Essence Atkins is an American actress best known for her starring television roles as Tasha Yvette Henderson on Smart Guy (1997-1999) and as Dee Dee Thorne on Half & Half, from 2002-2006.
She was also a main credited cast member on Malibu Shores, in 1996. She currently stars as Suzanne Kingston in the sitcom Are We There Yet?, since 2010.
She has had recurring roles in numerous television shows including The Cosby Show, Under One Roof, The John Larroquette Show, Moesha and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.
She has made guest appearances on numerous other shows including Charlie Hoover, Family Matters, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, The Wayans Bros., The Parent 'Hood, Promised Land, Love, Inc., The Class and House.
Atkins dated American Idol contestant Ace Young. Young also made a guest appearance on her television series Half & Half.
In September 2009, Atkins married Jaime Mendez, whom she met through the online dating service Match.com. Her Half & Half co-star Valarie Pettiford performed during the reception.