She Played Whitley on "A Different World." See Jasmine Guy Now at 60.
The former sitcom star is an actor, director, and activist.
Actor and singer Jasmine Guy became famous in the late 1980s for portraying Whitley Gilbert on the sitcom A Different World, a Cosby Show spinoff that followed Denise (Lisa Bonet) to college. Guy's Southern belle character was best known for her will-they-won't-they relationship with Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison), and while the characters ultimately end up together, diehard fans continue to debate the merits of their relationship and whether they were good for each other or not. As for Whitley herself, the actor behind her has since moved on to various projects and remains a serious presence in Hollywood. Read on to learn what Guy has been up to since her days at Hillman College.
She still acts regularly—onscreen and onstage.
After A Different World ended in 1993—Guy having become the lead after Bonet left the show following Season 1—Guy continued to act frequently on TV, in movies, and onstage. Her recent television roles include a recurring role on Vampire Diaries, starring in the BET series The Quad, and appearing on the shows Grey's Anatomy and Harlem. Guy found success in the movies around the same time she became a TV star, appearing in Spike Lee's 1988 film, School Daze. These days, she can be found in lots of TV movies, including the occasional holiday rom-com.
Guy, who also dabbled in R&B music with a 1990 album, has performed in multiple stage productions, including musicals. She's directed several shows as well, and in 2010, was named Producing Director of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia.
She has a grownup daughter.
Guy has been linked to some fellow performers in the past. She reportedly dated her Harlem Nights co-star Eddie Murphy and quietly saw A Different World actor Dominic Hoffman (who played Julian) when they worked together on the show. She was close friends with rapper Tupac Shakur, and it was reported earlier in this year that she'll be an executive producer on an upcoming biopic about the artist's mother, activist Afeni Shakur. She also wrote a biography of Afeni that was published in 2005.
The actor has been married once, to consultant Terrence Duckett, from 1998 to 2008. The couple welcomed a daughter, Imani Duckett, in 1999. She's following in her mom's footsteps as an actor and is a visual artist, as well—Guy has shared some of her daughter's work on her own Instagram.
She advocates for more Black creators to get ahead in the industry.
In 2019, Guy linked up with 19 other women of color to launch the Reel Divas initiative. As reported by Deadline, Reel Divas is "a group that aims to promote Black writers, producers and directors and increase awareness of Atlanta as a production hub."
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She's reunited with her A Different World castmates.
In 2021, Guy and some of her A Different World co-stars, including Hardison, Sinbad, Cree Summer, Darryl M. Bell, and Dawnn Lewis—came together again for an episode of E!'s Reunion Road Trip. They reflected on the legacy of the comedy series, which often touched on difficult and serious topics alongside the usual college shenanigans. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight that year, Guy said she believed that A Different World wouldn't be any less engaged in tough conversations if it were still around today.
"People asked why we wanted that heavy stuff on our little comedy show, but we could always be funny," she said. "That's what I kept saying. The deeper you go, we will find a place to make it funny."