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Actress, acting debut on The Cosby Show in 1984
Starred in the Broadway play “Chicago” (2006) being the first African American to play Roxie Hart on Broadway
Starred in Little Hercules in 3-D (coming soon), Restraining Order, Captive Hearts, A Good Night to Die, and Head of State
Attended Sarah Lawrence College, New York City’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
CBN.com WALK TO FAME
Robin Givens comes from a Catholic family that was haunted by domestic violence for three generations, including herself, her mother, and grandmother. At a young age, her father abandoned her mother and Robin never had much of a relationship with him during her youth.
Determined to give her daughter a life better than her own, Ruth Givens enrolled young Robin in violin lessons. But, her daughter found more interest and her passion in acting. At ten years old, Robin enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. In 1980, at 15, she pursued a degree in premed at Sarah Lawrence College; she left during her junior year to focus on her acting career.
In 1984, Robin landed her first major acting gig with The Cosby Show, which at the time was known as the best show on television. With the encouragement of Bill Cosby and a focused mentality, her acting career began to take off. Robin was headed for success. Since the pursuit of a full-time career in Hollywood, Robin has starred in theater productions, films, and television sitcoms including Beverly Hills Madam, The Wiz, Head of the Class, Love Chronicles, A Good Night to Die, Blankman, and more.
In the fall of 1986, Mike Tyson phoned Robin’s office and asked to meet her. It wasn’t until January 1987 that Mike flew out to Los Angeles and met Robin, her sister, and her mother at a restaurant. Once, while they were dating, Robin and Mike got into an argument. Mike punched her in her left temple and she crumpled to the ground.“It was a complete surprise when it finally happened,” says Robin. The two made up several days later and Robin never mentioned it again. The two were married on Valentine’s Day in 1988. But their marriage only lasted for six months before Robin filed for divorce because of physical abuse. In 1997, she briefly remarried Svetozar Marinkovic, her tennis instructor.
EXPERIENCING GOD: “GRACE WILL LEAD ME HOME”
Along with being a successful theater, film, and television actress, Robin also is the mother of two. She and her sons, Buddy (13) and Billy (7), currently reside in New York and Florida. Today, Robin, 42, is stronger than years before, has a developing faith, and focuses on her career and raising her two sons. In her recently published memoir, Grace Will Lead Me Home, she reflects on the life of her praying grandmother, Grace, her experiences of domestic violence, her strong will to survive, feeling abandoned by her father, and her faith in God. Robin said that it was ex-husband Mike Tyson who introduced her to God. Speaking of the pain Tyson caused her during their relationship Robin shared that regardless of it all, it was Tyson who made her the women she is today. She believes that it is by knowing God that she has come to understand who she really is. “It is by experiencing God that we get to know him…and it is in knowing God, truly knowing God, that we get to know ourselves,” she said.
Robin has learned to accept the trials that God has allowed her to experience and she considers every adversity as an opportunity to be a better person. She encourages others who have similar experiences to her own to desire to travail in spite of their situation. “You can be better,” said Robin, “I wanted to be better because of this, not for a bigger career, but to be a better person.”
Robin’s most recent film accomplishments include Little Hercules in 3-D (in theaters this year) and 4-Bidden, which will be released in 2008.
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