A quick glance at her three-decades-spanning résumé is proof that Tichina Arnold stays grinding. That’s just how she likes it. In fact, when reminded that her Twitter bio reads, “I’m always busy,” she cracks up, then adds, “You know what? Because I prefer it that way!”
The Queens, New York, native will go down in television history as Pam, from Martin, but thankfully, her career has continued to blossom beyond syndication. Along with starring as over-the-top talk-show cohost Mo Evans on VH1’s hilariously dishy new series Daytime Divas, she’ll be back as Cassie for season four of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse.
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But aside from her ever-growing list of credits (including Everybody Hates Chris), it’s Arnold’s real-life role as mom to her 13-year-old daughter, Alijah, that keeps the actress on her toes.
“She’s growing up so fast and I’m just not ready!” she says, laughing and fighting back faux tears. With her career and life, Arnold’s always on the move, and she appreciates it all. “For me, it’s not about being a star,” she says. “It’s about leaving a legacy of good work and doing what God has called me to do, which is entertain.”
This feature originally appeared in the March 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.