Berlinda Tolbert Biography

Berlinda Tolbert is an American actress best known for her role as Jenny Willis Jefferson in the iconic sitcom ‘The Jeffersons’. With a career spanning over three decades, Tolbert’s talent and dedication to her craft have made her a professional actress par excellence. Despite her success, she remains a private person, keeping her personal life out of the public eye and staying away from social media. Tolbert’s romantic nature is evident in her decision to marry her life partner within two weeks of knowing each other, and they have been happily married for over 40 years.

Quick Facts

  • Age: 74 Years
  • Family: Spouse/Ex-: Bob Reid
  • Born Country: United States
  • Actresses
  • Black Actresses
  • U.S. State: North Carolina
  • African-American From North Carolina
  • Education: University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Childhood & Early Life

Berlinda Tolbert was born on the 4th of November, 1949 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She grew up in a liberal family that encouraged her to pursue her talent and build a career in acting. Her father, in particular, believed in her skills after seeing her impressive performance in a school play. Tolbert received her education from North Carolina University and majored in theater at Winston-Salem’s North Carolina School of the Arts. To further improve her acting skills, she studied drama in London before getting her break in the movies in the early 1970s.


Tolbert began her acting career in 1974 with the film “Airport 1975” and appeared in TV shows such as “That’s My Mama,” “Sanford and Son,” and “The Streets of San Francisco.” She went on to play small characters in shows like “All in the Family,” “Mannix,” “S.W.A.T.,” and “Police Woman” before landing the role of Jenny Willis in “The Jeffersons.” This role became the most prominent feature in Tolbert’s career as she played it for over a decade. The chemistry between her and her co-actor Mike Evans was highly appreciated by the audience. “The Jeffersons” aired for 11 seasons from 1975 to 1985.

Throughout her career, Tolbert also appeared in movies such as “Beverly Hills Brats,” “Harlem Nights,” “Goodfellas,” “Patriot Games,” “Dangerous Touch,” “Strange Fruit,” “Live!,” and “Last Ride on the Midwest Pacific.” She also worked on numerous television shows including “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” “Matt Houston,” “Airwolf,” “Hotel,” “Amen,” “Gabriel’s Fire,” “Jake and the Fatman,” “FBI: The Untold Stories,” “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch,” “7th Heaven,” “The Army Show,” “Home Improvement,” “Dead Last,” “Half & Half,” “ER,” “Strong Medicine,” “Six Feet Under,” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” from 1981 to 2007. Tolbert also starred in Maya Angelou’s play titled “On a Southern Journey” and appeared in a short film called “Just Another Man’s Wife” in 2013.


Berlinda Tolbert met Bob Reid, a journalist and producer, in Atlanta while she was filming for a TV show and Bob was working with NBC. They fell in love at first sight and decided to spend the rest of their lives together after knowing each other for only 11 days. They got married on the 14th of February, 1979 in Rhode Island. The initial seven years of their marriage were spent long-distance as Bob worked in New York and Berlinda had professional commitments in Los Angeles. Eventually, Bob quit his job and moved to LA to be with Tolbert. He took up a journalist’s position at CBS so they could stay together.

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