Tami Roman is an American TV personality, model, businesswoman and actor. She is best known for her stint in the American reality TV show ‘The Real World.’ Tami is a source of inspiration for many people who struggle with poverty and give up on their dreams. Born to a single mother in her teens, Tami was forced to take care of herself when she was a kid, as her mother worked three jobs at a time to make ends meet. There was a time when they did not have a house and slept on the street. Their situation improved when Tami’s mother met a man named Ali Akbar. Tami’s life changed completely in 1993 when she was selected as one of the contestants on the American reality show ‘The Real World: Los Angeles.’ Since then, Tami has appeared in several reality shows and has made a name for herself in the industry. She has also started a business enterprise with her mother. Lately, she has made appearances in reality shows such as ‘Basketball Wives LA,’ ‘Extant,’ and ‘Celebrity Wife Swap.’
Childhood & Early Life
Tami Roman was born Tamisha Akbar, on April 17, 1970, to a single mother, Nadine Buford, in Mount Vernon, US. She was raised in White Plains, New York City. Tami’s father was a Puerto Rican man who had left Nadine when she got pregnant at the age of 15. Tami was born amidst a difficult financial situation. Tami spent most of her formative years of her life alone in her house, as her mother had to work three jobs to make ends meet.
Tami was responsible for looking after herself. Soon, Nadine met a man named Ali Akbar and started dating him. He was a good man and had enough money to take care of Nadine and Tami. Thus, things began to improve soon. Ali was an ardent Muslim and introduced Tami to the Muslim way of life. He made sure Tami got the best education possible. However, Ali was a highly conservative man and this gave rise to problems in the family.
Ali and Nadine often fought, as Ali believed that women should be submissive to men. Soon, Nadine divorced him, and the mother–daughter duo was on the streets again.
The situation worsened over the next few months. Tami and her mother were homeless during most of Tami’s high-school days. However, this made Nadine and Tami develop a close bond, and they supported each other emotionally to help them deal with the harsh period.
Sadly, Tami was unable to attend her graduation ceremony, as she had no money to buy a cap and a gown. The family was going through tough times. Thankfully, the situation improved when Tami started doing odd jobs soon after graduation.
Tami attended the ‘Howard University,’ and while in college, she started singing for a girl band named ‘Reality.’ She also started working toward toning her physique to become a model. She auditioned for the ‘MTV’ reality TV series ‘The Real World: Los Angeles’ at the age of 22 and was selected. This was the turning point that she was looking for.
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In 1993, she was selected for the second season of the hit ‘MTV’ reality show ‘The Real World.’ The show’s format required strangers to live in the same house as cameras around the house recorded their every move. Tami was one of the finalists of that season and gained a huge fan following in the entire country.
She was the first contestant to have an abortion on live TV. She soon became the talk of the town and was almost a national celebrity by the time the show ended.
In 1993, she landed her first TV role in the sitcom ‘Married...with Children,’ which had her portraying the character of ‘Meg’ in one episode. In 1994, she appeared in the crime-drama show ‘Silk Stalkings.’
For the next few years, Tami appeared in spin-offs and other shows related to ‘The Real World,’ such as ‘The Real World Vacations: Behind the Scenes,’ ‘The Real World Reunion,’ and ‘The Real World You Never Saw.’ In 2000, she appeared in the popular sitcom ‘The Parkers.’
In 2001, she appeared on the popular shows ‘Card Sharks’ and ‘20/20’. The same year, she appeared on ‘The Steve Harvey Show’ and in the TV movie ‘Sacred is the Flesh.’ She continued with her regular guest appearances on shows such as ‘The Drew Carey Show,’ ‘One on One,’ and ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’
In 2004, she made her big-screen debut with the comedy film ‘Hair Show.’ The film was a colossal critical and box-office disaster. She then appeared in one-episode-long guest appearances on ‘JAG’ and ‘Half & Half.’ In 2006, she returned to the big screen with a small role in the independent film ‘The Last Stand.’
In 2008, she bagged a role in the supernatural drama series ‘Moonlight,’ which was the biggest TV role of her career. She played the role of ‘Maureen Williams’ in 8 episodes of the series before her character got killed by a vampire.
From 2010 to 2013, she was part of four seasons of ‘Basketball Wives,’ a reality TV show. An announcement in 2013 stated that Tami would be one of the cast members of the upcoming science-fiction series ‘Extant,’ produced by Steven Spielberg. She played a minor role in the series.
She then appeared on ‘Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars,’ a reality TV show that featured married couples trying to save their marriage. She was also part of the reality TV show ‘Celebrity Wife Swap.’ In the next few years, she appeared on more reality shows, such as ‘Basketball Wives LA’ and ‘Wild ’n Out.’ She also appeared in an episode of the series ‘Tales.’
Tami has also started her own business of interior decorating, in partnership with her mother. Her mother looks after the finances and other main aspects of the business.
Tami is also known for her motivational speeches for the underprivileged sections of society. Tami is currently working on her autobiographical novel and a few screenplays.
Tami Roman met and started dating former ‘NBA’ star Kenny Anderson in the early 1990s. The couple got married in 1994. They had two children, but after seven years of marriage, they got divorced.
Tami has been in a romantic relationship with Reggie Youngblood since 2014.
Tami is a devout Muslim and follows the Islamic way of life as much as she can. This is mostly due to the influence of her former stepfather, Ali Akbar, whom she highly admired.