Telma Louise Hopkins (born October 28, 1948) is an American singer and actress. A member of the 1970s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, she later starred in several television sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Getting By and Half & Half. Hopkins is best known for her roles as Adelaide "Addy" Wilson on the NBC's Gimme a Break! (1984–1987) alongside Nell Carter, and as Rachel Baines-Crawford on ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters (1989–1997). She currently has a semi-regular role as Marilyn Persons in the TBS series Are We There Yet?, and also appears on the FX sitcom Partners as Ruth Jackson, mother to Marcus Jackson, and has had a recurring role on Disney XD's Lab Rats as Rose.
Hopkins started her career as a background singer in Detroit, Michigan, singing on many of the Golden World and Motown hits and working with legendary acts like The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. She also sang back up for Isaac Hayes and can be heard famously exclaiming "Shut your mouth!" on Hayes' hit song "Theme From Shaft" as well as the hip hop track "Thuggish Ruggish Bone". In 1971, Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson were recruited by Tony Orlando to form the vocal group Dawn. (Orlando had released the singles "Candida" and "Knock Three Times", recorded with session vocalists Linda November and Toni Wine backing him, under the name Dawn; when the singles charted, Orlando found himself needing to assemble an actual backing group to tour and record with.) As a recording act, Tony Orlando and Dawn would have much success throughout the second half of the 1970s, releasing 16 top-40 singles, three of which reached #1, and starring in a CBS variety show from 1974-1976.
Hopkins played Darren Roanoke's mother in the The Love Guru. She starred in the play JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman in October 2008. Also in 2008, Hopkins officially announced her creative partnership, A New Dawn Entertainment, with writer-producer Joseph Burton. Hopkins often volunteers her time for charitable causes. She has worked with Caring For Babies with AIDS, Act on Arthritis, and the PTA. She also mentors children. Hopkins remains a huge supporter of inspirational radio and granted permission for The Jazz Joy and Roy radio show to use her supportive remarks on the program's promos. Hopkins said to Jazz Joy and Roy, "I was raised by a grandmother who told me I could do whatever I wanted to do, as long as I was willing to work hard for it...." She played the role of Marilyn Persons on the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? and currently plays the part of Ruth Jackson on the FX sitcom Partners.
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