Is Essence Atkins Related to Tia Mowry? The Truth Behind the Rumor

Essence Atkins is a talented and versatile actress who has appeared in many popular TV shows and movies, such as Smart Guy, Half & Half, A Haunted House, and Marlon. She is also known for her striking resemblance to another famous actress, Tia Mowry, who starred in Sister, Sister, The Game, and Family Reunion. Many fans have wondered if Essence Atkins and Tia Mowry are related, especially since they both have twin siblings. However, the truth is that they are not related at all, and the rumor that they are sisters is just a result of their similar appearance and career paths.

How the Rumor Started

The rumor that Essence Atkins and Tia Mowry are sisters started in the late 1990s, when Essence played the role of Tasha Yvette Henderson, the older sister of T.J. Henderson (played by Tahj Mowry) in the sitcom Smart Guy. Tahj is the younger brother of Tia and Tamera Mowry, who are identical twins and famous actresses themselves. Since Essence looked a lot like Tahj’s sisters, some fans assumed that she was also one of their siblings. The fact that Essence and Tia both have the same middle name (Uhura) also added to the confusion.

However, Essence has clarified several times that she is not related to Tia or Tamera Mowry. She said in an interview with , “Let’s clarify that, and that I’m not related to Tia or Tamera [Mowry]. I did play their real brother’s [Tahj Mowry] sister on Smart Guy, but there’s no relation.” She also said in another interview with Hollywood Mask , “I’m not a Mowry. I’m an Atkins.”

Essence’s Family Background

Essence is the only child of her parents, Sandy Nelson and Jeffery Atkins. She was born on February 7, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York City. She grew up in St. Albans, Queens, and attended Professional Children School, which is a school for students who work and continue their studies simultaneously. She also learned dance from the Alvin Ailey Institute and auditioned for The Cosby Show through a job description posted on her dance institute’s bulletin board.

Essence was married to Jaime Mendez, a former Puerto Rican collegiate football free safety, from 2009 to 2016. They met on Valentine’s Day 2008 through the online dating service They have a son named Varro Blair Mendez, who was born in December 2011.

Tia’s Family Background

Tia is one of the four children of Darlene Renée Mowry (née Flowers) and Timothy John Mowry. She was born on July 6, 1978, in Gelnhausen, West Germany, where her father was stationed as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Her mother was also a sergeant in the U.S. Army and later became a security guard. Her father is of English and Irish ancestry and her mother is of Afro-Bahamian descent.

Tia has an identical twin sister named Tamera Mowry-Housley, who is also an actress and a TV personality. They began their acting career as children and became famous for their roles as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell in the sitcom Sister, Sister. They also starred together in several movies and TV shows, such as Seventeen Again, Twitches, Twitches Too, and Tia & Tamera.

Tia also has two younger brothers: Tahj Mowry, who is an actor and singer; and Tavior Mowry, who is a musician and former college football player. Tia married Cory Hardrict, an actor and producer, in 2008. They have two children: a son named Cree Taylor Hardrict (born in June 2011) and a daughter named Cairo Tiahna Hardrict (born in May 2018).


Essence Atkins and Tia Mowry are not related by blood or by marriage. They are both successful actresses who share some physical features and have worked with each other’s siblings in some projects. However, they are not sisters or cousins or any other kind of relatives. They are just friends and colleagues who respect and admire each other’s work.

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