EXCLUSIVE: Scandal alum Cornelius Smith Jr, Keeya King (Van Helsing) and J. Alphonse Nicholson (P-Valley) are set for recurring roles opposite Octavia Spencer and Tiffany Haddish in Madam C.J. Walker, an eight-episode limited series starring and executive produced by Oscar winner Spencer and executive produced by LeBron James.
Written by Nicole Asher based on the book On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles, Madam C.J. Walker tells the untold and highly irreverent story of black hair-care pioneer and mogul Madam C.J. Walker (Spencer) and how she overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and some trifling family to become America’s first self-made black female millionaire.
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Smith will play W.E.B. Dubois, America’s foremost black intellectual and civil rights activist who is publisher of The Crisis and a co-founder of the NAACP, who befriends Walker.
King will portray Peaches, a stunning, tomboyish jazz singer who befriends Walker’s daughter Lelia (Haddish). King plays Violet in Syfy’s Van Helsing and has guest-starred on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She is repped by Play Management and The Characters Agency.
Nicholson will play John Robinson, Lelia’s musician husband who can’t seem to get on Madam Walker’s good side, no matter how hard he tries.
Spencer executive produces alongside James and Maverick Carter via SpringHill, Mark Holder, Christine Holder, as well as showrunners Janine Sherman Barrois and Elle Johnson.
Smith played Marcus Walker for four seasons on ABC’s hit series Scandal. His other recent credits include the Amazon Studios feature Seberg, opposite Anthony Mackie and Kristen Stewart, and a recurring role on the Lionsgate TV/Spectrum Originals anthology series Manhunt, among others. Smith is repped by APA, Grandview and Hansen Jacobson.
Nicholson is a series regular on Starz’s P-Valley. His other TV credits include Blue Bloods, Mr.Robot, Shots Fired, Marvel’s Luke Cage, Tales, The Blacklist and Chicago P.D. He’s repped by AC Management, CESD and Jackoway Austen.