The Cast Of 'Soul Food': Where Are They Now?

One sheet movie poster advertises 'Soul Food,' directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox, Nia Long, Irma P Hall, Michael Beach and Mekhi Phifer (20th Century Fox), 1997. (Photo by John D Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)

The Cast Of 'Soul Food': Where Are They Now?

The movie hit theaters 20 years ago today.

Published September 26, 2017

Twenty years ago today, Soul Food premiered in theaters. The film, which was produced by Babyface and his then-wife, Tracey Edmonds, was a refreshing escape from the popular "gangster" films of the 1990s. Starring Vanessa Williams, Nia Long and Vivica A. Fox, the story of three Chicago sisters was a huge hit. The movie grossed over 43 million at the box office and spawned the Showtime series Soul Food, which aired from 2000 to 2004. In celebration of the anniversary, we take a look back at where the cast is today. 

  1. Vanessa Williams

    Vanessa Williams killed it as penny-pinching Teri, who always had her nose in everyone's business but gagged when her husband cheated on her. Check out the epic scene below:

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09:  Vanessa Williams poses backstage for the Christian Siriano fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Pier 59 on September 9, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

    Vanessa Williams' star has continued to shine on television shows like Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and this year's Daytime Divas. However, one of her greatest moments was in September 2015 when Miss America formally apologized for stripping her of her crown back in 1984. She was the first Black Miss America and lost her crown when nude photos leaked. Vanessa is a true legend.

  2. Vivica A. Fox

    Vivica was the maternal and sassy Maxine, who we all loved. Check her out:

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 13:  Actress Vivica A. Fox visits Fox 29's 'Good Day' at FOX 29 Studio to promote new products of Vivica A. Fox Hair Collection and Vivica A. Fox Presents 'The Men of Explicit Minds' on April 13, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
    (Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

    Viv has appeared in tons of films since then: Kill Bill, Two Can Play at That Game and last year's sequel to Independence Day. Just last month she was in Columbus Short's film True to the Game. And although she has feuded with her ex, 50 Cent, for years, according to the rapper, she will make a cameo on 50 Central, which is right here on BET. Gotta love Viv!

  3. Nia Long

    Nia Long played Bird, the youngest of the sister who owned a hair salon. The movie opened with her getting married:

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Actress Nia Long poses for a portrait for BET's 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo: J. Countess/WireImage)
    (Photo: J. Countess/WireImage)

    Nia kept winning in big hits like Big Momma's House, The Best Man Holiday and her guest starring role on last season's Empire. The actress is definitely some serious Black star power.

  4. Michael Beach
    HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Actor Michael Beach attends the premiere of 'Patriots Day' at AFI Fest 2016, presented by Audi at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 17, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

    Michael Beach as Teri's dirty dawg husband was the villain of the film, but he managed to add some vulnerability to the cheating husband role. Since then, he has been rocking it hard on television, like BET's The Game, CSI and he'll even be in the Dynasty reboot.

  5. Mekhi Phifer
    UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - OCTOBER 04:  Mekhi Phifer visits "Extra" at Universal Studios Hollywood on October 4, 2016 in Universal City, California.  (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

    Mekhi Phifer as Nia Long's thugged-out husband gave us a look into the economic struggles of a convicted felon, which is still relevant today. Mekhi has been in countless TV shows and films, including Divergent, the 2016 remake of Roots and he currently has three films in production. Go hard, Mekhi!

  6. Jeffrey D. Sams
    PASADENA, CA - JULY 19:   Actor Jeffrey D. Sams attends the NBC Summer TCA Press Tour on July 19, 1997 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, California. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
    (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

    Jeffrey D. Sams was the lovable Kenny, Vivica's husband. While Jeffery hasn't had any big hits since Soul Food, he's had minor roles in Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder and Hawaii Five-0. Nonetheless, the brother stays working!

  7. Irma P. Hall
    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 13:  Actress Irma P. Hall poses on the red carpet at the premiere of the new movie "Meet The Browns", held at the Cinerama Dome theater on March 13, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

    Irma Hall has been working in Hollywood since 1973, but playing Big Mama in Soul Food is definitely one of her most memorable roles. She has taken on minor roles in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago Fire and she is currently on SundanceTV's Hap and Leonard.

  8. Gina Ravera
    Actress Gina Ravera arrives at the premiere of "Law abiding citizen" at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, on October 6, 2009. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

    Gina Ravera played the dancer turned video vixen cousin Faith. Although she worked over the years, her last role was in 2014's Castle. She appears to have taken a break from Hollywood.

  9. Brandon Hammond

    Brandon as Ahmad narrated the entire film. Revisit his emotional monologue:

    Although Brandon hasn't had an official acting credit since 2006, he does have a presence on social media. Check out a recent photo of him below:

    #salute ✊🏾😃

    A post shared by Brandon Hammond (@bl_hamm) on

  10. George Tillman Jr.
    MIAMI BEACH, FL - JUNE 19:  Director George Tillman, Jr. arrives at the Opening Night Film: The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Peete during the American Black Film Festival 2013 at Colony Theater on June 19, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo: J. Countess/Getty Images)
    (Photo: J. Countess/Getty Images)

    George Tillman Jr. wrote and directed Soul Food and his star only continued to rise in Hollywood. He directed two out of three Barbershop films and Notorious, the 2009 biopic on the Notorious B.I.G. We are looking forward to The Hate That U Give, which stars Amandla Stenberg and Issae Rae, and is currently in production.

    Lastly, we can't honor Soul Food without paying homage to the biggest hit from the soundtrack. Boyz II Men's "A Song for Mama" charted at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997 and is one of their classic hits. Watch the video below:

    Long live, Soul Food!

    Speaking of great monologues, see how Viola Davis was the star of this year's Academy Awards with BET Breaks, above.

Written by Renee Samuel

(Photo: John D Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)

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