She Played Kim on "A Different World." See Charnele Brown Now at 56.
The actor and acting teacher has reunited with her sitcom co-stars over the years.
After a major cast shake-up following Season 1, Charnele Brown joined the cast of A Different World as Kim Reese in Season 2. With Season 1 stars Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei off the show, the series began to focus more on other students at Hillman College, including Kim, a medical student and the roommate of Whitley Gilbert (Jasmine Guy). Brown remained on the series until it concluded in 1993, and she still celebrates her connection to the show today.
Brown kept acting following A Different World, and she also started her own acting school. Read on to find out more about her life after the college-set show.
She continued acting onscreen and onstage.
In an interview with 27 East in 2016, Brown shared that she wanted to be an actor ever since she was a child. "I've wanted to do it since I was in second grade," she said. "Discovering [Konstantin] Stanislavski … method acting—I always wanted to be other people and not be judged, so I knew what I was going to do."
So Brown continued performing after A Different World went off the air. She appeared on episodes of Martin, Living Single, Girlfriends, and My Wife and Kids. Most recently, she was in the movies Dilemma and BKS, Best Kept Secret, the latter of which she also wrote. She has also acted in plays, including in Texas where she lives.
She started an acting school.
Brown founded the Charnele Brown Acting Academy in Houston, Texas. In an interview with Houston Style Magazine in 2014, she shared that she was teaching adult students, and her partner was teaching children.
"What we're looking for for the school is not just anybody," she said. "We want people that have a need and a want to be in the business. And you have to have that 'oomph.' God has to give you that, because I can't teach you how to act, I can only enhance what you have."
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She stays in contact with her co-stars.
The cast of A Different World has reunited several times over the years. Brown got together with her castmates in 2016 when they took part in the "It IS A Different World: College Changes EVERYTHING" event at Norfolk State University, an HBCU (historically Black college and university) in Virginia. Also in 2016, the cast appeared on Steve Harvey, where they talked about their most memorable groundbreaking moments from the show. Brown shared that she was struck by an episode titled "Mammy Dearest," which focused on racist mammy artwork and figurines.
The cast also got together for the E! special Reunion Road Trip in 2021. While Brown wasn't one of the main stars featured on the special, she did make an appearance via video chat.
She was too young at the time to realize how important the show would be.
Brown spoke about her time on A Different World and its legacy in her East 27 interview. The series notably explored student life at an HBCU and tackled serious topics, including HIV/AIDS, race relations, and sexual assault.
"Back then we were just happy to be working and doing something that we love. We didn't understand the significance," Brown explained. Touching on the reunion at Norfolk State, she added, "We didn't know how much we were appreciated [by fans] because we didn't have social media back then. Seeing all the love, we were really taken aback."