|Born:||June 28, 1969|
Queens, New York, USA
Tichina Rolanda Arnold (born June 28, 1969) is an American actress and singer. She has portrayed the roles of Pamela James on the FOX sitcom Martin and the family matriarch Rochelle on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.
Arnold was born to a middle-class family in Queens, New York. Her mother was a sanitation department worker and her father was a police officer. She attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Her penchant for performing began in her childhood, holding church congregations enthralled as a four-year-old. When she turned eight, her mother and uncle encouraged her to audition, and she won a part in her first play The Me Nobody Knows at the Billie Holiday Theater in Brooklyn. She continued to perform in the theater and at supper clubs, starring in such production as Hair, Romance and Hard Times. She then landed bit parts in TV movies such as The Brass Ring in 1983 and PBS' House of Dies Drear the year after.Has relatives in Jacarezinho;in Brazilian state of Parana, Arnold has one sister
In 1998, Arnold started her own company of designer headgear called "China Moon Rags". The headbands were Swarovski crystal-embroidered bandanas. Celebrities such as her best friend Tisha Campbell, Janet Jackson, Vivica A. Fox, Regina King, Christina Aguilera and LisaRaye McCoy have modeled and been seen wearing Arnold's designs. When her daughter was born, she stopped production.
Arnold has a daughter, Alijah Kai (born March 16, 2004), with music producer Carvin Haggins.
Arnold and her daughter live in Atlanta, Georgia.
As of 2011, she is listed on the list of top 250 tax delinquents in California with debts of $383,357.75.
In 1986, Tichina Arnold appeared as Crystal, one of the three chorus girls who perform R&B numbers in Frank Oz's film musical Little Shop of Horrors along with future Martin co-star Tisha Campbell. Arnold was only 15 at the time, and her career continued steadily after that, with a role or two almost every year, including the films How I Got into College and the Paul Mazursky/Woody Allen collaboration Scenes from a Mall (1991). In February 1987 Arnold scored her first big break on television, with a permanent role on the soap opera Ryan's Hope. Her critically lauded role, as young heroine Zena Brown, landed her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 1988. She continued in the role until the series ended in January 1989.
Arnold's best-known television role was Pamela James on Martin Lawrence's sitcom Martin (1992–1997). She also played the role of Nicole Barnes on the sitcom One on One. In 2000, she was reunited with Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's House. In 2007, she again reunited with Lawrence (this time as his wife) in the big screen road comedy/buddy film Wild Hogs. In 2003, she appeared in Civil Brand. In a departure from her normally comedic casting, she played the title role in The Lena Baker Story, which was about the first woman to be executed by the electric chair in Georgia. Arnold played the role of the matriarch, Rochelle, on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris which premiered in September 2005 and ended in May 2009. She also played the voice of the friend in The Boondocks, episode "Attack of the Killer Kung-fu Wolf Bitch" which aired in 2007.
Her most recent stage credits, include: The Wiz Revival at the NY City Center as the part of Evillene, The Wicked Witch of the West. In 2010 she guest starred in the one-hour episode premiere of the Disney XD Original Series Pair of Kings as Aunt Nancy, and also reprise her role for one more episode.
Although not as widely known for her work in music, Arnold has experienced success as a recording artist; she co-wrote and performed the duet, "Movin Up," which reached #2 on the Billboard Club Play chart with fellow high school alum and house music artist Inaya Day. Arnold is credited using the moniker China Ro, a pseudonym that was derived from the using only the latter part of her first name and the first two letters of her middle name.