Lela Rochon: Early Life, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth

American actress and producer Lela Rochon Staples is most known for her part in the famous love story “Waiting to Exhale.” She has always been fiercely competitive, and in high school, she excelled in basketball and track. Before being known as an actress, she spent more than a decade working as a dancer, model, and extra in advertisements.

Her adaptability and potent performance made her a sought-after performer among producers and directors. In films like “The Chamber,” “Gang Related,” “Knock Off,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” and “Any Given Sunday,” she gave some of her best performances.

She has become recognized as one of Hollywood’s most valuable and current actresses thanks to her enthusiasm and tenacity. By Persons magazine and Black Men Magazine, respectively, Rochon was once named one of “The 50 most attractive people in the world” and “The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year.” She has two children together and is happily married to American director Antoine Fuqua.

lela rochon
Lela Rochon

Table of Contents

Early Life

The daughter of Samuel Staples, a businessman, and graphic artist, and Zelma Staples, a nurse practitioner, Rochon was born in Los Angeles. 1982 saw her graduation from Cerritos High School in Cerritos, California. Rochon studied broadcast journalism and sociology with theater as majors at California State University, Dominguez Hills after graduating from high school. Rochon came back in 2016 to deliver the graduating address at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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Lela Rochon Career

Lela Rochon, a college student, was one of the “Spudettes” who appeared in the iconic Spuds McKenzie Budweiser and Bud Light TV ads from 1984 to 1986. She made an uncredited appearance in the 1982 film Breakin‘. She appeared in the film “A Bunny’s Tale,” which was based on Gloria Steinem’s experiences as a Playboy Bunny, three years later.

Early in the 1980s, Rochon made appearances in music videos for artists including Gerald Levert’s “My Forever Love,” Luther Vandross’ “It’s Over Now,” Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long (All Night),” Al B. Sure’s “Natalie,” and Tupac Shakur’s “I Get Around.”

She made cameos in sitcoms like “The Cosby Show,” “227,” “Amen,” “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to launch her career in television. She made her film debut in 1985’s “Fox Trap,” costarring with Fred Williamson. She played Debby in the movie “The Wild Pair” two years later.

Rochon co-starred with Eddie Murphy in “Harlem Nights” in 1989, portraying the iconic Sunshine role. She worked on the popular romantic comedy “Boomerang” three years later. In 1995, she had her first regular appearance on the WB sitcom “The Wayans Bros.”

In the same year, she played Robin Stokes in the drama movie “Waiting to Exhale,” which was based on the Terry McMillan book of the same name. She co-starred in it with Loretta Devine, Whitney Houston, and Angela Bassett.
Rochon was cast in the 1996 movies “Mr. and Mrs. Loving” and “The Chamber” that were broadcast on the Showtime television network.

She played the lead role in the crime drama “Gang Related” in 1997. She appeared in movies including “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “Knock Off,” and “The Big Hit” a year later. She made an appearance in the 1999 film “Any Given Sunday,” which Oliver Stone directed.

She appeared in the 2004 romantic comedy film First Daughter, the crime drama film “Brooklyn’s Finest,” and the first season of the Lifetime crime drama series “The Division” in the 2000s (2009). She received recognition for her performances in the thriller films “Supremacy” (2014) and “Reversion” (2015) as well as the television movie “Let The Church Say Amen” (2013).

She has just made an appearance in the CBS crime drama “Training Day” (2017). She was added as a recurring character to the cast of the drama series “David Makes Man” in October 2018. In August 2019, the program is scheduled to debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Lela Rochon Personal Life

Rochon has two kids from two different marriages. Adolfo Quiones, better known as Shabba Doo, was her first husband; they were married from 1982 until their divorce in 1987. From 1989 through 1991, Rochon dated Jackie Jackson, a singer-songwriter. She wed the director of photography Antoine Fuqua in 1999. Brando and Asia are their two children. In 2001, Rochon experienced a miscarriage.

Actress Lela Rochon and her husband, renowned director Antoine Fuqua, exchanged vows almost 20 years ago, and now the couple is commemorating their most recent wedding anniversary. The Waiting to Exhale star posted a flashback image from their April 1999 wedding day along with a heartfelt message for her longtime spouse on Instagram in honor of their 19th wedding anniversary.

She wrote “Happy Anniversary to Us #19. I knew when we met over 20 years ago in #hongkong you were the man for me. I’ll never forget this moment, “Ladies and gentlemen Mr & Mrs. Antoine Fuqua.”

lela rochon
Antoine And Lela

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Who is Antoine Fuqua?

Fuqua, the son of Carlos and Mary Fuqua, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the nephew of The Moonglows’ Harvey Fuqua, a record producer, and businessman. Fuqua started his career producing music videos for well-known musicians like Toni Braxton, Coolio, Stevie Wonder, and Prince after studying electrical engineering with the intention of eventually flying planes in the military. He started directing feature films in 1998, however, he has since worked on a few music videos.

His debut feature was the 1998 action flick The Replacement Killers, directed by John Woo and starring Chow Yun Fat. After that, he was the director of the 2001 criminal thriller Training Day, whose lead Denzel Washington received the Best Actor Oscar.

His subsequent movies included the Arthurian legend King Arthur (2004), the action thriller Shooter (2007), the crime drama Brooklyn’s Finest (2010), the action dramas Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and The Equalizer (2014), the latter of which reunites Fuqua with Denzel Washington. The action-western The Magnificent Seven, his most recent motion picture (2016).

He and Wesley Snipes collaborated on the After Dark comic book miniseries, which was written by Peter Milligan and illustrated by Jeff Nentrup. Aaron Guzikowski’s children’s novel Prisoners, which Fuqua was slated to direct, has now been shelved. The official biopic of Tupac Shakur was to be directed by him.

The undertaking was put on hold so Fuqua could helm Southpaw, the rapper Eminem’s second feature picture. To concentrate on his music, Eminem put Southpaw on hold, and Jake Gyllenhaal took over. Fuqua was chosen by CBS Films in 2010 to helm Consent to Kill, a brand-new film based on a Vince Flynn book. 20th Century Fox assigned Fuqua to helm the David Guggenheim-penned drug trafficking thriller Narco Sub in May 2014.

Consort Yang Yuhuan and Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty had a passionate love affair, and in March 2011, Fuqua agreed to create a movie about their relationship. He has said that he is waiting for the movie project to pass through the proper Chinese government channels before filming the historical epic movie, which is currently titled The Tang Dynasty, according to a March 2013 story.

The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the 1960 western with the same name, and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which served as the western’s inspiration, were directed by Fuqua in 2016. This was the third movie directed by Fuqua with Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm, the main character. Additionally, he served as executive producer of the 2016 Roots television version.

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Lela Rochon Net Worth

Lela Rochon’s net worth is estimated to be $10 million.

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