Actress Kim Coles muses on life, laughter and the future

By Teryl Warren

Actress/comedienne Kim Coles grew up watching Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett on television; and even though she didn’t know what it meant to be a comedienne or even how to go about it, she was sure it was something she had to do.

“I loved the fact that they were funny, goofy and glamorous, and still very feminine,” she said.  “After I saw Whoopi Goldberg perform, I started doing stand- up. I didn’t take acting classes or anything like that.   I just knew I wanted to make people laugh.”

Fast-forward to today, and it’s hard to believe that Kim Coles has actually been making people laugh for more than two decades.  After bursting on the scene in the 90’s sketch comedy show In Living Color, Kim was released from the show after its first season.  She feared that she may never work again.  But, the Brooklyn native rebounded from disappointment and over the next few years, she delighted audiences in a variety of roles on shows like Martin and in the film Strictly Business starring Tommy Davidson and then-rising stars Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry.

Her big break came in 1993 when she began working on the show that would forever solidify her spot in the hearts of television fans.

“I worked closely with Living Single’s Executive Producer Yvette Lee Bowser and I was very involved in the creation of [the character] Synclaire James,” she told us.   “Synclaire is very much like me and a part of me.  I’m not as naïve as Synclaire, but, at her core she loves people, and I love people.”

After its five-year run, Living Single went off the air; but, now in syndication, the show is reaching entirely new generations of fans.  Since leaving the show, Kim has worked steadily, both in Hollywood and, more recently, as a motivational speaker to young girls and women.  She recently launched her passion project “Open the G.I.F.T.S.” and is currently taking herself on the road providing comedy, inspiration, and encouraging audiences to “live your life as if you have a gift to share with the world.”

Yet, no matter how far Kim may roam, Synclaire James is never too far behind.  And when the producers of TV One’s hit show Life After came calling, Kim actually thought twice about answering.

“When the producers first approached me about doing the show, I said ‘no,’ and when they approached me, again, I politely said no again!” she laughed.  “But by the time everything was said and done, I knew I was ready to tell my story.”

Currently in its third season, Life After is a series that explores some of America’s most intriguing celebrities from the perspective of the turning points that have forever changed their lives. Part biography, part confessional and all a celebration of the human spirit, each episode of Life After focuses on a well-known person and tells his or her life-changing story, featuring exclusive interviews with the celebrities themselves, family members, friends, and professional colleagues, as well as rare clips and archival footage.

Interestingly, Kim is as curious as the rest of us to see how her episode of Life After ultimately turned out.

“I have no idea what’s actually going to end up onscreen,” she confided. “I told the interviewers the story of how I began my career, I discussed my mindset and how I stayed in the business.  But other than that, we will just have to see!”

In the end, the engaging and effervescent Kim hopes that viewers will come away with the sense that they’ve learned something new about her.  As a fan of the show, she admitted that it’s the poignant personal moments that resonate with her most.

“It’s great that TV One has a format that allows people to talk for half an hour about themselves!” she joked. “I love the show because of the insight you get.  You really do learn new things about people that you didn’t know before. “

To learn more about what Kim Coles is up to, now, please visit:, or  Check out Kim’s episode of Life After when it airs on TV One on November 23.  Check your local listing for specific air time. Find out which of your other stars are being profiled on  Life After at


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