Kim Fields was born on May 12, 1969, in Harlem, New York. She landed her first acting role at the age of 5, appearing on Sesame Street. Her big break came in 1978, when, at age 9, she scored the role of Tootie Ramsey on the popular sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. She reprised the role for the series' spin-off, The Facts of Life. As an adult, Fields earned a role on the sitcom Living Single, and later performed rap music and R&B.
Kim Victoria Fields was born on May 12, 1969, in Harlem, New York, the elder of two siblings. Fields, whose mother was actress Laverne "Chip" Fields, grew up in an environment that heavily encouraged acting and performing. Kim landed her first acting role at the age of 5, appearing in a short clip on the children's television show Sesame Street. She also landed a commercial for Mrs. Butterworth's syrup around this same time, beating out rival actress Janet Jackson for the coveted gig.
Her parents divorced when she was very young, and when Fields turned 7, she and her mother headed to Los Angeles, California, in search of acting work. Her father followed shortly thereafter. Both Kim and Chip landed regular work upon their arrival in L.A. Fields appeared in the short-lived sitcom Baby, I’m Back that ran a few months in early 1978. But Kim's big break came in 1979, at the age of 9, when she scored a role as boarding school student Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey on the popular sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. She later reprised the role for the series' spin-off, The Facts of Life.
The Facts of Life follows the trials and tribulations of housemother Edna Garrett, who cares for seven girls at an all-girls boarding school. The casting director, who was originally looking for an older, caucasian girl to fill the role, was immediately charmed by Fields. He re-wrote the role of Tootie Ramsey to fit Fields's description, and she instantly became a popular character on the show. The Facts of Life was also a runaway hit, continuing for nine straight seasons.
Fields continued to live a normal life off-screen, however, attending Burbank High School. Academically talented, Fields spent her time off the set studying. She also had time to engage in extra-curricular activities, including managing the school's baseball team and acting in high school theatre productions.
By the time The Facts of Life ended in 1988, Fields had become saddled with the persona of Tootie, the young girl who sported braces and roller skates. Instead of attempting to break away from the role, however, the actress took time off to attend college at Pepperdine University. While at Pepperdine, Fields started her own production company, Victory Entertainment, Inc., which specialized in TV, film and theater.
After 'Facts of Life'
After earning her bachelor's in communications and film in 1990, Fields returned to television. Now a mature woman, Fields landed a role on the sitcom Living Single, across from rap star Queen Latifah. The show continued for five years before its cancellation in 1998.
After Fields left Living Single, she began performing rap music and R&B with a group called Impromp2. This spun off into a spoken-word poetry career in 2006, which included the release of a CD called Smooth is Spoken Here. She also began a directing career, working on shows such as Keenan and Kel, The Jersey and Taina.
Fields married businessman Johnathon Freeman in 1995. The couple split in 1998. Fields found love again, this time with actor Christopher Morgan, and the couple had their first child in May 2007. They married in July of that same year.
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