Who is Lela Rochon?
American actress Lela Rochon Fuqua was born in Torrance, California USA, on 17 April 1964, making Aries her zodiac sign. She has 58 acting credits, but is perhaps still known best for playing Robin in the 1995 romantic comedy movie “Waiting to Exhale”, which starred Angela Bassett and Whitney Houston, and was directed by Forest Whitaker. Based on the eponymous novel by Terry McMillan, the movie follows the love lives of several African-American women, and won nine of the 19 awards for which it was nominated.
Lela’s still today active in the movie industry, and is currently shooting for the upcoming movie “Boomeranged”.
Education and early life
Lela was raised in Los Angeles as an only child by her father Samuel Staples who was a graphic artist and businessman, and mother Zelma who was a registered nurse; Lela has a half-brother Kenneth.
She became interested in acting while attending Cerritos High School, but was also passionate about a couple of other activities, including painting, dancing and playing volleyball. Lela matriculated in 1982 and continued her education at California State University, Dominguez Hills, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism in 1986.
She then focused on acting rather than working in her field of study.
Roles in movies
Lela’s debut film role was playing Extra in First Scene in the 1984 musical comedy “Breakin’”, and some of her following roles were in the 1984 musical comedy “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo”, the 1985 biographical comedy “A Bunny’s Tale”, and the 1986 action “Foxtrap”.
She gained recognition when cast to play School Instructor in the popular 1986 action comedy “Stewardess School”, which starred Mary Cadorette and Brett Cullen, and was written and directed by Ken Blancato; it follows a group of girls as they’re attending a flight attendants’ school. Lela had two film roles in the remainder of the ‘80s, playing supporting characters in the 1987 action crime comedy “The Wild Pair”, and the 1989 crime comedy “Harlem Nights”.
In 1992, she played Christie in the romantic comedy “Boomerang”, which starred Robin Givens and Eddie Murphy, and was directed by Reginald Hudlin. It follows a womanizer whose life is about to change now that a woman has become his new boss – the film won one of its six awards nominations. Lela could then have been seen appearing in the 1993 action fantasy comedy “The Meteor Man”, the 1996 biographical romantic drama “Mr. and Mrs Loving”, and the 1999 sports drama “Any Given Sunday”.
— Lela Rochon (@LelaRochon) February 12, 2022
She appeared in only four movies in the 2000s, the most popular amongst these was perhaps the 2009 crime action “Brooklyn’s Finest”, which starred Don Cheadle and Richard Gere, and was directed by Antoine Fuqua. It follows the lives of three police officers from New York City, and the film won one of its 11 award nominations.
Lela’s three most recent movie roles have been in the 2013 drama “Let the Church Say Amen”, the 2014 thriller “Supremacy”, and the 2015 science fiction thriller “Reversion”.
Roles in TV series
Lela’s debut TV series role was playing Diana in the 1987 episode “The Greek Connection” of the family comedy “The Facts of Life”, and the remainder of the ‘80s saw her appear in an episode of the romantic family comedy “The Cosby Show”, the comedy “What’s Happening Now!”, and another comedy “Amen”.
In 1991, she portrayed Brandy Alexander in nine episodes of the drama “Generations”, which starred Joan Pringle and Kelly Rutherford, and was created by Sally Sussman Morina. It follows the lives of two families, one black and the other white, the series aired from 1989 through 1991 and won one of its 18 award nominations.
Lela was then cast to appear in an episode of the comedy “Roc”, the crime horror comedy “Tales from the Crypt”, and the comedy “Out All Night”. The year 1995 saw her portray Lisa in 13 episodes of the comedy “The Wayans Bros.”, which starred Marlon and Shawn Wayans, and was created by Leslie Ray. It follows the adventures of two brothers and their father, the series aired from 1995 through 2023, and was nominated for a 1998 Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Television Actor (for both Marlon and Shawn).
In 2001, Lela played Inspector Angela Reide in 22 episodes of the crime mystery “The Division”, which starred Nancy McKeon and Bonnie Bedelia, and was created by Deborah Joy LeVine. It follows the lives of five female police officers from Chicago, Illinois, the series aired from 2001 through 2004, and won six of its 13 award nominations.
Lela had no other TV series roles in the 2000s, and appeared in an episode of only a couple in the 2010s, including the 2017 musical “The Breaks” and the 2018 comedy “Alone Together”.
Her three most recent TV series roles have been in the 2021 episode “Pressure, Okay?!” of the romantic comedy “Insecure”, two episodes of the 2022 drama “BET Her Presents: The Couch”, and the 2022 episode “Remember Stompin’ the Yard” of the comedy “Family Reunion”.
Lela produced the 1999 drama movie “The Charlotte Austin Story”, and the 2009 thriller film “Fatal Secrets”.
Some of her recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Mo’Nique Show”, “Unsung Hollywood”, and “Meet the Peetes”.
Awards and nominations
Lela’s been nominated for three awards: a 1996 CableACE Award for Actress in a Movie or Miniseries, for “Mr. and Mrs Loving”, and in 1996 an Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, both for “Waiting to Exhale”.
Love life and relationships
Lela’s married twice.
Her first husband was the late American actor and director Adolfo Quinones, who appeared in 17 movies and TV series; the two married on 12 December 1982 but divorced in 1987. Adolfo was perhaps known better by his professional name Shabba Doo – he died from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease on 29 December 2020, aged 65.
Since 9 April 1999, Lela’s been married to popular American actor, producer and director Antoine Fuqua, who’s perhaps known best for producing the critically acclaimed 2016 action adventure movie “The Magnificent Seven”, which won five of its 17 award nominations. Lela gave birth to their daughter Asia Fuqua on 28 July 2002, and their son Brando Fuqua followed in May 2004.
There are no other men whom Lela’s perhaps been with, that we know about; she’s married to her second husband Antoine Fuqua as of July 2023, and they have two children together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Lela suffered a miscarriage in 2001.
The magazine “People” featured her on their list ’50 Most Beautiful People in the World”, while the “Black Men Magazine” once featured her on their list ‘The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year’.
Her two best friends are American actresses Holly Robinson Peete and Vanessa Bell Calloway.
More than 200,000 people are following Lela on Instagram today, and she’s posted close to 200 pictures and videos onto the network, with most of these featuring her spending time with her children, travelling around the US and showing off her clothes.
Lela’s a philanthropist, and has donated money to several charities working with children.
Anne Hathaway’s one of her favorite actresses, and some of Lela’s favorite movies include “Rachel Getting Married”, “Love & Other Drugs” and “The Princess Diaries”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Lela’s age is 59. She has long black braided hair and brown eyes, is 5ft 9ins (1.75m) tall and weighs around 145lbs (66kgs).
Lela’s net worth’s been estimated at over $10 million, as of July 2023.