– PREMIERES SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 AT 7, 9 AND 11 P.M. EDT • Ensemble Cast Includes Jackée Harry, Marques Houston, Erica Hubbard, Tequilla Whitfield, and Terrill Patterson –
(BLACK PR WIRE) – ATLANTA – August 2, 2013 – UP, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, presents the UP Original Movie The Love Letter (#TheLoveLetter), a romantic drama about the path from friendship to true love, starring Emmy® nominee Keshia Knight Pulliam (“House of Payne,” “The Cosby Show”), Romeo Miller (Madea’s Witness Protection, Jumping the Broom, Honey), Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe® nominee Jackée Harry (“The First Family,” “Sister, Sister,” “227”), Marques Houston (“Cuts,” “One on One”), Erica Hubbard (“Lincoln Heights,” “Let’s Stay Together”), Tequilla Whitfield (“A Cross to Bear,” Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming), and newcomer Terrill Patterson. Gary Wheeler (UP’s The Perfect Summer, Somebody’s Child) directs from a script by Chazitear Martin. The Love Letter will premiere exclusively on UP on Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EDT.
The Love Letter explores just how tricky things can get when your best friend is the opposite sex. Parker (Keshia Knight Pulliam), an established entertainment columnist, and her sports-fanatic best friend, Aaron (Romeo Miller), have been inseparable since childhood. They know everything about each other – from her dating mishaps to the fact that he doesn’t love his current girlfriend, which makes his sudden engagement all the more surprising and planning his wedding very difficult. Parker’s meddling mother, Josephine (Jackée Harry), is determined to get her mind off of Aaron’s wedding by introducing her to “nice guys,” including millionaire Wesley (Marques Houston). Still, Parker finds it impossible to focus on much besides Aaron and his relationship. She decides to explore her feelings in her magazine column, penning a letter from an “anonymous” reader looking for advice. Surprised by the overwhelming reader feedback and her feelings, Parker realizes something about herself and what she really wants out of life.
“The Love Letter is a charming story about the search for happiness and putting friendship to the test for love – something everyone can identify with,” says Leslie Glenn Chesloff, executive vice president of programming, UP. “This film explores the adage that you can find love where you least expect it and that it might be right in front of you all along.”
Keshia Knight Pulliam began her career when she was nine months old in a national print ad for Johnson & Johnson Baby Products. By age four, she had appeared in several national commercials, in the feature film The Last Dragon and was a regular on “Sesame Street.” Best known as Rudy Huxtable, the youngest daughter of Clair and Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” (1984–92), she won several NAACP Image Awards, Young Artist Awards, a People’s Choice Award, a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award and a host of other honors for that role. She also starred in a host of TV movies, including the period holiday drama The Little Match Girl (1987), the Mark Twain update A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1989), and Debbie Allen’s musical version of Pollyanna, Polly (1989), as well as the sequel Polly: Comin’ Home! (1990). After “The Cosby Show,” Pulliam took several years away from acting to concentrate on school, graduating in 2001 with honors from Spelman College with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in film. Since then, she has appeared with Queen Latifah in Beauty Shop (2005), with Boris Kodjoe and Idris Elba in The Gospel (2005), and Tyler Perry and Derek Luke in Madea Goes to Jail (2009). Pulliam currently stars in Perry’s “House of Payne,” for which she has won three NAACP Image Awards. She also appeared beside basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and comedian Louie Anderson in the reality television series “Splash” on ABC, and on “Guys with Kids” on NBC. Pulliam heads her own Atlanta-based production company, Kizzy Productions, and is the founder of Kamp Kizzy, a non-profit organization for young girls. She also is the co-founder and member of The A-List Experience, which serves as a fundraising vehicle for celebrities.
Romeo Miller found success in the entertainment industry early as a recording artist. At age 10, he became the youngest entertainer to top the Billboard charts. A multi-platinum recording artist, he has sold more than 10 million records worldwide and won both a Grammy® and an American Music Award. By the time he was a teenager, Miller starred in his own television show on Nickelodeon, “Romeo!” (2003–06), and began quickly began building his resume by appearing on TV and in feature films. He appeared in the film Honey (2003) with Jessica Alba, as well as on the TV series “The Defenders” and “The Cape” before starring in Jumping the Broom (2011) alongside Angela Bassett and Paula Patton. Fans also caught up with Miller in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (2012). He is the CEO of the multimillion-dollar record company No Limit Forever and serves as the national spokesperson for Urban Born, a non-profit dedicated to changing the lives of at-risk youth. In that role, Miller travels the country visiting inner-city schools and community centers to teach young people the importance of staying in school, staying off drugs and staying out of gangs. Miller majored in business and film at the University of Southern California, where he and his teammates on the basketball team won the school’s first PAC 10 Championship.
Jackée Harry landed her first role – the King in her school’s production of “The King and I” – at the age of 14. She made her professional acting debut in Richard Wesley’s “Goin’ Through Changes” in 1973, and shortly thereafter made her Broadway debut as Melinda Bernard in “A Broadway Musical.” Jackée made her television debut opposite Morgan Freeman in the daytime soap opera “Another World” in 1983, and a year later landed her iconic role of Sandra Clark on the NBC sitcom “227,” for which she became a Golden Globe nominee and the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She starred opposite Oprah Winfrey in the critically acclaimed adaptation of Gloria Naylor’s novel The Women of Brewster Place (1989), and in 1991, Jackée joined an all-star cast led by Della Reese in the TV series “The Royal Family.” From 1994–99 she starred as the adoptive mother of Tia and Tamara Mowry’s characters on the ABC/WB sitcom “Sister, Sister,” winning the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for two consecutive years (1999 and 2000). Jackée also made guest appearances on “Amen,” “Designing Women,” “Dave’s World,” “Hollywood Squares,” “7th Heaven” and “That’s So Raven” before joining the cast of “Everybody Hates Chris” in 2006. She returned to the stage in 1994 as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” and in 2003 played the Madam in “The Boys From Syracuse” on Broadway. More recently, Jackée performed before sold-out audiences across the nation in the stage play “The Cleanup Woman.” Currently starring on the CW’s “The First Family,” she has a recurring role on BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,” and will have a recurring role on “Girl Meets World,” Disney Channel’s new spin-off of the popular show “Boy Meets World.” Jackée is proud to be a spokesperson for the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, and a Global Ambassador to the Women’s International Center. The National Congress of Black Women presented her with the “Woman of Substance” Award in 2010.
Marques Houston was first introduced to audiences at age 11, when Immature, the band he formed with childhood friends Jerome “Romeo” Jones and Don “Half Pint” Santos, released its first single, “On Our Worst Behavior,” which was produced by Chris Stokes. As the band became more successful, Houston began pursuing an acting career, lending his voice to the character Kahill in the animated feature film Bébé’s Kids (1992) and appearing with his band mates on the TV series “A Different World” (1993). He went on to star as Roger Evans in “Sister, Sister” (1994–99) and landed a role in the feature film Good Burger (1997). Later, Houston faced tragedy at home when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Inspired by her, he wrote “Please Don’t Go,” which was featured on the Immature album “We Got It.” In 1998, the band changed its name to IMx and released two more albums before disbanding in 2002. As a solo artist, Houston appeared on the Scream tours with B2K, Nick Cannon and Bow Wow as his single “Clubbin’” hit the UK Top 20. At the same time, Houston appeared in You Got Served (2004) and Fat Albert (2004) and on the TV series “One on One” (2004–06) and its spinoff, “Cuts,” (2005–06). He appeared alongside R&B artist Omarion in the film Somebody Help Me (2007), while releasing his second album, “Naked,” and his third album, “Veteran,” which reached Number 5 on the Billboard Hot 200. Recently, Marques starred in Battlefield America (2012) with co-stars Mekia Cox and Lynn Whitfield, a film directed by Chris Stokes.
Erica Hubbard got her start in Chicago, landing her first TV show after graduating from Columbia College, where she studied broadcast journalism and theater. Her work on the show, “Up ‘N Running” (1997–2001), which was geared toward teens and tweens and aired on a UPN affiliate in Chicago, garnered her a Regional Emmy and a Service to America Award from the National Association of Broadcasters. After doing voice-over work and starring in numerous national commercials including McDonald’s, MCI, Reebok, Sears and Noxzema, she moved to Los Angeles and promptly landed roles in the feature films Save the Last Dance (2001), A Cinderella Story (2004), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) and Akeelah and the Bee (2006). Her television credits include guest-starring roles on “CSI: Miami” (2005), “Everybody Hates Chris” (2005) and “Cold Case” (2010), and she was a series regular and the voice of Abbey on the animated series “The Replacements” (2006–07). Hubbard won an NAACP Theater award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the play “What Would Jesus Do?” in 2008, and starred for four successful seasons in the critically acclaimed ABC Family drama “Lincoln Heights,” which won a 2010 NAACP Image Award. Currently, she stars as Kita in BET’s hit series “Let’s Stay Together.” An active philanthropist, Hubbard volunteers for organizations including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and is the Executive Director of The Erica Hubbard Foundation, speaking in schools, community centers and youth organizations helping at-risk, inner city kids that deal with low self-esteem and poverty.
Tequilla Whitfield made her television debut in GMC’s A Cross to Bear, opposite Kim Fields. Her mentor and acting coach Terri J. Vaughn also produced the film. Focused and devoted to her craft, Tequilla has invested in her acting career by attending many acting workshops and theater classes. She studies with Emmy Award Winner Gregory Alan Williams, Emmy-nominated director Mary Lou Belli. In addition for the past 3 years, she has studied with Image Award-winning actress, Terri J. Vaughn.