Monday, September 27, 2021

Daphne Maxwell Reid: Traveling Through Time with ‘Grace, Soul and Mother Wit’

Daphne Maxwell Reid
Daphne Maxwell Reid

*Daphne Maxwell Reid is a television icon. You may know her for her iconic role in the classic TV show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

Well, the television icon is now expanding her talents in other, incredible creative ventures. She currently has a cookbook out, “Grace, Soul and Mother Wit,” a cookbook meets memoir of sorts. But why a cookbook?

“My mother was a great cook and I learned at her elbow. I’ve been married twice and since I have raised children, one needs to cook,” laughed Daphne Maxwell Reid. It’s a memoir basically. The recipes each have a story of where I got it or what that person meant to me or where we intersected in life. You can gather things, have a chuckle and make a meal.”

The creative icon also has another outlet and business- fashion. She is an accomplished designer and has had several of her fashions featured on runways.

“I’ve been making clothes ever since I was nine years old,” said Daphne. But she found out, as time went on, that making clothes can be lucrative. “About five or six years ago, my husband was having a fundraiser and he decided to do a fashion show/fundraiser with some other partners,” she said. He encouraged her to sell her amazing designs. “So, I did the line, and that’s the first time I decided to sell what I made. One of the first coats to come out sold off the runway.”

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Daphne Maxwell Reid & Fresh Prince cast
Daphne Maxwell Reid & ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ cast

Since 1982, she’s been married to actor Tim Reid, who she first worked with on the show, “WKRP in Cincinnati.” She first worked as a model, being the first Black model to grace the cover of Glamour magazine. The iconic actress has worked on such television series as “Hill Street Blues,” “Simon and Simon,” “Sister, Sister,” “Once Upon A Time…When We Were Colored,” and countless other shows including the series, “Frank’s Place,” in which she starred opposite Tim Reid. But television viewers will remember her role as Vivian Banks in the show “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” with Will Smith as the show that catapulted her into the mainstream.

“I really enjoyed played opposite James Avery,” she said of being on the television show. “He was such a warm and embracing person, a really good man. He, his wife and my husband and I used to travel together. We had a blast.”  But she has enjoyed many of her roles, and one of her roles particularly stands out. “I really enjoyed played the hooker in “Linc’s,” a project we did for Showtime, starring Pam Grier, “she reflected. “It was such a rich character- so wise, educated and purposeful. She had some great things for me. I really enjoyed playing that character.”

Daphne Maxwell Reid - Harriet
Daphne Maxwell Reid in ‘Harriet’

Daphne Maxwell Reid may also be seen in the historical feature “Harriet.”

“It was fabulous,” said Daphne Maxwell Reid of working in the movie. “It was an honor to work with that group of women, who were producing, directing and starring in that movie. I was just thrilled to have any part in it.” Daphne, who played the part of Miz Lucy, is proud of her contribution to an iconic historical movie. “I was proud of the recognition that the movie got- it was well-deserved,” she said. “It was such a wonderful movie. You may not recognize me, but people, watch out! I’m in the basement and there’s a trap door above me and I walk through the water with Harriet.”

Fresh Prince Reunion Special (Photo: Will Smith/Facebook/Instagram)
Fresh Prince Reunion Special (Photo: Will Smith/Facebook/Instagram)

Daphne Maxwell Reid has some fantastic things planned for the remainder of 2020. One of them, a “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” reunion show is currently streaming on HBO Max.

“It will warm your heart and bring you tears like it brought us,” said Daphne, reflecting on the reuniting with the actors and actresses from the show, an iconic show, encapsulated in the annals of television history. “And there’s lot of surprises and special guests. It was a lovely, lovely week of shooting. “

On December 1st, a Christmas movie she starred in, is slated to be aired. “It’s called ‘The Franklin Christmas,’ I believe that’s the title,” said Daphne. “It was a Christmas movie that I really enjoyed doing this year.”

Daphne Maxwell Reid - cookbook cover

Although the title of the book is called “Grace, Soul and Mother Wit,” the title of the book could also be used as a metaphor for her life.

“Travel through time and through the wonderful experiences I’ve had in my life through the pages of a delicious cookbook, that will teach you things, make you laugh and show you how I honor my parents,” said Daphne Maxwell Reid, truly a lady of Grace, Soul and Mother Wit.”

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