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Erika Alexander Once Shared Thoughts on Feeling Sinister Energy on 'The Cosby Show

Oyin Balogun
Apr 24, 2020
12:40 P.M.

"Living Single" star Erika Alexander has managed to carve a niche for herself in the entertainment business despite the odds stacked against her. During a recent interview, the actress reflected on her time on "The Cosby Show" and bared her thoughts on the controversy surrounding co-star Bill Cosby.


Erika Alexander got her breakthrough in acting when she was cast as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show" from 1990 to the series finale in 1992.

Erika Alexander as Pam Tucker on "The Cosby Show" | Photo: GettyImages

Erika Alexander as Pam Tucker on "The Cosby Show" | Photo: GettyImages

She played the recurring role of cousin Pam Tucker and featured in the final 20 episodes of the show's run. Her character was introduced into the sitcom when she moved in with the Huxtables.

In 2018, the 50-year-old actress made her debut on The Breakfast Club, where she spoke about several issues, including racism in Hollywood, to not getting to watch "Living Single" until the show's run had expired. More importantly, she opened up about her time working with the embattled iconic actor Bill Cosby.


During the interview, co-host Charlamagne Tha God asks Erika if she had noticed the "sinister energy" that Lisa Bonet saw, "referring to a recent interview where Bonet had commented on Cosby. Erika responded, saying:

"Unfortunately, you know he wasn't who we all thought he was, and it was disappointing, and it's painful. I think I saw things that I thought were cruel at the time, but I had also been raised in a cruel world."

Erika Alexander attends Hollywood Stars Gala Academy Awards Viewing Party at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on March 4, 2018 | Photo: GettyImages

Erika Alexander attends Hollywood Stars Gala Academy Awards Viewing Party at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on March 4, 2018 | Photo: GettyImages

Erika goes on to explain how Cosby never made any sexual advances at her, but she revealed that she was left disappointed by some of his conduct during the time she worked with him.

Tony Puryear was very supportive of Erika's career, and through his professional support, she was able to give rise to her company Color Farm Media.


Legendary comedian Bill Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations spanning several decades. Several women accuse him of rape, child sexual abuse, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual misconduct.


After her brief stint on "The Cosby Show," Erika landed a second significant role that has defined much of her acting career. In 1993, the renowned activist was cast as Maxine Shaw on the FOX sitcom "Living Single."

The show, which centered on the lives of a group of friends living in the same Brooklyn Brownstone, saw Erika star alongside Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Kim Fields, Terrence C. Carson, and John Henton. The series was an instant hit with fans and aired from 1993 to 1998.


Earlier in the year, the talented actress called out actor David Schwimmer on his comments regarding the lack of diversity in the all-White cast of hit series "Friends" in which the actor portrays the role of Ross.

The actor was quoted by The Guardian, saying, "there should be an all-Black Friends or an all-Asian Friends." Taking to her official Twitter account, Erika swiftly responded to the interview. She wrote in part:

"Hey, ⁦@DavidSchwimmer @FriendsTV⁩- r u seriously telling me you've never heard of #LivingSingle? We invented the template! Yr welcome bro."


David Schwimmer later apologized to the actress, stating that his comment was taken out of context, and he further explained that he meant no disrespect when he made the remarks during the interview.

Erika Alexander was a revelation on "Living Single," and her starring role won her numerous awards, including two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.


After her groundbreaking appearance on "Living Single," the actress experienced a rough patch in her career and wasn't getting the prominent roles she had anticipated.

The actress has blamed much of this on gender disparity in the entertainment industry, which she says allows the male actors to expand their horizons. In contrast, female actors are boxed into limiting stereotypes.


The rejection she got from agents who weren't willing to work with her spurred her into changing the narrative, and in 2017 she launched a multi-platform content company called Color Farm Media.

Through her company, Erika has been able to provide creative content for a variety of platforms. Some of her film credits include "The Long Walk Home," "30 Years to Life," "Déjà Vu," and "Get Out." Erika currently stars on the Hulu drama series, "Wu-Tang: An American Saga."


Erika got married to screenwriter Tony Puryear on September 27, 1997. The wedding was an outdoor ceremony that was followed by a classy evening reception at Malibu's Stone Manor, which was attended by nearly 150 guests.

Erika Alexander's husband Tony Puryear did most of the planning for the wedding and described it as a "very sexy wedding," while Erika added, "that there was definitely a fiesta vibe going."


The couple were married for over two decades and finally divorced in 2017. Erika's ex-husband Tony is bi-racial and worked in advertising and made TV commercials.


During his early years in the business, he directed Hip Hop videos for old-school artists like EPMD, LL Cool J, K-Solo, amongst others. As a screenwriter in the last two decades, Tony has written screenplays for Hollywood's A-List actors and producers, from Mel Gibson to Jerry Bruckheimer to Will Smith.


Tony Puryear was very supportive of Erika's career, and through his professional support, she was able to give rise to her company Color Farm Media.

The former couple shared a similar creative drive, which held their marriage together through the years. When speaking about their award-winning graphic novel collaboration, Concrete Park, Erika said:

"We work well together. He's a talented comic book geek, and I'm a comic book fan, and it works."

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