Mara Brock Akil created the popular comedy series ‘Girlfriends’ with her vision to introduce to the world four friends who live and love in Los Angeles. The funny and relatable characters got the world hooked to their candid, daily lives. The show navigated the careers and relationships of these four colored women in their 20s and 30s. Interestingly, its focus never shifts to their dating lives but on the bond shared between Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross) and her close friends Toni Childs (Jill Marie Jones), Maya Wilkes (Golden Brooks), and Lynn Searcy (Persia White). As the famous American sitcom is now streaming on Netflix after almost 20 years, the original viewers are nostalgic and they, along with the new audience binge-watching the show in 2020, are curious to know what the star-cast has been up to!
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross plays the protagonist Joan Carol Clayton, an accomplished lawyer who is always on the lookout for a meaningful commitment and goes slightly crazy trying to venture into new experiences. Since the show’s wrap-up in 2008, Ross has played significant roles in ‘CSI’, ‘Reed Between the Lines’, and ‘Bad Girls’ (pilot episode). She has come a long way from her breakthrough performance in ‘Girlfriends’ and has become a mainstream actress after being cast in the ABC sitcom ‘Black-ish’, in which she plays the female lead opposite Anthony Anderson. She has been awarded the 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, for her excellent performance in this show.
Ross embraces her quirky curls and promotes the same through her brand, Pattern Beauty, a hair-care line for curly hair. Despite living under the spotlight for over two decades, she does not let the media pry into her private life. The 47-year-old actress has remained unmarried and is reportedly dating ‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris.
Golden Brooks’ character as Maya Denise Wilkes undergoes a substantial development by the end of the series. She starts as a sassy and sharp-tongued assistant at Joan’s law firm and matures into a self-help author and a responsible wife and mother. Brooks has taken her career to the next level by acting in independent films like ‘The Inheritance’. She also plays one of the five central characters in TV One’s reality series ‘Hollywood Divas’. Playing the role of the lead’s mother in the TNT drama series ‘I Am The Night’ has won her immense critical acclaim. Mother to Dakota Tao Brooks-Woodside, she shares her daughter with her ex-boyfriend D.B. Woodside. The proud mother often shares cute Tik-Tok videos that are shot by and feature Dakota on her social media accounts.
With the backstory of living with Joan for eight years before the start of the series in 2000, Persia White plays the over-qualified Lynn Ann Searcy who holds five post-graduation degrees. Often described as the bohemian of the group, Lynn journeys, within and without, to learn and accept her true identity. The American actress in a way lives the story of the show as she has become a solo singer after her debut album ‘Mecca’ in 2009. But Persia is so much more than that! Her acting career has flourished after her impeccable performance in ‘Red Letters’, ‘Breaker High’, and ‘Dysfunctional Friends’ for which she has received the Best Performance by an Actor Award in the American Black Film Festival. In addition to her acting career, she is also a human and animal rights advocate and environmentalist. Her recurring role in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ brought her to her husband Joseph Morgan, whom she married on July 5, 2014. Persia also has a daughter, Mecca Morgan, from her previous relationship with Joseph Morgan.
Jill Marie Jones
Jill Marie Jones plays the selfish and popular Antoinette “Toni” Marie Childs-Garrett who leaves LA after getting into an altercation with Joan, her childhood friend. Her character ends in the 6th season. Jill is an American actress who appears as Amanda Fisher in the famous horror-comedy show ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ by Starz. Formerly a professional dancer and cheerleader, she has been the female lead in movies like ‘Universal Remote’ and ‘Redrum’. She has also played supporting roles in ‘Lethal Weapon’ by Shane Black and ‘Marshall’, a legal drama. Currently, she is starring and producing Urban Movie Channel drama series ‘Monogamy’. The famous ‘Girlfriends’ star got replaced by Keesha Sharp for its last two seasons.