As the no-nonsense, career-oriented wife and mother on "The Bernie Mac Show" (Fox, 2001-06), actress Kellita Smith has more than held her own with the unconventional sitcom's star. Previously a supporting player in movies and recurring guest star on television, Smith landed her role on Bernie Mac's show at the last minute, prompting the comedian to say that she 'stole' the role. Born in Chicago and raised in Oakland, CA, Smith became an actress later in life after realizing the regular nine-to-five grind was not for her. She began her acting career on stage, getting her first break in "Tell It Like It Tiz," which toured the country for two years. She also starred in productions of "No Place to be Somebody" for the KC Theatre Company and "Feelings" for the Hudson Theatre, for which she won a NAACP Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1996. That same year, the NAACP nominated her for Best Actress for her role in "The Thirteenth Thorn."
Smith began acting on television as early as 1993, when she appeared in an episode of "Living Single" (Fox, 1993-1998). She soon landed several recurring roles: as Tracy on "Martin" (Fox, 1992-1997), Tonya on "Sister, Sister" (ABC, WB, 1993-1999) and Danielle, Tim's short-lived girlfriend, on "Malcolm and Eddie" (UPN, 1996-2000). Meanwhile, Smith segued into film, starting with a small role in psychological drama, "The Crossing Guard" (1995), starring a grief stricken Jack Nicholson out to avenge the drunk driving death of his daughter. She had another small part in "Kingdom Come" (2001), an amusing ensemble drama about a disparate family who gathers for the funeral of one of their own.
In between film projects, Smith continued appearing in small screen roles, most notably on "The Jamie Foxx Show" (WB, 1996-2001) on which she played Foxx's love interest, Cherise. After showing up on episodes of "The Steve Harvey Show" (WB, 1996-2002), "Nash Bridges" (CBS, 1995-2001) and "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), she landed her regular role on "The Bernie Mac Show." Despite the relentless shooting schedule, Smith continued to make movies. In the low-budget indie comedy, "Hair Show" (2004), she starred as the successful owner of an upscale hair salon in Beverly Hills whose estranged sister (Mo'Nique) appears unexpectedly while on the lamb from the IRS. Smith next appeared in "King's Ransom" (2005), playing the scheming wife of a millionaire (Anthony Anderson) whose plan to take everything in the divorce is thwarted by his own plot to kidnap himself.