"Happy Birthday, Phylicia Rashad!"
Born, June 19, 1948, to dentist Andrew Arthur Allen and poet Vivian Ayers in Harris County, TX. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex), and younger sister, Debbie Allen, lived in Mexico to escape US racism. She also has another brother, Hugh Allen (a real estate banker in North Carolina).
Their mother, Vivian Ayers, decided to live in Mexico to give the Allen children a brief experience of not having to endure the chronic racism and segregation that was typical of Texas during the 1950s. From this, Phylicia and Debbie are fluent in Spanish.
Phylicia graduated from Howard University and later taught drama there.
With younger sister Debbie Allen, she has a production company, D.A.D., which stood for Doctor Allen's Daughters. Her Pulitzer-nominated poet mother Vivian is the artistic and free spirit that has influenced and encouraged the remarkable creativity that so marks Rashad as a performer.
Phylicia Rashad's "The Cosby Show" (1984) matriarch character, Claire Huxtable, was voted "TV mom closest to your own mom in spirit" by the survey participants in an April 2004 poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.