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50th NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon - Arrivals

Source: Leon Bennett / Getty

Essence Atkins is celebrating her birthday today — can you believe she’s 48?!

Best known for her role on ’90s sitcom Smart Guy, the beauty continues to pursue her acting dreams all these years later. Most recently starring in Marlon opposite Marlon Wayans as well as OWN’s drama series Ambitions, Essence has been using her experience and success to inspire others. As the recipient of RIDE’s 2019 Women In Influence Award this past September, she said “I believe it’s critical for us to use our platforms to promote love, humanity, respect, excellence and dignity.”

ALSO: These Milk Chocolatey Pics of Tiwa Savage Have Us Shouting “40 Where?!”

Scroll through the photos below to see Essence in all her grace and glory, and join us in wishing her a happy, happy birthday!

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