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Roxie Roker

Biography

Bahamaian Performing & Recording Artists

Date of Birth (DOB): 8/28/1929
Died: 12/5/95
From: Bahamas
Best Known for: Actress, The Jefferson's Helen Willis, mother of Lenny Kravitz

Bio: Born in Miami Florida on August 28 1929. Her father Albert Roker had emigrated from the Bahamas. Roker attended Howard University and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1952. While at Howard she was a very active member in the Howard Players and was featured in several productions. She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

After graduation Roker moved to NYC and began working in an office while appearing in several off-Broadway plays. She became a full-time actress after joining the the Negro Ensemble Company. With the esteemed theatrical group Roker appeared the plays "Ododo" and "Rosalee Pritchard." In 1974 she won an Obie Award and was also nominated for a Tony for her performance as Mattie Williams in "The River Niger."

She married a Russian Jewish T.V. Producer Sy Kravitz their only child Lenny Kravitz was born on May 26th 1964.

In 1975 T.V. producer Norman Lear cast Roker in “The Jeffersons.” Her character Helen Willis played half of the 1st interracial couple on Prime-Time T.V. After the Jeffersons ended in 1985 Roker returned to the stage touring with Mary Martin and Carol Channing in "Legends." Her community work, including her service as a boardmember of the Inter Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, earned her two citations from the Los Angeles City Council. She passed away on December 2 1995 after a bout with Breast Cancer.

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