Essence Uhura Atkins is an American actress. She began her career appearing on television sitcoms, before her regular role on the short-lived first African-American prime-time drama Under One Roof (CBS, 1995). Atkins is best known for her roles on television comedies. From 1997 to 1999, she starred as Tasha Yvette Henderson in The WB sitcom Smart Guy. She later went to star as Dee Dee Thorne in UPN sitcom Half & Half (2002–06), Suzanne Kingston-Persons in TBS comedy series Are We There Yet? (2010–13) and as Ashley Wayne in NBC sitcom Marlon (2016-18). In film, Atkins has appeared in Deliver Us from Eva (2003), Dance Flick (2009), A Haunted House (2013) and A Haunted House 2 (2014).