Today, the sitcom Half & Half celebrates so years since its debut on September 23, 2002. The show focused on the lives of two paternal half-sisters in San Francisco who were estranged throughout their childhood, and are finally developing a close relationship. During its four seasons, the series was one of the most popular programs on UPN.
HALF AND HALF, 2002, (front row l to r): Valarie Pettiford, Essence Atkins, Rachel True, (back row l to r): Telma Hopkins, Chico Benymon
Half & Half tells the story of Mona and DeeDee Thorne after they move into the same Bay-area apartment. Mona is the daughter of Phyllis Thorne, Charles Thorne’s first wife, and DeeDee is Charles’ daughter from his second marriage to Deirdre Thorne (also known as Big DeeDee). Initially, Mona resents DeeDee because of her privileged upbringing, because Mona and her mother struggled to make ends meet. As they spend more time with each other, the sisters confront their past resentments and learn to lean on each other as they navigate their problems in work, relationships, family, and otherwise.
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The show stars Rachel True and Essence Atkins as Mona and DeeDee Thorne, respectively, and features a more-than-stellar cast that includes Telma Hopkins, Valerie Pettiford, and Chico Benymon in addition to MC Lyte, Obba Babatundé, Corey Holcomb, Keith Robinson, Michelle Williams, and Louis Gossett Jr. in recurring roles.
Let’s take a look back at the cast of Half & Half – then and now.
Mona Rose Thorne
The oldest of the two sisters and daughter of Phyllis Thorne and Charles Thorne. Mona was primarily raised by Phyllis and grew up resenting DeeDee for having their father’s attention and growing up in a privileged household.
Born in New York City, True made her television debut in 1991 on the episode “Theo’s Final Final” of The Cosby Show. After starring in the UPN comedy series Half & Half, she appeared in an episode of Being Mary Jane, as well as the films The Perfect Holiday and Agnes.
Deirdre Chantal “Dee Dee” Thorne, Esq.
The younger of the two sisters and daughter of Big DeeDee LaFontaine Thorne and Charles Thorne. She grew up to be a bossy, materialistic, fashion-savvy woman like her mother, but slowly matured to become a more well-rounded individual under Mona’s influence.
This actress went on to star in several films in the late 2000s & 10s. The films include Dance Flick (2009), A Haunted House (2013) and A Haunted House 2 (2014). She was also a veteran on the small screen as well, having roles in the TBS comedy series Are We There Yet? (2010–13) and in NBC’s Marlon (2016-18).
The mother of Mona Thorne and the ex-wife of Charles Thorne. She is lover-bearing at times but extremely loving.
Hopkins rose to fame as an actress in the late 80s and early 90s with her role as Aunt Rachel on Family Matters. Last year, she appeared in The Young and the Restless and The Matrix Resurrections.
Deirdre “Big Dee Dee” LaFontaine Thorne
The mother of DeeDee Thorne and the current wife of Charles Thorne. She is a superficial fashionista, who can be controlling but she cares deeply for her daughter and eventually for Mona as well.
This Tony Award-nominated actress became a staple in Black Hollywood after Half & Half. Since its cancellation, she started in Stomp The Yard, Why Did I Get Married Too?, Jumping The Broom, and Black-ish.
Andre Spencer Williams
Mona’s best friend and co-worker, whom she’s known since college. The two briefly date throughout the series, but remain on good terms.
This New York-born actor, singer, and musician went on to achieve roles in The Game and The Thundermans. In 2029, Benymon released a music album.
Charles Thorne, Mona and Dee Dee’s father; ex-husband of Phyllis and current husband of Big Dee Dee.
Throughout his career, Babatundé has appeared in more than seventeen stage productions, thirty theatrical films, sixty made-for-television movies, and two prime-time series, becoming one of the most respected actors in Hollywood.
Owens is Mona’s boss at her place of employment.
Considered one of the pioneers of female rap, MC Lyte has broadened her expertise into the realm of acting during the mid 90s. She has had roles in Tales, S.W.A.T, and New York Undercover. In 2015, she released her first music album in 12 years with Legend.