Telma Hopkins (born Telma Louise Hopkins, 28 October 1948, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.) is an American singer and television actress.
She started her career as a background singer in Detroit
, singing on many of the Golden World/Motown hits and working with stars like Issac Hayes
. In the early 70s, she became one of the members of "Dawn" in the pop group
, Tony Orlando and Dawn
, who were famous for hits such as "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
" and "Knock Three Times
". In 1974, Tony Orlando and Dawn were given their own variety show on CBS, which lasted until 1976. One of Hopkins' first acting roles after Tony Orlando and Dawn broke up in 1977 was in Roots: The Next Generations
. Hopkins acting career took of in the 1980s, when she was a regular on the shows Bosom Buddies
(as Isabelle Hammond) and Gimme a Break!
(as Nell Carter's best friend, and occasional adversary, Addy Wilson). She was also featured on Celebrity Daredevils
, Battle of the Network Stars
and Circus of the Stars
In 1989, she was introduced to another generation as restaurant owner Rachel Crawford on the sitcom, Family Matters. She played the role until 1993, when she was given her own show, Getting By. After Getting By was cancelled, Hopkins returned to Family Matters as a semi-regular character until 1997.
In 1996, Hopkins was slated to play Bill Cosby's character's wife, Ruth Lucas, in CBS' new TV comedy Cosby. Telma recorded the pilot but was replaced by Phylicia Rashad to recapture the chemistry between Rashad and Cosby from The Cosby Show.
From 2002 to 2006, she was featured on the UPN sitcom Half & Half as Phyllis Thorne, the mother of Mona Thorne (Rachel True).
Hopkins recorded A Christmas Reunion with Tony Orlando and Dawn in 2005. She is also the woman who yells "Shut your mouth!" on the song "Theme from Shaft".
She also plays Darren Roanoke's mother in the movie, The Love Guru. Hopkins has one son, and her trade mark is hats.
Hopkins often volunteers her time helping others. She has worked with Caring For Babies with AIDS, Act on Arthritis, and the PTA. She also mentors children.
She will be starring in the play The Clean Up Woman in October 2008.
as Isabelle Hammond 1980
Gimme a Break! as Addy Wilson 1984-1987
Family Matters as Rachel Crawford 1989-1993 (recurring later)
Half & Half as Phyllis Thorne 2002-2006
Guest starring roles
Any Day Now
as Judge Wilma Evers 2001
Psych as Phyllis Gaffney 2008
The Hughleys as Paulette Williams Recurring Role