Daphne Maxwell Reid made a splash on the small screen on three seasons as Aunt Vivian on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and you'll be pleased to know that her career has evolved greatly since her time on TV in the '90s. She's put out five photography books and calendars, has her own clothing line, and recently launched her first cookbook, Grace + Soul & Motherwit.
She's an inspiring artist and leader and we got the chance to connect with her recently about her career and what's next. And be sure to catch her in Jacqueline and Jilly on UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which airs from Thursday, Dec. 6 to Jan. 10.
It's Rosy: Tell us about your new cookbook — where did the idea come from?
Daphne Maxwell Reid: "It’s a mini memoir. I have been sharing recipes for 50 years. I have collected favorites from my family and I love getting them from people I work with. People have been asking me to write a memoir and I wasn’t ready to do that, so I incorporated a mini version as an angle for finally getting the cookbook published."
Why is it important to keep reinventing yourself and what advice do you have for other women over 50 who are also career-driven?
"It is important to remain interesting and interested. I have so much to share and so much to learn, that it is a necessity to tap into all of my God given gifts. In delving into each facet of my being, I find myself exploring something new that I want to share."
You have a clothing line (Daphne Style). What made you start it?
"Daphne Style is a custom line only. I am not interested in pursuing a grand business in fashion. I have always made my own clothes because I know what I like and what styles and colors I wear well. The industry does not cater to my needs in colors or fit, so I create my own. Daphne Style will continue to be my custom made line of just a few designs that can make women of any age look elegant."
What do you deem your biggest career accomplishment (so far) and why?
"My biggest career accomplishment so far is the legacy of work that I have accumulated as an actress of color."
What's next for you?
"Later this year, I will be traveling to Sicily and Venice hoping to capture enough photographs of Doors to do my sixth book."
At It's Rosy, we encourage our readers to defy expectations and celebrate their journey. How are you doing that?
"Coming from the housing projects of New York City, young black women of my era were not expected to achieve anything substantial. In proving the naysayers wrong, I have amassed the makings of a successful, delightful, exceptionally wonderful life. I intend to continue on that path."