Celebrating Tonya Pinkins: A Multi-Talented Icon in Arts and Culture

From her latest role as Marie Willis in 'Tyler Perry’s Sistas' to her award-winning career and dedication to theater education, we honor Pinkins' vast contributions to TV, film, and the arts.

Tonya Pinkins is an arts and culture veteran with over 40 years of experience as an actress, singer, producer, director, and educator. She has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, TV, and film, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. She has range and is showing no signs of stopping any time soon. If you watch “Tyler Perry’s Sistas,” then you’ve seen her portraying one of the show’s newest additions, the no-nonsense billionaire Marie Willis, who has been adding some spice and salacious drama to the show. Here, we celebrate Pinkins’ illustrious career and contributions to TV, film, and the arts. 

She’s Highly Awarded and Decorated

She has been nominated for nearly every award in American Theater and has won several. The list is long, but she has won a TONY, an Obie, a Drama Desk, an NAACP Theater Award, and more. 

She Appeared In Iconic Productions

Before Marie Willis, she appeared in “All My Children,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Cosby Show,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” and more. 

'Tyler Perry Sistas': Five Reasons Why Marie Willis is a Villain

She’s a Fulbright Specialist

The Fulbright Specialist Program is a network of faculty and professionals who are expert consultants in a specific field for developing, strategizing, and implementing academic planning. 

Check Out Red Pill The Movie 

Her directorial debut feature film, “Red Pill,” which she wrote, has garnered numerous awards for best feature, director, and writing on the festival circuit. 

She’s a Champion of Theater Education

It was recently announced that Pinkins is currently at the helm of the Denzel Washington Chair at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. The endowed chair was founded in 2011 by Fordham alumnus Denzel Washington. Pinkins is the 13th chair holder, and in the fall, she will provide feedback and guidance as students develop their performance skills. 


Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.