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Bianca Jasmine Lawson (born March 20, 1979) is an American film and television actress. She is perhaps best known for her regular roles in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Goode Behavior, Pretty Little Liars, and Rogue. She has also had recurring roles in the series Sister, Sister, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Steve Harvey Show, Dawson's Creek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, and Witches of East End. In 2016, Lawson began starring in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar.Contents
Lawson was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Denise (née Gordy) and actor Richard Lawson, making her the step-daughter to Lawson's second wife Tina Knowles, and step-sister to singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. Lawson is also the great-niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy. She attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and graduated from Marymount High School, a Catholic school in Los Angeles. She then went on to study film and psychology at University of Southern California. Lawson's parents are both African-American, and she also has Italian, Native American, Portuguese, and Creole ancestry.Career
Lawson began acting at the age of nine, having appeared in commercials for Barbie and Revlon. In 1993, she was cast in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class as series regular Megan Jones. She appeared in multiple episodes of The WB sitcoms Sister, Sister as Rhonda Coley and The Steve Harvey Show as Rosalind. In 1996, she co-starred in the UPN sitcom Goode Behavior as family sub-title character Bianca Goode, which lasted for just one season. In 1997, she appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as vampire slayer Kendra Young. In 1999, she appeared in The WB's Dawson's Creek as rival character Nikki Green.
In 2009, Lawson was cast as Shawna in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. That same year, she was cast in the CW television series The Vampire Diaries, as witch Emily Bennett. In December 2009, she was cast as Maya St. Germain in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, based on the book series by Sara Shepard. She appeared in that show from June 2010 through August 2012. Since 2012, she has had a recurring role as Ms. Morell in the MTV television series Teen Wolf, based on the original film from 1985. In 2014, Lawson had a recurring role as Eva in Witches of East End. In 2015, she was cast as series regular Talia Freeman in season three of Rogue.
Lawson has made appearances in two different television miniseries. In 1998, she appeared in The Temptations as Diana Ross (whom Lawson is related to through Ross's daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick); and in 2001, she was cast as Anna Bella Monroe in Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints.
Some of Lawson's film credits to date include Primary Colors (1998), Save the Last Dance (2001), Bones (2001) and Breakin' All the Rules (2004).
Aside from film and television, Lawson provided her voice to the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
In 2016, Lawson was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar created by Ava DuVernay.Filmography Film Year Title Role Notes 1998 Twice the Fear Girlfriend Direct-to-video Primary Colors Loretta 2000 Big Monster on Campus Darien Stompanato Direct-to-video 2001 Save the Last Dance Nikki Bones Cynthia 2003 Jeepers Creepers 2 (uncredited) 2004 Breakin' All the Rules Helen Sharp Dead & Breakfast Kate The Pavilion Mary Direct-to-video 2005 Flip the Script Angel Direct-to-video 2006 Broken Mia Independent film National Lampoon's Pledge This! Monique Direct-to-video 2007 Supergator Carla Masters Direct-to-video 2009 The Killing of Wendy Brooke Independent film Television Year Title Role Notes 1993–94 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan Jones Main role (seasons 1–2); 39 episodes 1994 What'z Up? Herself Co-host My So-Called Life Third Bathroom Girl Episode: "Pilot" 1995 Me and the Boys Girl Episode: "The Age of Reason" In the House Rachel Episode: "The Final Cut" Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan Jones Archive footage: "Screech's Dream" (#3.19) 1995–96 Sister, Sister Rhonda Coley Recurring role; 7 episodes 1996–97 Goode Behavior Bianca Goode Regular role; 22 episodes 1997–99 Smart Guy Shirley/Tracy 2 episodes 1997 The Parent 'Hood Jasmine 2 episodes 1997–98 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kendra Young 3 episodes 1998 Silk Stalkings Renee Episode: "Rage" The Steve Harvey Show Rosalind 3 episodes The Temptations Diana Ross TV miniseries 1999–2000 Dawson's Creek Nikki Green 4 episodes 2001 Strong Medicine Esperenza Maldonaldo Episode: "Control Group" The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn Herself Guest The Feast of All Saints Anna Bella Monroe TV miniseries 2002 For the People Asia Portman Episode: "Textbook Perfect" Haunted Brandi Combs Episode: "Blind Witness" 2003 Loose Lips Herself TV series documentary 2004 The Division Marilynn Resiser Episode: "Play Ball" The Big House Angela Episode: "Almost Touched by an Angel" Fearless Harmony Kaye Unsold TV pilot 2006 Living in TV Land Herself Episode: "Sherman Hemsley" 2008 The Cleaner Jeannie 2 episodes 2009 Bones Albie Episode: "Fire in the Ice" The Secret Life of the American Teenager Shawna Recurring role; 6 episodes Sorority Wars (uncredited) TV movie 2009–14 The Vampire Diaries Emily Bennett Recurring role; 6 episodes 2010–12 Pretty Little Liars Maya St. Germain Main role (season 1); 22 episodes 2010 Nikita Emily Robinson Episode: "The Guardian" 2011 American Horror Story Abby Episode: "Pilot" Heavenly Sasha Grant TV movie 2012–14 Teen Wolf Marin Morrell Recurring role; 12 episodes 2012 Beauty & the Beast Lafferty Episode: "Trapped" All About Christmas Eve Lila TV movie 2 Broke Girls Stacy Episode: "And the Silent Partner" 2013 Good Day L.A. Herself Guest 2014 House of Secrets Julie TV movie Wolf Watch Herself Guest Witches of East End Eva/Selina Recurring role; 10 episodes Pretty Little Liars: We Love You to DeAth Herself TV special 2015 Chicago P.D. Kylie Rosales Episode: "We Don't Work Together Anymore" Rogue Talia Freeman Main role (season 3); 10 episodes 2016 Queen Sugar Darla Series regular Video games Year Title Role Notes 2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic (voice) Provided additional voices References