All Articles Tagged "countess vaughn"
“I Had To Do Something About It”: Countess Vaughn Reveals She Had An Abortion So She Could Do “The Parkers”
On this week’s episode of “Hollywood Divas,” Countess Vaughn revealed the extent of what she had been through in the past that while trying to make it in Hollywood. During a therapy session, Vaughn stated that she found herself pregnant around the age of 18 when she was beginning work on “The Parkers.” While Vaughn shined on “Moesha,” “The Parkers” was to be something she would star in, front and center, and that was a big deal for her. She worried that if she went through with the pregnancy, she was going to lose her big opportunity. With that in mind, she revealed that she decided to abort the baby.
“They didn’t want to see a pregnant girl up there on TV…I knew it wasn’t a good look. I had to do something about it. I had to make a decision to get rid of the child for my career because I knew from the jump that if I let any of them know what was going on, they would have cancelled my show.”
Vaughn spoke about this time in her life a bit further on the post-show blog:
I don’t know if Hollywood has changed. When I was young, we didn’t have shows like “16 and Pregnant,” we didn’t have anything saying “yes, you can be a mother and successful.” My role models were Janet Jackson and Halle Berry who didn’t want marriage to ruin their careers. Really, I was forced by fear. The fear of wanting to do the right thing or what I thought was the right thing at the time. My maturity wasn’t there. The way I handled the situation showed that by not talking to anyone and taking matters in my own hands that I just wasn’t ready. But having a show and having money doesn’t make you ready to be a parent, either.
Vaughn also talked about dealing with other tough times in Hollywood, including being made fun of as a child star during her stint on “227.” Unfortunately, the taunts, which were done behind her back, came from an elder adult who worked on the show:
Being a child on the set, I was bored running, through the hallways and I heard a conversation I shouldn’t have heard. I kept that conversation in the back of my mind, like “is that what people really think at the end of the day.” Especially at that age, it was traumatic. To have someone smile in your face and later . . . especially being an elder who had those views of me. But I kept it to myself.
Now, I’m trying to get away from victimhood. I want to shed the energy — to get over it. I really wanted this therapy regardless if it was on TV or not, it didn’t matter. I want to be a better person and this was an opportunity to knock my thoughts off someone else. I’m not a victim, I love myself.
She told Us Weekly that while it was hard to reveal all these things, she needed to release it all:
“I really needed it to release all that I’ve been carrying all this time. I’ve beat myself up for so long about it, and I just felt like, ‘You know what girl, you’ve got to tell somebody.’ Even though the world will know, hey, that’s just me. I like to keep it real at all times. While it was being shot, I really didn’t notice the cameras being there. I was really there for help.”
Vaughn is a mother of two children: Sasha, 5, and Jaylyn, 11. You can check out Vaughn’s therapy session for yourself, and share your thoughts below:
I thought I had really sworn off ratchet reality TV, but something about seeing famous (or in some cases, semi-famous) Black women come together to create something piqued my interest enough to make me tune into “Hollywood Divas.” Featuring Paula Jai Parker, Golden Brooks, Countess Vaughn, Elise Neal and Lisa Wu, “Hollywood Divas” is a close sister-friend of “R&B Divas.” What I mean by that is, has-been or struggling celebrities of a certain craft come together to become relevant again, constantly listing their credits to validate their current staked claim (READ: struggle).
I’m not sure if I was wrong for expecting a bit more (this IS reality tv), but I was all kinds of confused and disappointed by the rollout of the episodes and the catty/shady behavior of the women on-screen. In my mind, if I’m a struggling actress trying to get my name on somebody’s marquee or credits, I’d come into a collaborative situation with my game face on and my pettiness tucked clean away.
These women don’t think like I do, apparently.
The first two episodes jumped off with tears, fake high-pitched greetings, half-hugs, shade and catty backhanded compliments. One thing that struck me in particular as crazy with a capital C is the fact that Golden Brooks, best known for her role as ‘Maya Wilkes’ on Mara Brock Akil’s groundbreaking show “Girlfriends,” spent every waking moment shading reality stars and blaming them for the reason that “theater-trained” actors with a “certain pedigree” couldn’t get work.
Um, you’re on a reality show now, boo.
She also stated that in order to get work nowadays, actors have to be active on social media with millions of followers. To say that I was annoyed and that I highly disagreed would be the understatement of the year. There are so many examples of actresses, BLACK actresses, who have made it – in RECENT years – based off of their talent and strategic choices in roles not their standing on social media.
Viola Davis, a newcomer to Twitter, gained acclaim because of her work in recent movies like The Help and now her incomparable work as the mysterious and driven Annalise Keating in ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder.” Her Twitter followers are climbing, but it’s not because she’s so active online. It’s her talent.
Though she boasts 1.8 million followers on Twitter, Kerry Washington was on the map before she ever became active on social networks. Having masterfully portrayed Ray Charles’s wife, a former Black Panther, Kay Amin, a slave woman and now political pistol Olivia Pope, she has garnered a fanbase. This fanbase comes not because of selfies and tweets, but because she has put in the work and taken on roles that align with her values and trajectory.
“Soul Food” actress, Nicole Ari Parker, spoke candidly at last year’s Woman Thou Art Loosed “Girl Talk” segment about hearing a thousand nos before hearing the yes’ that have helped her have success.
The bitterness and jealousy seen within the first few episodes of this show has left a bad taste in my mouth, but I’m still hoping for the best. We, as Black women, already have it tough without blaming one another for what we lack. There is room for all of us to shine, we just have to get in where we fit in and be resilient.
I’m hoping “Hollywood Divas” will eventually showcase strengthened friendships, uplifting creative projects, and a positive answer to the portrayal of Black women, but I won’t hold my breath. However, it’s still early, so we shall see…
La Truly is a writer, higher education professional, and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @ashleylatruly and check out her site: www.ashleyjh.com.
“Create A Role For Yourself That Is Not The Maid!”Countess Vaughn Talks Transitioning From A Child Star To A Hollywood Diva
Notably known as Kim Parker, we saw Countess Vaughn grow into adulthood on “Moesha” and “The Parkers” and now we’ve finally gotten a chance to catch up on her life since then, thanks to the new reality show “Hollywood Divas.” MadameNoire got the chance to catch up with Countess at the Circle Of Sisters Expo in New York City and while we chatted she shared insight on how she’s maintained her self-esteem in a critical industry where the media and even her peers are critical of her (i.e. Golden Brooks calling her a whale in the second episode), as well as her advice on child stardom. Check her wisdom below!
What can fans expect to see from you on “Hollywood Divas”?
“Fans can expect to see the real from me. I’ve been out of Hollywood for a minute and the show gives me an opportunity to come back and play catch up in my life.”
What new projects have you been working on?
“I’ve been working on new music and fans can see me in an upcoming film. I will also debut a clothing and hair line. I want to be a woman that does it all. Viewers will get a window to see what it takes (the different stages) of me transitioning back into the industry.”
What advice would you give upcoming actresses who want to make it in the entertainment industry?
“It’s important for aspiring actresses to know themselves. If you want to be in this industry, you need to check it out first because it can weigh on your self-esteem, you know? What job do you go to where people are constantly judging you? It’s all about you being strong in your own skin. Most importantly, if you don’t like the auditions your agent is sending you to, you have to make opportunities for yourself. If your agent is always sending you out to audition to be the maid then you need to create a role for yourself that is not the maid!”
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned transitioning from a child to an adult actress?
“I’ve learned to not listen to what others have to say because it is not gospel.”
Now that reality shows have become a dime a dozen, it’s clear to see the folks who subject themselves to the over-the-top drama of this genre of television clearly do it for the money. But are the checks that good? If you ask Paula Jai Parker, we bet the actress would shout out a resounding yes. The “Friday” star is one of the cast members of the new TV One reality show “Hollywood Divas” and when we asked why she joined the series she said plainly that the show is the only reason she has a house and a car right now because no one else in Hollywood is checking for her.
Is that the case for fellow ’90s actress Countess and Vaughn and former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Lisa Wu? Check out what they had to say about joining the show, beef with current and past cast mates (like Brandy on “Moesha for Countess) and why no one watching “Hollywood Divas” should judge them. What do you think? Will you keep tuning in?
“Hollywood Divas” is premiering tonight on TV One at 10 p.m. ET. The show stars actresses who have struggled in the past few to several years with their careers and staying in the limelight: Golden Brooks, Countess Vaughn, Elise Neal and Paula Jai Parker. Also starring is reality star Lisa Wu who is sure to bring the drama. But MadameNoire feels as though there are more black actresses who can use “Hollywood Divas” as a platform to revive their careers — especially if the show branches out into other cities and future seasons.
Are you excited about the new TV One show “Hollywood Divas”? I haven’t seen Countess Vaughn in a while (aside from the time she was talking about deadly lace fronts), and I love me some Paula Jai Parker and Golden Brooks. Those ladies, as well as Elise Neal and Lisa Wu (kind of a random pick when put alongside these screen stars) make up “Hollywood Divas,” and they have some stories to tell.
When speaking on what we can all expect from the show, which premieres next month, Elise Neal spoke about the great cast and the fact that while it’s all love between them, they do have their fair share of conflict that they try to hash out:
“It’s always a little bit of conflict when it’s five women. I say this all the time on the show: I work with women. I do a show with Elise and Assorted Flavors, which is women, so I know that when you bring women together in a group it’s just because. Everybody’s gonna have a day. I try to roll with that and deal with it, but there’s personality differences and things like that.”
I’m personally excited about the show because I’ve already had the chance to see the first episode. Folks are going through a lot these days! You’ll see…
The show is being produced by Todd Tucker (yes, Kandi’s husband) and will launch on Wednesday, October 8 on TV One.
Sound like something you would want to see? Check out the first teaser of the ladies in all their fabulousness below.
And be sure to check out the full trailer here:
In March, we reported on Countess Vaughn and her unfortunate relationship with lace front wigs. While appearing on talk show The Doctors, she noted: “in 2004, my hairstylist introduced to lace-front wigs and I fell in love with them, immediately. Five years later the drama came in. The red flag was the oozing from my ears, forehead, the whole nape around my head. The puss had a horrible smell and it was painful. I let it go by for six months. What I did not realize, I had a bad reaction to the glue I used to apply the wig. My hair started to fall out.”
When Vaughn noticed the physical side effects of wearing lace front wigs, she stated:
“I went to the dermatologist but he did not let me know the long-term effects of the infection. I have skin discoloration and people assume I have vitiligo. I use makeup to cover up, especially the skin under my eyes. Skin came off of my ears. I draw in my hairline with an eye pencil. I had to go through this to teach my little one, ‘you have to love yourself before anyone else will.’ “
Vaughn’s appearance on The Doctors left fans startled, as her usually bubbly voice and personality seemed to have dimmed. However, she recently signed on to the cast of TV One’s Hollywood Divas and her transformation for the reality show has left us stunned! Yesterday on Instagram Vaughn showed off a few behind-the-scenes glam moments on the set of Hollywood Divas and we like what we see.
Click the next page to check out her new look!
A new Divas franchise is on the horizon with TV One announcing the launch of an actress spinoff to its popular R&B Divas franchise, titled Hollywood Divas. The show, currently in production in LA, will star Elise Neal (The Hughleys), Golden Brooks (Girlfriends), Paula Jai Parker (Hustle and Flow), Countess Vaughn (The Parkers) and Lisa Wu (Real Housewives of Atlanta). Can we say yes?!
According to a news release from the network, the one-hour reality series will follow these five ladies as they navigate life and attempt to stay relevant in the unpredictable entertainment industry. D’Angela Proctor, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for TV One, said:
“TV One’s audience has a passion for programming that reveals the private stories behind the public lives of Black artists. The Hollywood Divas‘ willingness to share their experiences with inequality and obstacles when it comes to the Hollywood merry-go-round is the foundation of this series. How these women are personally affected by this phenomenon and how they individually handle the pressure, is where the Hollywood Diva stories begins.”
Even better than the announcement of this new show is news that the series will be added to TV One’s schedule in the fourth quarter of 2014 so we won’t have to wait long. Here’s a little background on the ladies to tide you over. Are you as excited about Hollywood Divas as we are??
Known for her starring roles in the television series KVille, Ant Farm, The Cape, The Hughleys, All of Us and TV One’s Belles, Elise Neal made her film debut in John Singleton’s Rosewood. Her other film credits include Scream 2, Money Talks and Love Ranch. Neal shines in her work in indie features including Restaurant, 1982, The Undershepherd, an ABFF best picture winner, and of course the powerhouse Oscar nominated Hustle and Flow, which also won the Sundance Audience Award.
Golden Brooks is best known for her portrayal of the character Maya Wilkes on the sitcom Girlfriends. She also directed an episode titled “Hustle & Dough,” and wrote a 2007 episode titled “Snap Back,” which featured guest star Erykah Badu. Brooks won the Black Reel Awards for the film Motives and also starred in Beauty Shop, Something New and the independent film The Inheritance. Most recently Brooks appeared on the CW series, Hart of Dixie.
Paula Jai Parker
Comedian Paula Jai Parker began her career on the FOX comedy program The Apollo Comedy Hour, filmed live at the legendary Apollo Theater. She left the show after one year to pursue a film career, taking memorable roles in the F. Gary Gray urban comedy Friday and earned a Cable ACE Award for her role in the HBO anthology presentation, Cosmic Slop. Parker returned to television for the WB television series The Wayans Bros. opposite Shawn and Marlon Wayans. Throughout the 1990s, she appeared in several short-lived shows, including The Weird Al Show and David E. Kelley’s Snoops. Between television projects, she appeared in a number of films, including the Million Man March docudrama Get on the Bus, Sprung, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, 30 Years to Lifeand She Hate Me. She has also voiced characters on the popular animated series The Proud Family.
Countess Vaughn began her performing career at the age of three singing at church. At age nine, she sang “I’ll Be There” to win the Star Search junior vocalist champion and overall junior champion. Vaughn started her acting career on 227, followed by roles in Thea, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and Roc. Outside of television, she performed in the off-Broadway musical Mama and I Want to Sing! Part 3. In 1998, Vaughn was honored with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in Moesha. In 1992, Vaughn released her first album, Countess, featuring a variety of songs, including dance music and R&B. The album’s lead single, a cover of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” charted in the top-100 of the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. She starred in (and also sang the theme song for) the UPN sitcom, The Parkers, from 1999 until the show ended in 2004. In 2011, Vaughn made her return to television on the BET sitcom Let’s Stay Together.
Lisa Wu shot to fame with her role on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She owns her own real estate firm, Hartwell & Associates, a jewelry line called Wu Girls, a baby clothing line, Hart 2 Hart Baby, and juggles a budding acting, modeling and writing career. She recently wrapped production on First Impression, a film also starring Lamman Rucker and Lisa Arrindell Anderson, and is currently working on Atlanta Undercover.
“I Never Took A Hiatus”: Countess Vaughn Talks New Reality Show, And Starting A Line Of “Natural” Lace Front Wigs
In an interview with JETmag.com, actress and singer Countess Vaughn spoke about what she has been up to all these years, including dealing with the nasty side effects of wearing lace front wigs we told you about last week, starting her own brand of natural lace fronts, raising kids (she has two), looking to venture into reality TV, working on the straight-to-DVD movie More to Love with Tichina Arnold (they both play lawyers in it), and more. The 35-year-old also spoke on the her life in the spotlight as a child star, being typecast as Kim Parker, and her five-year plan. It was an interesting interview, and here are the tidbits that had us talking:
Where She Has Been All This Time:
“I never took a hiatus. People see that I’ve become a mother. I’ve always been working. I’ve kept myself out there. Thank God for reruns— I’ve got a new audience. I’ve never missed a beat.”
If She Plans On Doing Music Again:
“I love music and I always will. I write music: R&B, a little hint of gospel. I love so many different musical styles. I’m all across the board.”
The Challenge Of Growing Up A Child Star After Winning Star Search And Being On 227:
“Being in a fish bowl. Having to be a role model. Wanting to make your own mistakes and learning from them. Watching what you do.”
Being Typecast As Kim Parker:
“Anytime you do a character bigger than life, they’re going to ask you to do it. You have to be able to make the change to get the different roles. “
Her Relationship Status:
“For the past eight years, I’ve been in a longtime relationship with my high school sweetheart. We met when we were 15.”
Branching In To Natural Lace Fronts Products After Her Horrifying Hair Experience:
“I was on the set doing a reality show and I was wearing a lace-front wig that burned me very badly. My skin was peeling off and I couldn’t be under set lights or wear makeup. So I decided that I wanted to take my time about what will go into my brand of natural lace-fronts. No one should go through the drama I did.
I now have a partnership and hair endorsement with Hair Are Us along with hair care products sponsored by Pure Beauty Essentials for Pure Virgin Hair of Atlanta, GA.”
Being A Spokesperson For Ellaboo’s Ovarian Cancer Foundation:
“Minorities need to get tested for ovarian cancer. The earlier, the better. We tend to put ourselves on the backburner and take care of the family first. We need to pay attention to ourselves. Many women ignore the pain, thinking it’s only menstrual cramps. But it’s very serious. A pap smear doesn’t detect it. It’s a silent killer. Cancer has really affected my life. I’ve lost friends and a co-star. I really want to get this message out there. You just want to make a change in the world. It’s time to grow up and teach the next generation. To get more information, people can go to ellaboosangels.org.”
On Doing Reality TV Soon:
“I want to come back in a positive way. I’m not about drinking and fighting. I’m about delivering a message and growing from it. So the show would be a combination of me growing, and getting to know me better.”
Where She Sees Her Career In Five Years:
“I’d like to do more voiceovers for animation, and more serious roles. I have range. Lena Dunham’s character on the HBO show Girls needs a sistah friend. I could bring the drama.”
I could totally see her with a reality show on TV One or something like that. How about you? Check out Vaughn’s full interview over at JETmag.com and share your thoughts.
This week we were elated, shocked and disgusted by the news!
First and foremost, we fell in love with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s Vogue cover. Love or hate ‘em, the couple looked gorgeous and we even got an adorable peek at North West in their family photo shoot. On the subject of marriage, Kevin Hart opened up to Oprah about his infidelity issues with his first wife, Torrei Hart. Erica Campbell of Mary Mary, even noted she and her husband, Warryn Campbell have had similar issues. Speaking of gospel singers, Tye Tribbet noted homosexuality is absolutely normal but it may not be God’s best for you.
In other absurd news, actress Countess Vaughn suffered from a skin infection because of lace front wigs. A man bit of his baby son’s nose because he would not stop crying. Also, there was a warrant for Anita Baker’s arrest because she did not pay a $15,000 painting fee. Chris Brown will be in solitary confinement in jail and Uncle Sam is after Lauryn Hill, again! Get into all of this, below.
Mama we made it! We thought we’d never see the day but it looks like Kanye’s campaign has proven successful. He petitioned Vogue editor Anna Wintour for months trying to get Kim Kardashian on the cover. The couple are on the April cover, the shape issue of Vogue magazine! The iconic magazine once again tapped famed photographer Annie Leibovitz to capture the beautiful couple. Kim is the stand out, posing in front of her man in a wedding dress while Kanye takes the backseat.
In the April 2014 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine, Tribbett spoke about homosexuality and why he believes Christians can reach more people through love rather than hate.