On this day in comedy on June 7, 1961 Comedienne, Actress, Kym Elizabeth Whitley was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
A former personal assistant to Arsenio Hall, Whitley merged into comedy without having to sleep on another comic’s couch or futon. She got a huge break when she toured with the stage play, Beauty Shop by Shelly Garrett in 1989. In the early 90s she hit the TV circuit and guest starred her way around the channels. Whitley appeared in Vinny and Bobby, The Parent ‘Hood, Martin, Married . . . with Children, The Wayans Bros., Moesha, That’s So Raven, Arli$$ and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She was a regular on Sparks, Black Dynamite, Animal Practice and Young and Hungry and had recurring roles on My Brother and Me, The Parkers, Let’s Stay Together and The Boondocks.
Kym Whitley got into films in 1999 in Beverly Hood. Once in she had a succession of film roles in Next Friday (where off-camera Ice Cube tricked her with real liquor in a scene and not the usual ice tea), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, House Party 4, Baby Boy, Deliver Us from Eva, Love Chronicles, Along Came Polly, The Perfect Man, Fun with Dick & Jane, College Road Trip, I Love You, Man, Rango, Transformers, We Bought a Zoo and many more.
Whitley was the co-host of the early precursor female panel discussion shows, Oh, Drama on BET. She co-hosted the talk show, The Brian McKnight Show in 2010 and in 2013 she got her own reality show, Raising Whitley on Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN.
A civic minded individual, Whitley used her celebrity to raise public awareness on childhood food allergies. She co-created the T-shirt, “Don’t Feed Me” for children to wear to alert caregivers of the needs of that specific child. The foods they’re allergic to are printed on their shirt.
In 2004 Kym Whitley was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress (Deliver Us from Eva) by the BET Comedy Awards.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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