A pint-sized Regina burst onto the scene and into our hearts in 1985 as Brenda Jenkins, the lovable, studious teenage daughter in the NBC sitcom, “227.”
A star is born. King’s role as Shalika in 1991’s revolutionary Boyz n the Hood launched her career.
Starring alongside Janet Jackson and Tupac, King held her own as Iesha in Poetic Justice (1993).
In 1995’s Higher Learning, King played a Black roommate who was trying to navigate the college campus’s rampant racism.
Brother and sister duo Dana (King) and Craig (Ice Cube) had us rollin’ in 1995’s hit movie, Friday.
We can’t forget the chemistry between King and Martin Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996). The two played childhood sweethearts.
Nope, Regina wasn’t going to let Tom Cruise lowball her football playing hubbby in 1996’s Jerry Maguire.
We could argue that the Regina was a voice of reason in 1998’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Advising her sister (Angela Bassett) to go for it with Taye Diggs was the only reasonable thing to do, right?
In this 1998 thriller, Will Smith goes on a lengthy mission to seek justice and reconcile with Regina, his better half, all the while seeking justice in the death of a congressman.
Regina King was a special lady in this 2001 flick: A twice-reincarnated Chris Rock was determined to win her over, no matter how many deaths it took.
Things aren’t always what they seem in this 2002 blockbuster. After being attacked by the mob, Rayne (King) bands together with cops—some crooked—seeking justice.
Regina was a proud workin’ mama in Daddy Day Care (2003), where she boldly trusted her hubby (Eddie Murphy) to run a full-time day care out of their home.
Back-up singer turned mistress turned drug addict and starring alongside Jamie Foxx, Regina stole the spotlight in Ray.
Regina portrayed a straight-laced FBI agent in this 2005 sequel, but we would have to say that our favorite scene was when she donned a wig and sparkly dress a la Tina Turner for drag karoake.
Yasss. We were all applauding in 2007 after Regina King (finally) realized her self-worth and found the strength to leave her cheating man in this holiday film.
Nothing kills the joy surrounding a wedding like two bickering families. Luckily, Regina was able to balance out her hot-headed bestie—Forest Whittaker—in this 2010 romcom.
We were all sad to see TNT’s “Southland” go in 2013, but for the four seasons that it was on TV, Regina killed it as LAPD Officer Lydia Adams.
From films to television and now to voice acting, Regina has lent her voice to the animated Riley and Huey Freeman since 2005. We can’t wait to see what’s in store next for our favorite renaissance actress.