Who is Roxie Roker?
Roxie Roker was an American actress, perhaps best remembered as Helen Willis in the TV series “The Jeffersons” (1975-1985). However, she is also known as the mother of the rock musician Lenny Kravitz.
Roxie Roker Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Roxie Albertha Roker was born on 28 August 1929 in Miami, Florida, USA, the daughter of Albert Roker, a porter and native of Andros, the Bahamas, and his wife Bessie, from Georgia, a housewife.
Roxie grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and enrolled at Howard University after high school, where she became deeply interested in acting, and was an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member.
Roxie joined the Negro Ensemble Company in the late ’60s, and honed her acting skills on stage with the theater company and workshop established in 1967. She appeared in numerous plays with the company, including “The River Niger” in which she played Mattie Williams, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, and earned her an Obie Award.
She made her on-screen debut In 1974, as Eloise Morse in the television comedy movie “Change at 125th Street”, co-starring Ron Glass and Chip Fields. The same year, Roxie made her feature film debut as Mrs Winston in the Academy Award-nominated romantic comedy-drama film “Claudine”, which starred Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs.
Rise to Stardom
In 1975, Roxie won the role of her career, selected for the part of Helen Willis in the CBS TV comedy series “The Jeffersons”. Her co-stars included Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley and Franklin Cover. Her character broke the social barrier, as she began an on-screen romance with a white male, and the two characters in the show even married.
She starred in 216 episodes of the Primetime Emmy Award-winning series through 1985, and though she didn’t win any awards, Roxie was heavily praised for her work on the series. This turned her into an international star, and she guest-starred in several shows as Helen, including the Primetime Emmy Award-winning comedy-drama series “All in the Family”.
Concurrently, Roxie appeared in several other popular projects between 1975 and 1985. In 1976, she was Carol Lessonbee in the TV series “Kojak”, then in 1977, she was Mrs Peoples in the television movie “Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid”, which starred LaVar Burton, Ossie Davis and Dolph Sweet.
In 1983 she portrayed Madge Davis in the television movie “Making of a Male Model”, with Joan Collins, Jon-Erik Hexum and Kevin McCarthy in the lead roles.
Following the end of “The Jeffersons”, Roxie struggled to secure notable roles, though she remained active until the mid- ’90s. She featured in such productions as the TV series “The Love Boat” (1986), “The New Mike Hammer” (1987), and “227” in 1988.
In the ’90s, she featured in the popular soap opera “A Different World” (1991), then “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” (1993), before making her final appearance in the short film “Statistically Speaking”.
Cause of Death
Roxie was 66 years old on the night of 2 December 1995. She’d been was diagnosed with breast cancer, and just days before she succumbed to the disease, her condition worsened. At the time, her son Lenny was on tour and was deeply saddened by the unfortunate news of his mother’s passing. He even wrote the song of this sad moment.
Roxie Roker’s net worth was estimated to be around $6 million at the time of her death, earned through her acting career, during which she appeared in 25 film and TV titles.
Personal Life, Marriage, Husband, Children
Roxie Roker was married to Sy Kravitz, an American filmmaker and producer who worked for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) from 1962 until 1985. The couple welcomed their only child, son Leonard Albert Kravitz in 1964.
Roxie and Sy divorced after a series of cheating allegations on each side. She was Sy’s second wife.
Roxie Roker’s Son, Lenny Kravitz Short Bio
Leonard Albert Kravitz was born on 26 May 1964, in New York City, USA. He grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and from an early age began showing an interest in becoming a musician. In the mid- ’70s, he moved to Los Angeles, California, when Roxie landed the role of Helen in “The Jeffersons”.
Lenny joined the California Boys Choir, and in the three years that followed, he showcased his skills in a number of classical songs, and even got to sing with the Metropolitan Opera.
Once he became acquainted with rock music, he turned to that particular genre, and began making music independently. He quickly learned to play piano and bass, and completed his first song in the mid- ’80s.
However, his music was rendered either not black enough or white enough by record producers, and labels didn’t want to publish his music. Henry Hirsch helped young Lenny secure a record deal with Virgin Records, and in 1989, Lenny’s debut album “Let Love Rule” came out. He continued to make new music, and his second studio album “Mama Said” was released on 2 April 1991, to critical and commercial acclaim.
The album entered the UK Chart at No. 8, eventually achieving platinum status. The album landed at No. 61 on US Billboard 200 chart. and achieved gold status in the US.
The third album, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” (1993), became his first No. 1 album, and spawned such hits as the title song, then “Believe”, and “Heaven Help”, among others.
Since then, Lenny has become one of the most successful rock acts, and has incorporated other genres into his music, including pop, funk, and jazz.
He has released a total of 11 studio albums, including “Circus” (1995), “Lenny” (2001), “Black and White America” (2011), and “Raise Vibration” (2018).
In addition to his incredible career as a musician, Lenny is an acclaimed actor.
He made his acting debut as Nurse John in the film “Precious” in 2009, and since then has featured in the films “The Hunger Games” (2012) and the sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Moreover, he is currently working on the film “Shotgun Wedding”, scheduled for release later in 2022. As of mid- 2022, Lenny Kravitz’s net worth has been estimated to be around $80 million.
He has a daughter with actress Lisa Bonet, Zoe Kravitz, born in 1988; the two were married from 1987 until 1991.
Since then, Lenny has been seen in the company of such celebrities as Vanessa Paradis, Adriana Lima, and Nicole Kidman. According to sources, he’s currently single.
Kravitz follows veganism, and is focused on but not limited to the intake of a raw vegan diet, and he grows his own food.