Bianca Lawson

Bianca Jasmine Lawson (born March 20, 1979) is an American actress. She is known for her regular roles in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Goode Behavior, Pretty Little Liars, and Rogue. She has also had recurring roles in the series Sister, Sister, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Steve Harvey Show, Dawson's Creek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, and Witches of East End. In 2016, Lawson began starring in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar.

Bianca Lawson
Bianca Lawson publicity shot.jpg
Lawson in 2008
Bianca Jasmine Lawson

(1979-03-20) March 20, 1979 (age 42)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
Years active1988–present

Early life

Lawson was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Denise (née Gordy) and actor Richard Lawson, making her the step-daughter to Lawson's second wife Tina Knowles, and step-sister to singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles.[1] Lawson is also a grand-niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy.[2] She attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and graduated from Marymount High School, a Catholic school in Los Angeles. She then went on to study film and psychology at University of Southern California.[3] Lawson's parents are both African-American, and she also has Italian, Native American, Portuguese, and Creole ancestry.[4]


Lawson began acting at the age of nine, having appeared in commercials for Barbie and Revlon. In 1993, she was cast in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class as series regular Megan Jones. She appeared in multiple episodes of The WB sitcoms Sister, Sister as Rhonda Coley and The Steve Harvey Show as Rosalind. In 1996, she co-starred in the UPN sitcom Goode Behavior—which lasted for just one season—as Bianca Goode, the teenage daughter of the titular family. In 1997, she appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as vampire slayer Kendra Young. In 1999, she appeared in The WB's Dawson's Creek as rival character Nikki Green.

In 2009, Lawson was cast as Shawna in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. That same year, she was cast in the CW television series The Vampire Diaries, as witch Emily Bennett. In December 2009, she was cast as Maya St. Germain in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, based on the book series by Sara Shepard.[5] She appeared in that show from June 2010 through August 2012. Since 2012, she has had a recurring role as Ms. Morell in the MTV television series Teen Wolf, based on the original film from 1985. In 2014, Lawson had a recurring role as Eva in Witches of East End. In 2015, she was cast as series regular Talia Freeman in season three of Rogue.

Lawson has made appearances in two different television miniseries. In 1998, she appeared in The Temptations as Diana Ross (whom Lawson is related to through Ross's daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick); and in 2001, she was cast as Anna Bella Monroe in Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints. Some of Lawson's film credits to date include Primary Colors (1998), Save the Last Dance (2001), Bones (2001) and Breakin' All the Rules (2004). Aside from film and television, Lawson provided her voice to the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. In 2016, Lawson was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar created by Ava DuVernay.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Twice the Fear Girlfriend Direct-to-video
1998 Primary Colors Loretta
2000 Big Monster on Campus Darien Stompanato Direct-to-video
2001 Save the Last Dance Nikki
2001 Bones Cynthia
2003 Jeepers Creepers 2 (uncredited)
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Helen Sharp
2004 Dead & Breakfast Kate
2004 The Pavilion Mary Direct-to-video
2005 Flip the Script Angel Direct-to-video
2006 Broken Mia Independent film
2006 National Lampoon's Pledge This! Monique Direct-to-video
2007 Supergator Carla Masters Direct-to-video
2009 The Killing of Wendy Brooke Independent film


Year Title Role Notes
1993–94 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan Jones Main role (seasons 1–2); 39 episodes
1994 What'z Up? Herself Co-host
1994 My So-Called Life Third Bathroom Girl Episode: "Pilot"
1995 Me and the Boys Girl Episode: "The Age of Reason"
1995 In the House Rachel Episode: "The Final Cut"
1995 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Megan Jones Archive footage: "Screech's Dream" (#3.19)
1995–96 Sister, Sister Rhonda Coley Recurring role; 7 episodes
1996–97 Goode Behavior Bianca Goode Regular role; 22 episodes
1997–99 Smart Guy Shirley/Tracy 2 episodes
1997 The Parent 'Hood Jasmine 2 episodes
1997–98 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kendra Young 3 episodes
1998 Silk Stalkings Renee Episode: "Rage"
1998 The Steve Harvey Show Rosalind 3 episodes
1998 The Temptations Diana Ross Television mini-series
1999–2000 Dawson's Creek Nikki Green 4 episodes
2001 Strong Medicine Esperenza Maldonaldo Episode: "Control Group"
2001 The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn Herself Guest
2001 The Feast of All Saints Anna Bella Monroe Television mini-series
2002 For the People Asia Portman Episode: "Textbook Perfect"
2002 Haunted Brandi Combs Episode: "Blind Witness"
2003 Loose Lips Herself Television series documentary
2004 The Division Marilynn Resiser Episode: "Play Ball"
2004 The Big House Angela Episode: "Almost Touched by an Angel"
2004 Fearless Harmony Kaye Unsold Television pilot
2006 Living in TV Land Herself Episode: "Sherman Hemsley"
2008 The Cleaner Jeannie 2 episodes
2009 Bones Albie Episode: "Fire in the Ice"
2009 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Shawna Recurring role; 6 episodes
2009 Sorority Wars (uncredited)[citation needed] Television film
2009–14 The Vampire Diaries Emily Bennett Recurring role; 6 episodes
2010–12 Pretty Little Liars Maya St. Germain Main role (season 1), Recurring (seasons 2-3); 22 episodes
2010 Nikita Emily Robinson Episode: "The Guardian"
2011 American Horror Story Abby Episode: "Pilot"
2011 Heavenly Sasha Grant Television film
2012–14 Teen Wolf Marin Morrell Recurring role; 12 episodes
2012 Beauty & the Beast Lafferty Episode: "Trapped"
2012 All About Christmas Eve Lila Television film
2012 2 Broke Girls Stacy Episode: "And the Silent Partner"
2013 Good Day L.A. Herself Guest
2014 House of Secrets Julie Television film
2014 Wolf Watch Herself Guest
2014 Witches of East End Eva/Selina Recurring role; 10 episodes
2015 Chicago P.D. Kylie Rosales Episode: "We Don't Work Together Anymore"
2015 Rogue Talia Freeman Main role (season 3); 10 episodes
2016–present Queen Sugar Darla Recurring role (season 1)
main role (seasons 2–present)

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic (voice) Provided additional voices

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title Result Refs
2001 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Fight Scene (shared with Julia Stiles) Save the Last Dance Won
2018 Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama Series Queen Sugar Nominated


  1. ^ Webber, Stephanie (April 14, 2015). "Beyonce's New Stepsister Bianca Lawson Is Famous, Too: Details! - Us Weekly". Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Bianca Lawson Biography (1979-), Film Reference
  3. ^ Bianca Lawson's bio Archived June 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine at ABC
  4. ^ Exclusive Bianca Lawson Interview at Facebook
  5. ^ "ABC Family Announces Additional Casting for its Upcoming Pilots "Melissa & Joey," "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project" and "Pretty Little Liars."" (PDF). ABC Family Press Release. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  6. ^ Denise Petski. "'Queen Sugar' Adds Bianca Lawson, Greg Vaughan & Henry G. Sanders - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved February 23, 2016.

External links