Robin Givens (born November 27, 1964) is an American actress.
Robin was born in New York City, the daughter of Ruth Roper (née Newby) and Reuben Givens. Robin's mother and father divorced when she was two. Robin and her sister were raised by their mother in New Rochelle, New York. At age 15, Robin enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College. Robin later claimed she studied various medical courses at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, although Harvard's registrar office only confirmed that Robin took one class in 1984.
Robin first began acting in 1985 with an appearance on The Cosby Show, followed by roles in Diff'rent Strokes, and the 1986 television film Beverly Hills Madam opposite Faye Dunaway. That same year, Robin landed her breakthrough role as rich girl Darlene Merriman on the ABC sitcom Head of the Class. The series lasted five seasons, ending in 1991. In 1989, while starring in Head of the Class, Robin appeared in The Women of Brewster Place with Oprah Winfrey. She later appeared in 1992's Boomerang. In 1994, she posed nude for Playboy magazine and was ranked #88 on Empire Magazine 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History list in May 1995.
In 1996, Robin portrayed Claudia in the 1996 television movie The Face (also known as A Face to Die For) with Yasmine Bleeth. Later that year, she co-starred in the UPN sitcom Sparks. The series ended its run in 1998.
In January 2000, Robin appeared in a cameo in music video "He Wasn't Man Enough" by Toni Braxton, as the wife of a cheating husband. Robin returned to the entertainment industry later that year as the host of the talk show Forgive or Forget, replacing television personality Mother Love halfway through the show's first season. Ratings initially increased after Robin took over hosting duties, but soon fell. The series was canceled after its first season.
In 2006, Robin attempted a return to television on MyNetworkTV's telenovela Saints and Sinners, but the show garnered low ratings and was soon canceled. Robin continued acting in made-for-television films while also making appearances on Trinity Broadcasting Network's Praise the Lord program (July 12, 2007), and Larry King Live. In June 2007, Robin released her autobiography Grace Will Lead Me Home.
In 2008, Robin portrayed herself on The Game. She has also had a recurring role on the TBS show Tyler Perry's House of Payne, and she has a guest role on USA Network's Burn Notice.
In addition to television and film roles, Robin has also performed onstage. In 2001, she appeared in an Off Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues. From February to April 16, 2006, she played the role of Roxie Hart in the Broadway play Chicago. In 2007, Robin toured the country playing a part in the I'm Ready Productions play Men, Money & Gold diggers.
Robin dated her Head of the Class co-star Brian Robbins, comedian and actor Eddie Murphy, and a pre-fame Brad Pitt. Robin briefly dated Howard Stern from 1999-2000.
After meeting in March 1987, Robin married boxer Mike Tyson on February 7, 1988. Tyson was then estimated to have $USD $50 million, and he and Robin did not make a prenuptial agreement. During their marriage, Robin and her mother bought a $4.5 million dollar mansion in the affluent suburb of Bernardsville, New Jersey. She miscarried the couple's child in May 1988 and soon after, the marriage began to fall apart. Robin alleged spousal abuse while Tyson alleged alienation and interest in his money not him. The marriage ended on Valentine's Day, just a year later. Newspapers reported that Robin received a divorce settlement of over $10 million from her marriage to Tyson. Robin later denied the report stating, "I didn’t receive one dime." Robin received negative press following her split from Tyson, particularly within the African American community. One article in particular described her as "the most hated woman in America".
In 1993, Robin adopted her first son, Buddy. She has a second son, Billy, with ex-boyfriend Murphy Jensen.
In 1997, Robin married her tennis instructor Svetozar Marinkovic. Robin and Marinkovic separated the same day that they married. Robin filed for divorce months later.
In January 2004, Robin critically injured an 89-year-old pedestrian, Maria Antonia Alcover, while driving her SUV through a Miami intersection. Robin was ticketed for failing to use due care with a pedestrian in a crosswalk, but the charges were later dismissed. In June 2004, Alcover filed a civil lawsuit against Robin and her sister (the owner of the SUV Robin was driving) for an unknown amount.
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