The star of & # 39; Fresh Prince & # 39; Reid focuses on a creative life


LOS ANGELES – When Daphne Maxwell Reid filmed a scene that required her to cross woods and streams, the younger actors who climbed up beside her were surprised.

"Are you keeping up with us?" It was the feeling, said Reid, 70, who played Aunt Vivian alongside Will Smith in "The New Prince of Bel-Air" and starred with her husband, Tim Reid, in "Frank & # 39; s. Place ". "

"I'm ready in this business," said the actress, who recorded the scene of action for an upcoming film. She is currently on the small screen in "Jacqueline and Jilly", as a grandmother of a young woman struggling with drug addiction. The miniseries is streamed on January 10 on UMC, the Urban Movie Channel.

Reid has proven to be able to face challenges. As a model, she was one of the first African-American women on the cover of Glamor (preceded by Katiti Kironde, winner of the magazine's "best-dressed college girl" contest) and was the first to be elected as queen of the return home to Northwestern University.

The coup d'état of the magazine was a breeze for Reid, who was delighted to be a model in college after hitting the head of the Eileen Ford agency. But even Reid was surprised when a short photo session resulted in a resumption of the smiling, fresh beauty on Glamor's cover in October 1969.

His experience with his alma mater was less comfortable. He entered the northwestern competition as a lark only to encounter a violent reaction.

After winning, he said, the school "just ignored me." They did not put it in the yearbook, it was not "important", even though the girl had obtained a spread of three years ago. pages. "In response, he cut off ties with Northwestern after graduating, decades later, I have an apology and an invitation to crown the new queen.

For "Fresh Prince", he had to convince viewers to accept it as Vivian after replacing original cast member Janet Hubert in the role.

Reid, who settled with her husband-director-actor in her native Virginia, had the luxury of being close to home when "Jacqueline and Jilly" toured the state. The miniseries, starring Nikko Austen Smith ("Queen Sugar"), was written and directed by Victoria Rowell ("The Young and the Restless"), who is also in the cast.

Reid does not rely on its role as the only creative source. After a lifetime of taking pictures, even during his travels, friends encouraged her to consider a gallery she showed.

"I thought you had to be an artist to do it," she replied. "They said," Why are not you an artist? "

On his 60th birthday, he decided to welcome them on the suggestion.

"I had to understand what it contained and the journey was joy," said Reid, who produced books, calendars and more with his photos, with his distinctive doors as a favorite subject. "I think it's a metaphor of life for me … Every decision you make is basically the opening of a new door."

A passionate cook, Reid has released "Grace + Soul & Motherwit", which combines his favorite recipes with the stories of his life and his travels. A skilled seamstress who has made many of her costumes as an actress, Reid has a line of silk brocade jackets intended as wearable art works.

Tim Reid said he is pleased when his wife is recognized for "the many talents and creative abilities she has possessed since the day I met her." She exemplifies the definition of a Renaissance woman. "

She's also good on the board, like the way she and Reid, 73, have been supporting their marriage for more than thirty years: "The secret of being together is respect, and knowing that something must give and not you can always win … You have to learn how to put your ego away. "

When it comes to the possibilities the couple may have missed as young African-Americans in a small Hollywood, Reid's frustration is mostly for her husband. He was a rare black producer who works on TV in the 80s when he made "Frank & # 39; s Place" and "Snoops" and continues to make films and documentaries, as well as forming young directors, but is best known for his work on the screen in series including "WKRP in Cincinnati", "Simon & Simon" and "Treme".

"He's very good at directing and has great stories to tell," his wife said. She agrees that if today she presented "Frank & # 39; s Place", critically acclaimed but of short duration, when many platforms are so hungry and open to diversity, her destiny would have been different.

"But we would not have had that wonderful cast," he said, including Tony Burton, the corner man in six "Rocky" movies. "It's a timing problem."




Lynn Elber can be reached on and on Twitter at

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