Obscure Black C-Listers: Vernee Watson-Johnson
Vernee Watson-Johnson is one of entertainment’s most recognizable faces but one of its least recognizable names. She’s been in over 200 commercials, including a current ad for V-8. She has over 100 film and television credits to her name and has been on practically every sitcom that I can think of at least once playing bit parts from a secretary to a judge. But of course, she’s most recognizable as Will’s mother on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, forming one leg of the super-cute black sisterhood quadrant along with Janet Hubert-Whitten (the REAL Aunt Viv), Jenifer Lewis, and the grossly underrated Charlayne Woodard. Maybe it’s because I have family from her hometown of Trenton, New Jersey, or maybe it’s because of her self-satisfied smirk, but whenever she pops up I just wanna talk to the screen and go “hey girl,” as if I already know her and we’re about to talk some trash together. After finishing a stint on Days of Our Lives, a venue completely inappropriate for her experience if you ask me, she continues to work steadily. She also teaches acting in LA, which is how she ended up testifying on Michael Jackson’s behalf during that messy little molestation trial (she coached the accuser and claimed that his mother was clearly after that paper). As much as I’d love to see her in a starring role I know she will certainly continue to be around.