Karen Malina White (born July 7, 1965) is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her roles as Kaneesha Carter, the high school student in the 1989 film, Lean on Me, as Charmaine Brown during the two final seasons on The Cosby Show and the final season of A Different World, Nicolette Vandross on Malcolm & Eddie and the voice of Dijonay Jones on the Disney Channel animated comedy, The Proud Family.
Karen Malina White was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She studied at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. When she graduated high school, White continued her studies at Howard University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with cum laude honors. In her senior year White won the title "Miss Howard University" and landed her first role as an actress.
White has a daughter. Contrary to rumors, White is not married to actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Warner states, "I'm not married. People probably started saying that because we were in a relationship for seven and a half years."
In 1989, White starred in Lean on Me alongside actor Morgan Freeman. She was nominated for the 1990 Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for her performance in the film. During the 90's she made many guest appearances in various television shows. She portrayed Charmaine Brown during Seasons 7 and 8 of The Cosby Show (1990-1992), and Season 6 of A Different World (1992-1993). White also guest starred as Jewel, Jazz's wife in two episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. From 2001-2005, she performed the voice of Dijonay Jones on the animated Disney Channel series The Proud Family. White has also appeared in various stage productions.
In Our Lives
Lean On Me
Young Artist Award (nominated)
A Man Called Hawk
Episode: "Beautiful Are the Stars"
The Cosby Show
A Different World
Episode: "There's a Fly Girl In My Soup"
Episodes: "The Poker Hand That Rocks the Cradle", "God Bless the Child", & "Citizen Roc" (2)
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
Episodes: "Father Fairest", "Seoul Shake", "Episode: Will She or Won't She?", "Security", & "The Spa"
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Episodes: "The Ol' Ball and Chain" & "Episode: Mother's Day"
My So-Called Life
Episodes: "Self-Esteem" & "Betrayal"
Me and the Boys
Episodes: "The B Word" & "When Stanley Met Shirley"
Episode: "Hello Goodbye"
The Parent 'Hood
Episode: "Track Dreams"
Episode: "Meter Feeders"
Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored
The Home Court
Episode: "Laborer of Love"
Episode: "Woman to Woman"
Episode: "Do You Want To Know A Secret?"
Malcolm & Eddie
Episode: "Mr Donovan's Neighborhood"
The Proud Family
Dijonay Jones (voice)
Episode: "City of Roses"
Episode: "Chapter Seventy-Eight"
The Proud Family Movie
Disney Channel TV-Movie
The Ties That Bind