November 3, 1966
Devika Parikh, whose name means "little goddess" in Sanskrit, was born to Indian and African-American parents in Maryland. Charming and beautiful, she was the first African-American homecoming queen of her high school, Seneca Valley High, in Washington. Following high school, she graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in broadcast journalism. After working for a short while on the PBS news program "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour," she headed for the warmer climes of Los Angeles to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an actress. The move paid off. She got her career off to a quick start by landing her first television appearance, in 1991, on the groundbreaking sketch comedy program helmed by comedian Keenen Ivory Wayans, "In Living Color," the same program that helped turn comedians like Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier into household names. From there, she went on to appear on other African-American-oriented programs, like the sitcoms "Martin," "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and "The Sinbad Show." In 1999, she took on the role she is perhaps mostly widely recognized for, playing Bonnie, assistant to the communications director, on the popular political drama "The West Wing." She held that role for five seasons, until 2003.