Anna Maria Horsford
New York City, U.S.
EducationHigh School of Performing Arts
Years active1968–present

Anna Maria Horsford is an American actress, known for her performances in television comedies.

Horsford is best known for her roles as Thelma Frye on the NBC sitcom Amen (1986–91), and as Dee Baxter on the WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. (1995–99). She had dramatic roles on the FX crime drama The Shield playing A.D.A. Beth Encardi, and CBS daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful as Vivienne Avant, for which she was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series in 2016 and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2017.

Horsford appeared in a number of movies, most notable as Craig Jones' mother Betty in 1995 comedy film Friday and its sequel Friday After Next (2002). Her other film credits include Times Square (1980), The Fan (1981), Presumed Innocent (1990), Set It Off (1996), Along Came a Spider (2001), Our Family Wedding (2010), and A Madea Christmas (2013).

Early life

Horsford was born in Harlem, New York City in 1948 to Victor Horsford, an investment real estate broker originally from Barbuda and Lillian Agatha (née Richardson) Horsford, who emigrated from Antigua and Barbuda in the 1940s.[1] She grew up in a family of five children.[2]

Horsford attended Wadleigh Junior High School[3] and the High School of Performing Arts.[4] After high school, she got into acting through the Harlem Youth for Change program.[2]

Her first job out of high school was with the Joe Papp’s Public Theater, a part in Coriolanus at the Delacorte in Central Park.[5]

According to a DNA analysis, she has maternal ancestry from the Limba people of Sierra Leone.[6]


Her first major role in television was as a producer for the PBS show Soul!, hosted by Ellis Haizlip, which aired between 1968 and 1973. One of her first TV appearances was in 1973 on the first run syndication game show of To Tell the Truth where she was an imposter for Laura Livingston, one of the first female military police. Horsford made guest appearances on such sitcoms as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sparks, Moesha, The Bernie Mac Show, The Shield, Girlfriends, and Everybody Hates Chris. She had main roles on the sitcoms The Wayans Bros. as "Dee Baxter" and "Thelma Frye" on Amen. She appeared on the drama Judging Amy.

More recently, she was seen in the first season of Grey's Anatomy. She returned to the big screen in the 2013 film A Madea Christmas. She portrayed Helen on the BET sitcom Reed Between the Lines.

Horsford currently has a recurring role as Vivienne Avant on The Bold and the Beautiful. For the role, she was nominated for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series in the 43rd Daytime Emmy Awards.[7]

She began playing a recurring role on B Positive in the show's second-season premiere.[8]

She also has appeared in the TBS sitcom The Last O.G. featuring Tracy Morgan, as a recurring character (Tray's mother).

Personal life

On October 29, 2011, Horsford was awarded the title of Ambassador of Tourism of Antigua.[1] She is also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 An Almost Perfect Affair Amy Zon
Hollow Image Monica TV movie
1980 Times Square Rosie Washington
1981 The Fan Emily Stolz
Bill Ms. Marge Keating TV movie
1982 Muggable Mary, Street Cop Kathy Thomas TV movie
Benny's Place Charmaine TV movie
Love Child Mara [10]
1983 Class Maggie
1984 Crackers Slam Dunk
A Doctor's Story Leigh Williams TV movie [11]
1985 St. Elmo's Fire Naomi
Stone Pillow Collins TV movie [12]
1986 Nobody's Child Nurse Betty TV movie [13]
A Case of Deadly Force Virginia Cates TV movie
Permanent Wave Eva Short
Heartburn Della
C.A.T. Squad Mrs. Raines TV movie
1987 Street Smart Harriett
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium - TV movie
1988 Who Gets the Friends Hillary Adams TV movie
1989 Taken Away Mrs. Pierson TV movie
1990 Presumed Innocent Eugenia
A Killer Among Us Barbara Evans TV movie
1992 Murder without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story Veronica Perry TV movie [14]
1993 Mr. Jones Judge Harris
1994 Baby Brokers Randi TV movie
1995 Friday Betty Jones [15]
Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored Miss Annie
1996 Widow's Kiss Lavanda Harrison TV movie
Dear God Lucille Barnett [16]
Set It Off Ms. Wells [17]
One Fine Day Evelyn
Circle of Pain - TV movie [18]
1997 Kiss the Girls Vickie Cross
1999 At Face Value Mosetta Short
2000 Dancing in September Sitcom Mom
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Denise's Mother
Lockdown Saunders
Masquerade Mrs. Scott TV movie
2001 Along Came a Spider Vickie [19]
Jacked Thelma Barnes
How High Mamma King
2002 Minority Report Casey
Friday After Next Betty Jones
2004 Justice Chief Public Defender Poole
Guarding Eddy Carol
2005 My Big Phat Hip Hop Family Mamma Pearl
Ganked Mrs. Barry Video
2006 Gridiron Gang Sharon Weathers
Broken Bridges Loretta
2007 Trade Detective Martinez
I Tried Milly
2010 Our Family Wedding Diane Boyd
Wigger Ruth
2012 C'mon Man Mrs. Woods
2013 Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas Elieen Murphy [20]
2017 Gladys Brown Gladys Brown Short
Chasing the Blues Mrs. Walker
A Kindred Soul Claudia Short
2018 The Choir Director Deaconess Moss
Single AF Jane
2021 Vacation Friends Nancy
The Bitch Who Stole Christmas Mayor Coont TV movie
2022 Me Time Connie


Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Doctors Group Therapy Patient Episode: "Episode #1.3844 & #1.3850"
1978 NBC Special Treat Ginnie Sheridan Episode: "The Tap Dance Kid"
1979 Guiding Light Clara Jones Regular Cast
1980 3-2-1 Contact Officer Dobbs Recurring Cast: Season 1
1981 ABC Afterschool Specials Jessica Episode: "Starstruck"
1982 Nurse Joleen Episode: "The Store"
All My Children Jesse's Attorney Mrs. Matthews Episode: "Episode dated 4 October 1982"
1983 The Firm Sergeant Johnson Episode: "Pilot"
1984 ABC Afterschool Specials Stephanie Marshak Episode: "Summer Switch"
1985 American Playhouse Hannah Episode: "Charlotte Forten's Mission: Experiment in Freedom"
1986-91 Amen Thelma Frye Main Cast
1987 The Bronx Zoo Mrs. Devlin Episode: "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"
1991 Baby Talk Cynthia Willoughby Episode: "Womb with a View"
L.A. Law Judge Olga Winbush Episode: "Do the Spike Thing"
1992 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Karen Carruthers Episode: "Geoffrey Cleans Up"
1992-93 Rhythm & Blues Veronica Washington Main Cast
The Addams Family Additional Voices (voice) Recurring Cast
1993 Tall Hopes Lainie Harris Main Cast
1995-99 The Wayans Bros. Deidre "Dee" Baxter Main Cast: Season 2-5
1996 Sparks Wilma's Aunt Episode: "How Papa Got His Groove Back"
1997 Good News - Episode: "Pilot"
1998 L.A. Doctors Angela Daly Episode: "Pilot" & "Under the Radar"
7th Heaven Joyce Episode: "Here Comes Santa Claus"
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Gola's Mother (voice) Episode: "Chimp off the Block"
Judging Amy Defense Attorney Charles Episode: "Crowed House"
2000 Moesha Diane Henderson Episode: "The Candidate"
2002 The Chronicle Jolene Freewald Episode: "Touched by an Alien"
2004 The Bernie Mac Show Aunt Sis Episode: "Family Reunion"
The District Yates Recurring Cast: Season 4
Method & Red Dorothea Main Cast
2005-06 Entourage Saigon's Mother Guest Cast: Season 1-2
2005-07 Grey's Anatomy Elizabeth Fallon Guest Cast: Season 1 & 3
2005-08 The Shield A.D.A Beth Encardi Recurring Cast: Season 4 & 7
2006 Heist Wanda Evans Episode: "How Billy Got His Groove Back"
2007 All of Us - Episode: "Everything Happens for a Reason"
2008 Las Vegas Aunt Vonice Episode: "Three Weddings and a Funeral Part 2"
Everybody Hates Chris Hattie Mitchell Episode: "Everybody Hates Easter" & "Everybody Hates the BFD"
2009 Cold Case Geraldine Watkins '09 Episode: "Soul"
2010 American Dad! Female Juror (voice) Episode: "The People vs. Martin Sugar"
2011 Funny or Die Presents Anna Maria Episode: "Episode #2.6"
Let's Stay Together Jacqueline/Raynelle Episodes: "The Wedding Planner" & "Your Arm's Too Short to Box with Grandparents"
2011-15 Reed Between the Lines Helen Wilson Main Cast: Season 1, Guest: Season 2
2012 Key and Peele Maid Episode: "Dueling Magical Negros"
The League Trina Richardson Episode: "Training Camp"
New Girl Charmaine Episode: "Katie"
2015 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Janet Barrett Episode: "The Gang Goes on Family Fight"
The Soul Man Ceci Episode: "Mo Momma, Mo Problems"
2015-18 The Bold and The Beautiful Vivienne Avant Regular Cast
2017 New Girl Charmaine Episode: "Misery"
2018 I Feel Bad Norman's Mom Episode: "My Kid Has to Grow Up"
2018-19 Mom Ms. Ferguson Guest Cast: Season 6-7
2019-21 The Last O.G. Roberta Barker Recurring Cast: Season 1–3, Main Cast: Season 4
2020 Sunnyside Up Aunt Deedee Recurring Cast
The Conners Nicole Episode: "Plastics, Trash Talk & Darlene Antoinette"
Ghost Tape Gramma Missy Recurring Cast
2020-22 Studio City Jolene Hernandez Recurring Cast: Season 1, Guest: Season 2
2021 Hacks Francine Episode: "1.69 Million"
Pose Charlene Recurring Cast: Season 3
2021-22 B Positive Althea Ludlum Recurring Cast: Season 2
2022 The Guardians of Justice Serena Lyle Main Cast
2023 History of the World, Part II Mother Mary Episode: "II"
Bel-Air Nita Banks Episode: "Let the Best Man Win"

Live performances


Year Title Role Notes
1995 "Dancing on Moonlight" Neptune Keith Glover, playwright. Marion McClinton, director. The eight-member ensemble included Terry Alexander, André de Shields, Kevin Jackson and Horsford. The play opened at the Joseph Papp Public Theater.[21][22]

Awards and nominations

List of acting awards and nominations
Year Award Category Title Result Ref.
Image Awards (NAACP) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Amen Nominated [23]
Black Reel Award Best Actress – Network/Cable Television Justice Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series The Bold and the Beautiful Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The Bold and the Beautiful Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Performer in a Daytime Fiction Program Studio City Nominated [26]

In popular culture

Horsford has been featured on the cover of several magazines, including:


  1. ^ a b Staff, ed. (October 26, 2011). "New Tourism Ambassador for Antigua". Carib Journal. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Gramel, Marion (26 Jul 1993). "Anna Marie Horsford has "Tall Hopes"". Indianapolis News at p. 13. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Anna Maria Horsford Speaks". 21 May 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Filmmaker Anna Maria Horsford". The Skin You're In. Archived from the original on December 29, 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  5. ^ "ANNA MARIA HORSFORD SPEAKS Pt. 2". 14 May 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  6. ^ Anna Marie Horsford Ancestry Reveal on YouTube
  7. ^ Variety Staff (May 2, 2016). "Daytime Emmy Winners: Complete List". Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "What's on TV Thursday: 'Big Sky' on ABC; 'B Positive,' 'Ghosts' and 'Young Sheldon' on CBS". Los Angeles Times. 14 October 2021.
  9. ^ "EE-Yip! 10 Celebrities Who Rep Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority". madamenoire. October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Maslin, Janet (1982-10-15). "BEAU BRIDGES IN 'LOVE CHILD'". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  11. ^ Maslin, Janet (1984-04-23). "TV REVIEW; 'A DOCTOR'S STORY,' WITH ART CARNEY". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Ball's last movie was "Stone Pillow"". Santa Maria Times. 25 Jan 1998. p. 22. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  13. ^ O'Connor, John J. (1986-04-04). "MARLO THOMAS AS FORMER MENTAL-HOSPITAL PATIENT". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  14. ^ O'Connor, John J. (1992-01-06). "Review/Television; A Bright if Problematic Future Fouled by Tragedy". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  15. ^ James, Caryn (1995-04-26). "FILM REVIEW; Replacing Rap's Anger With a Sense of Humor". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  16. ^ Maslin, Janet (1996-11-01). "Where Do Dead Letters Go? Heaven". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  17. ^ Holden, Stephen (1996-11-06). "Just Trying to Get Even While They Get Rich". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  18. ^ "Bridges returns to acting". Jet Magazine. Johnson Publishing Company: 64. 1996-03-11. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  19. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (2001-04-06). "FILM REVIEW; Weaving an Intricate Web To Trap a Wily Kidnapper". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  20. ^ Rapold, Nicolas (2013-12-13). "Special Matriarchal Lessons". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  21. ^ Harris, William (16 April 1995). "THEATER; A Playwright-Actor Welcomes His Karma". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Dancing on Moonlight". Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  23. ^ Snow, Shauna (1988-11-11). "Nominees for 21st Image Awards Announced". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  24. ^ "The 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). New York, New York: and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  25. ^ "The 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). New York City: and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  26. ^ "Hollywood Reporter Lands Daytime Emmy Nomination for Roundtable Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 2021-06-28. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  27. ^ "Amen's Sherman Hemsley: He Feared His Career Might Be Over Life Without Cable? No Way!". Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  28. ^ "Fun-filled Amen still one of the hottest TV shows". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 1987-11-23. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Oh, What a Week!". Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  30. ^ "Clifton Davis and Anna Maria Horsford Tie Know on TV's Amen". Jet Magazine. Johnson Publishing Company. 1990-02-05. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  31. ^ "New baby and guest star James Brown climax fifth season of TV's Amen". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 1991-05-13. Retrieved 30 June 2021.