Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey
Malinda Williams (born September 24, 1975), is an American actress and producer. She began her career on television, before appearing in films A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), High School High (1996), and The Wood (1999).
From 2000 to 2004, Williams starred as Tracy "Bird" Van Adams in the Showtime drama series Soul Food, for which she received three NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series nominations. After starring role in the short-lived NBC drama series Windfall, Williams returned to film playing supporting roles in Idlewild (2006), Daddy's Little Girls (2007), First Sunday (2008), and 2 Days in New York (2012).
Williams was born on September 24, 1975 in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Fred and Beverly Williams. She has two sisters, Leslie Dunn and Lisa Sorensen. Her family moved to Westfield, New Jersey, and Williams graduated from Westfield High School. She attended Union County College in Elizabeth.
Williams made her television debut in an episode of The Cosby Show in 1987. She guest starred on Miami Vice, Roc, My So-Called Life, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and NYPD Blue. In film, she made her debut in the 1996 dark comedy-romance film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, starring Martin Lawrence and Lynn Whitfield. Later that year, she co-starred in Sunset Park with Rhea Perlman, and High School High alongside Mekhi Phifer. From 1997 to 1998, she had a starring role in The WB sitcom Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher. In 1999, she appeared in the romantic comedy film The Wood and the following year in the thriller Uninvited Guest, starring Mekhi Phifer.
Williams is best known for her role as Tracy "Bird" Van Adams in the Showtime drama series Soul Food, a continuation of the successful 1997 film of the same name. It also starred Nicole Ari Parker and Vanessa A. Williams. Nia Long played Tracy in the 1997 film. For her performance, Williams received three NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series nominations. The series aired from 2000 to 2004. Soul Food went on to be the longest running drama with a predominantly black cast in the history of American prime-time television.
She later guest-starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and was a regular cast member on the short-lived NBC drama series Windfall in 2006.
In 2006, Williams appeared in the musical film Idlewild. The following year, she co-starred in the Tyler Perry's romantic comedy-drama Daddy's Little Girls. In 2008, she appeared in First Sunday opposite Ice Cube. She then starred in several independent films. In 2012, Williams co-starred as Chris Rock's sister in the romantic comedy film 2 Days in New York. Between 2013 and 2015, she played the leading role in the Up network's television film Marry Me for Christmas, and its two sequels Marry Us for Christmas and A Baby for Christmas. In 2013, she began hosting the Aspire network's television talk show Exhale. She also starred in two films for TV One: Girlfriends' Getaway and its sequel Girlfriends' Getaway 2 in 2014 and 2015, alongside Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn and Essence Atkins. In 2015, Williams also had a supporting role in David O. Russell's comedy film Accidental Love.
Williams was married to actor Mekhi Phifer and the two had a son, Omikaye Phifer. In August 2008, she married D-Nice; they divorced in 2010.
|1993||Laurel Avenue||Sheila Arnett||Television film|
|1996||A Thin Line Between Love and Hate||Erica Wright|
|1996||High School High||Natalie Thompson|
|1997||Damn Whitey||Malinda||Short film|
|1999||The Wood||Alicia||Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Actress|
|2000||Dancing in September||Rhonda|
|2007||Daddy's Little Girls||Maya|
|2009||A Day in the Life||Boopsy|
|2012||The Undershepherd||Casandra||American Black Film Festival Award for Best Performance|
|2012||2 Days in New York||Elizabeth|
|2012||Back Then||Andrea 'Dre' Devine|
|2012||Side by Side||Herself|
|2012||A Cross to Bear||Fae||Television film|
|2013||24 Hour Love||PJ|
|2013||Marry Me for Christmas||Marci Jewel||Television film|
|2014||Marry Us for Christmas||Marci Jewel||Television film|
|2015||Girlfriends Getaway 2||Camille|
|2015||A Baby for Christmas||Marci Jewel|
|1987||The Cosby Show||Althea Logan||Episode: "Calling Doctor Huxtable"|
|1990||The Cosby Show||Shana||Episode: "Denise Kendall: Singles Counselor"|
|1989||Miami Vice||Lynette||Episode: "Too Much, Too Late"|
|1993||Roc||Celina||Episode: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father"|
|1994||South Central||Candi||Episodes: "Dad" and "Gun: Part 2"|
|1994||My So-Called Life||Yvette||Episode: "The Substitute"|
|1994||Me and the Boys||Elizabeth||Episode: "Bad Influence"|
|1994-1995||Sister, Sister||Tyra||Episodes: "Get a Job" and "Field Trip"|
|1995||Under One Roof||Tamika||Episode: "Secrets"|
|1995||The Client||Zora Ward||Episode: "Them That Has..."|
|1996||Moesha||Taylor||Recurring role, 3 episodes|
|1996||The John Larroquette Show||Shanelle||Episode: "When Yussel Learned to Yodel"|
|1996||NYPD Blue||Annette Morris||Episode: "Ted and Carey's Bogus Adventure"|
|1997||Dangerous Minds||Lashawn||Episode: "The Feminine Mystique"|
|1997-1998||Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher||Tasha Morrison||Series regular, 21 episodes|
|2000||Movie Stars||Bianca||Episode: "La Vida Loca"|
|2000-2004||Soul Food||Tracy "Bird" Van Adams||Series regular, 74 episodes
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2003-2005)
|2003||Half & Half||Myra||Episode: "The Big Much 'I Do' About Nothing Episode"|
|2004||The Division||Tanya||Episode: "Play Ball"|
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Lori-Ann Dufoy||Episode: "Careless"|
|2004||The District||Rennee||Episodes: "A.K.A" and "The Black Widow Maker"|
|2006||Windfall||Kimberly George||Series regular, 5 episodes|