martin Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996).
After drawing attention with her performance as Cuba Gooding Jr.'s wife in the critically praised hit Jerry Maguire (1996), King landed substantial parts in the adaptation of Terry McMillan's How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), the hit action-thriller Enemy of the State (1998), and the family friendly animal adventure Mighty Joe Young (1998). Though her 1999 film Love and Action in Chicago was not nearly as successful as her trio of 1998 movies, King began the new decade with parts in HBO's widely watched telefilm If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) and the Chris Rock romantic comedy Down to Earth (2000). King continued to work steadily in a variety of projects including Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, the family-friendly Eddie Murphy film Daddy Day Care, and the teen comedy A Cinderella Story. King appeared in her most celebrated film to date in 2004 playing Margie Hendrix opposite Jamie Foxx in Ray. She also found steady work in animated efforts including The Ant Bully, and the confrontational television version of the comic strip The Boondocks.
In 2006, King joined the cast of the Fox action drama 24, playing the heretofore unseen sister of slain President David Palmer. The part of a smart, tough advocacy lawyer from a powerful family immediate seemed like a good fit for the actress, whose career was populated with such strong and complex roles.