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Rolonda Watts
Rolonda Watts (born July 12, 1959 in Winston-Salem, North Carolinamarker) is an African-American actress and former television talk show host. She was the host of the eponymous Rolonda, a syndicated talk show which aired from 1994 to 1997. She is currently the announcer of the courtroom show Judge Joe Brown.

Early life

Watts was born in a family of educators. Her mother, Velma Gibson Watts, was an associate dean at Wake Forest Universitymarker and her father, Roland Watts, was chairman of Winston-Salem State University's Fine Arts Department. Watts attended Winston-Salem's Salem Academy as a teenager.

She is a graduate of Spelman College where she was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. In 1981, she earned a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalismmarker.

Career highlights

After graduating from Columbia, she returned to North Carolina and began her career as a general assignment reporter at WFMY-TVmarker in Greensboro, North Carolinamarker. She later worked at WNBCmarker, where she was nominated for an Emmy, and WABC-TVmarker in New York as an anchor of a weekly political forum and reporter.

In 1987, she began working as a host of Attitudes, a talk show on Lifetime Television. The next year, she took a job on the newsmagazine Inside Edition as a senior correspondent, weekend anchor and producer. King World, the syndicator of Inside Edition and also The Oprah Winfrey Show, then asked her to start her own talk show.

Rolonda aired for three and a half seasons from January 1994 to 1997. Watts was also supervising producer and one of the owners of the show.

In a 2003 interview with Soap Opera Digest, Watts said she folded the show rather than lose her integrity. "Audiences were saying, 'Well, that was really nice of you to be so respectful, but where's Jerry [Springer]?' We had to make a tough decision, either we go that route or we find something else to do."

After leaving her talk show behind, Watts headed to Hollywoodmarker to pursue a career in acting. Her first break was in 1998 when she was cast as Vivica Shaw in Sister, Sister, a role she played for six episodes.

Since then she's had guest starring roles in dozens of television shows, including The West Wing, JAG, The District Yes, Dear, and soap operas Days of our Lives and The Bold and The Beautiful.

In 2002, Soap Opera Digest named her "Scene Stealer of the Week" for her role on Bold.

Watts is also the CEO/president of her own production company, Watts Works Productions (that company was noticeable of co-producing her talk show Rolanda).

In 2005, she hosted Lie Detector, a reality series for PAX-TV. She also appeared on Live With Regis and Kelly where she traveled cross-country as a judge for the show's “Great American Co-Host Search.”

Recently Watts returned to her talk-show roots. In October 2006, Watts signed with GreenStone Media, a radio network launched by feminists Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda, to host an afternoon radio show. She hosted the show until the network's closure in August 2007.

As of 2006, she is currently the voice of Professor Wiseman in the PBS Kids animated program Curious George.

External links



References

  1. Soap Opera Digest interview, 2003
  2. "GreenStone gives women an outlet," The Boston Globe, October 19, 2006



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