A bright-eyed, smooth-skinned and poised African-American actress, Tamala Jones proved more than just a pretty face with a winning smile by creating a varied career based upon her versatile talent, working steadily in comedic and dramatic projects for both film and television. Jones made her feature film debut at age twenty, appearing in "How to Make an American Quilt" (1995) as the great-grandmother of Maya Angelou's character, injected into the storyline via a flashback cameo. That same year the actress racked up high-profile television roles in episodes of the sitcoms "The Wayans Bros." and "The Parent 'Hood" (both The WB) and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC) as well as a recurring role as Joanie, the niece of Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle) on the NBC drama "ER". From there Jones joined the regular cast of the ABC drama "Dangerous Minds". Based upon the hit film chronicling the true story of a teacher's observations of the struggles in a tough inner city high school, the series was short-lived but offered her a turn to show her dramatic chops, portraying a teenage mother bravely facing the challenges of parenthood, education and an abusive spouse.