|Born:||October 28, 1948|
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Telma Hopkins (born Telma Louise Hopkins, October 28, 1948) is an American singer and television actress. A member of the 1970s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, she later starred in several television sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break!, Family Matters, Getting By and Half & Half.
She started her career as a background singer in Detroit, Michigan, singing on many of the Golden World/Motown hits and working with stars like Isaac Hayes and George Clinton. In the early 70s, she became one of the members of "Dawn" in the pop group, Tony Orlando and Dawn, who were famous for hits such as "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" and "Knock Three Times". In 1974, Tony Orlando and Dawn were given their own variety show on CBS, which lasted until 1976. After Tony Orlando and Dawn broke up in 1977, one of Hopkins' first acting roles was in the ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations. Hopkins acting career took off in the 1980s, when she was a regular on the shows Bosom Buddies (as Isabelle Hammond) and Gimme a Break! (as Nell Carter's best friend, and occasional adversary, Addy Wilson). She was also featured on Celebrity Daredevils, Battle of the Network Stars and Circus of the Stars.
In 1989, she was introduced to another generation as restaurant owner Rachel Crawford on the sitcom, Family Matters. She played the role until 1993, when she was given her own show, Getting By. After Getting By was cancelled, Hopkins returned to Family Matters as a semi-regular character until 1997.
In 1996, Hopkins was slated to play Bill Cosby's character's wife, Ruth Lucas, in CBS' new TV comedy Cosby. Telma recorded the pilot but was replaced by Phylicia Rashad to recapture the chemistry between Rashad and Cosby from The Cosby Show.
From 2002 to 2006, she was featured on the UPN sitcom Half & Half as Phyllis Thorne, the mother of Mona Thorne (Rachel True).
Hopkins recorded A Christmas Reunion with Tony Orlando and Dawn in 2005. She is also the woman who yells "Shut your mouth!" on the song "Theme from Shaft".
She also plays Darren Roanoke's mother in the movie, The Love Guru. She starred in the play JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman in October 2008.
Hopkins often volunteers her time helping others. She has worked with Caring For Babies with AIDS, Act on Arthritis, and the PTA. She also mentors children.
She was married to Donald Allen and had a son with him. They are now divorced. For the past few years now she has been engaged to an actor named Rif Hutton. Hopkins has one son, and her trademark is her hats.