There have been a few classic sitcoms in the history of Hollywood, many of which had pop culture influence on their time. One of this was The Jeffersons, a CBS sitcom that ran between 1975 and 1985. The show is the second longest-running American series with a primarily African American cast and through it, a few black actors/actresses became household names, one of them being Berlinda Tolbert, who played Jenny Willis Jefferson on the show.
Berlinda began to appear on the show within one year of starting her career as an actress and she continued to work until 2013 when she retired from acting.
During that time, she appeared in several films and TV shows and built up an admirable filmography for herself. We take a look at her background, career and where she is now, since retirement. Take a look.
Who is Berlinda Tolbert?
Berlinda Tolbert was born on the 4th of November, 1949 in Charlotte, North Carolina where she grew up with a passionate love for acting. Not much is known about her parental background but in Charlotte, she attended high school and eventually, college, where she enrolled at the University of North Carolina and studied theater at its School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
In a further commitment to becoming a great actress, she traveled to London where she studied drama and while she was in acting school, she was cast in an episode of the TV show, That’s My Mama in 1974. She made a few more appearances in other shows like Sanford and Son, The Streets of San Francisco and the film, Airport 1975.
By the following year, she began to appear in her most significant role ever, as Jenny Willis Jefferson in the sitcom, The Jeffersons. She appeared on the show for 66 episodes between 1975 and 1985.
In the year she began appearing on the show, Berlinda Tolbert made appearances in other shows like All in the Family, S.W.A.T, Police Woman, and Mannix. During her time on The Jeffersons, she made a couple of appearances in other programs like Fantasy Island, Matt Houston, The Love Boat, Airwolf.
After The Jeffersons ended, having been on a successful show that ran for 11 seasons, Berlinda had a pedigree to her career and she made a string of appearances in subsequent years, building a strong filmography, particularly in film.
She appeared in Harlem Nights, Goodfellas, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Patriot Games, Dangerous Touch, Strange Fruit, and a few others. Berlinda Tolbert also continued to appear in other TV shows, making appearances in the shows; Dead Last, Six Feet Under, The Army Show, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Strong Medicine, and a couple of others.
After a long and storied career, Berlinda made her final appearance on screen in the short film, Just Another Man’s Story and has been retired from the industry ever since. She appeared in a total of 41 films and TV shows during her career.
Aside from her appearances onscreen, Berlinda Tolbert also made a few appearances on stage, in the early years of her career. She appeared in the stage play, What the Wine-Sellers Buy, On a Southern Journey, and a couple of others.
Berlinda Tolbert is a married woman and she has been married to the same man since the 14th of February, 1979. She is married to the journalist, Bob Reid, a man he met 11 days before getting married to him. Both of them met while she was filming a TV show in Atlanta and he was working as a producer for NBC.
After eleven days of a wild romance, they decided to become a couple and got married in Providence, Rhode Island. They have been together ever since despite having to endure the challenge of a long-distance marriage in the early days of their marriage.
Despite being married for over four decades, neither Berlinda nor Reid are known to have any children.
Where Is She Now?
Since she retired from the industry, not much has been heard from Berlinda Tolbert and she is very much believed to be living with her husband in their home away from the media spotlight.
Having had a long and successful career, fulfilling the dream of her childhood, she has retired to enjoy her last days with the love of her life.