A sassy small-screen player who started out on stage, Arnold was still a teen when she began landing roles in TV-movies, daytime soaps and a handful of features, including the 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors, which allowed her to show off her mighty vocal chops. An award-winning, five-year supporting stint on the sitcom Martin — as the wisecracking best buddy of the eponymous character's wife — led to roles in a number films (Big Momma's House) and television shows (One on One). During slow periods, Arnold reverted to stage work and also launched a line of accessories. In 2005 she landed a breakout part as Chris Rock's tough-talking but bighearted mama on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. After the show ended in 2009, Arnold returned to the stage as Evillene, the Wicked Witch, in an Encores! production of The Wiz.
- She and her Martin costar Tisha Campbell played two of a trio of singing narrators in the 1986 film version of the musical Little Shop of Horrors.
- Received a 1988 Daytime Emmy nomination (Outstanding Younger Actress) for her role on Ryan's Hope.
- Won a 1996 NAACP Image Award for Martin.
- Has performed the National Anthem at various sporting events.
- Launched China Moon Rags, a line of upscale, jewel-encrusted bandannas.
- Toured in the lead role of the musical hit If These Hips Could Talk in 2004.
- Appeared in the Encores! production of The Wiz in 2009 as Evillene, the Wicked Witch, opposite Ashanti and Orlando Jones.
- Carvin Haggins — Ex-significant Other
- Alijah Kai Haggins — Daughter
- Lamon Brewster — Ex-husband
- Rico Hines — Husband (separated)
- Birth Place: Queens, New York, United States
- Profession: Actor, Singer