A SISTER’S LOVE: Aliyah Shadeed, portrayed by Regina King, fights for her brother, Carter, who faces a murder rap on “American Crime.” (Credit: ABC)
9. Being Regina King
Regina King portrayed the around-the-way girl we grew up with on “227,” Poetic Justice and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Her characters have checked Ray Charles, made Jerry MaGuire show her family the money and dissected conspiracy theories.
As Aliyah Shadeed on ABC’s ”American Crime,” she had her addicted brother’s back as he faced a murder rap in a powerful, but rare, performance as a Muslim woman on prime-time television. Veiled in a hijab, King exuded her character’s strength through the conviction of her words, her facial expressions and those eyes.
As a result, she attended the 2015 Emmy Awards ceremony for the first time in the best possible way — going home as a winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. Also a Golden Globe nominee, she looks forward to returning to the second season of “American Crime” with the same cast in new roles, which she likens to working in a theatrical group.
King considers it a blessing to have worked consistently over the last three decades in roles ranging from the voices of Riley and Huey Freeman on “The Boondocks” to her current one as Erika Murphy on HBO’s “The Leftovers” — one of two series and many credits in an extra busy year.
Seven years ago, she added directing and producing to her repertoire, which includes shorts, music videos, the BET film Let the Church Say Amen and episodes of “Southland,” “Being Mary Jane” and “Scandal.” One of her projects is The Story of a Village, a documentary focusing on a friend’s efforts to rebuild a school in Sierra Leone.
Fierce and fit, King performs some of her own stunts, dances, runs, hikes with her dog and can still do a cartwheel at 44. But her greatest role, she maintains, is being mom to her 20-year-old son, Ian, who’s away at college. In her Emmy acceptance speech, she praised her mother and 92-year-old grandmother for teaching her “the power and blessing of being a woman.”
— Regina King (@ReginaKing) September 21, 2015