Andrews was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the New York University, in which her major skill was in Drama. She spent many years acting on such shows as Days of our Lives, where she played the character Valerie Grant from 1975 to 1977. Her character's role was in the first interracial romance ever shown on daytime television. She also acted in Roots as Aurelia, the girlfriend of the character Kuna Kinte. From this role, she met and became professional partners with Alex Haley, the author of the original book. Haley hired Andrews to work with him on the miniseries Alex Haley's Great Men of African Descent, which aired on PBS. Haley also mentored Andrews' literary work.
Awards and nominations
Andrews received a 1999 nomination at the Acapulco Black Film Festival for Best Screenplay, for the 1998 movie Why Do Fools Fall in Love. In 2001, she became the first African American to win the Writers Guild of America award for Original Long Form, for writing the 2000 miniseries Sally Hemings: An American Scandal. Her win was tied with Phil Alden Robinson and Stanley Weiser for the 2000 movie Freedom Song. The miniseries also earned Andrews the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding TV Movie, Miniseries or Special, that same year. She also won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literary Nonfiction and the Literary Award of Excellence from the Black Writers Conference in Memphis in 2002, for her book Sally Hemings: An American Scandal: The Struggle to Tell the Controversial Truth. She has also won the 2003 MIB/Prism Filmmaker Image Award, and she received a proclamation from the City Council of New York in 2003.
Tina Andrews wrote the 2001 nonfiction book Sally Hemings: An American Scandal: The Struggle to Tell the Controversial Truth, which tells about her work writing and producing the miniseries about Sally Hemings for sixteen years. The book was originally published by Malibu Press (ISBN 097012953X/ISBN 9780970129536). She also has a novel called The Hollywood Dolls, which will also be published by Malibu Press, in Autumn 2009. She wrote an essay for The First Time I Got Paid For It: Writers Tales From the Hollywood Trenches, in 2002.
Andrews played Valerie Grant in the hit soap opera series Days of our Lives from 1975 to 1977. She also played Angie Wheeler in The Sanford Arms, in 1977, Aurelia in Roots, and Valerie on Falcon Crest in 1983. She has also made guest appearances as characters on many shows, including The Odd Couple, Sanford and Son, Good Times and The Brady Bunch. She also performed in films such as Conrack and Carny.
- Sally Hemings An American Scandal: The Struggle to Tell the Controversial Truth (autobiography) Publisher: Malibu Press, 2001. ISBN 0970129548/ISBN 9780970129543
- First Time I Got Paid for It: Writers Tales from the Hollywood Trenches, pages 4–8 (autobiography) Publisher: Di Capo Press, 2002. ISBN 0306810972/ISBN 9780306810978
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