Essence Uhura Atkins is an American actress and model. Atkins began her career as a teenager guest starring on NBC sitcom The Cosby Show in 1986. The following years she spent playing guest roles on sitcom include Family Matters. She has appeared on television sitcoms, before regular role on the short-lived first African American prime time soap opera, Under One Roof (CBS, 1995). Atkins is best known for her roles on television comedies. She co-starred in the short-lived Fox teen soap opera Malibu Shores. One of her television roles was in the Saved by the Bell spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years in 1993. From 1997 to 1999, she starred in The WB sitcom Smart Guy. She later went to star in UPN sitcom Half & Half (2002–06) and TBS comedy series Are We There Yet? (2010–12). In film, Atkins has appeared in Deliver Us from Eva (2003), Dance Flick (2009), A Haunted House (2013) and A Haunted House 2(2014). In 2016, she lead cast opposite Wayans in his NBC sitcom Marlon.