Good genes and talent clearly runs in the Lenny Kravitz‘s family. His daughter Zoe Kravitz has been taking Hollywood by storm with her stunning beauty and starring role on HBO’s Big Little Lies, but the almost 55-year-old musician, his birthday is May 26, was also born to a famous mother. The “American Woman” singer’s mom is Roxie Roker, who starred on the iconic 70s TV show, The Jeffersons.
As audiences prepare for ABC’s Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons, new viewers will meet Helen Willis, the role Roxie Roker originated on the beloved series, and who will be played by actress Kerry Washington on the reboot. Roker passed away at the age 66 on December 2, 1995, and Kravitz was her only son with ex-husband, Sy Kravitz.
Roker’s interracial marriage in real life closely mirrored her fictional character, Helen Willis’s life on The Jeffersons. Helen was married to fictional husband, Tom Willis, played by the late Franklin Cover, a relationship which broke boundaries on mainstream television as one of the first interracial couples featured on a major network series.
Granddaughter Zoe Kravitz, who’s mother is actress Lisa Bonet, whom famously played Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, and her stepfather, Aquaman‘s Jason Momoa, told Good Morning America, “When I got older I realized, ‘Oh, that’s why it was a big deal that my grandmother was married to a white man on the show,'” she said. “I had mixed parents, so I didn’t see it as a big deal. When I was educated about what the world was like, I was like, ‘This is a huge deal.’ It was brave of [Roker] to go there. I don’t think her intention was to shake things up. It was actually her truth: She was married to a white man.”
Zoe, who has two half-siblings, Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa, 10, and Lola Iolani Momoa, 11, continues to carry on the family legacy through her acting career. Since making her film debut in 2007’s No Reservations, she quickly rose to fame playing Angel Salvadore in X-Men: First Class in 2011, and making guest starring appearance in The Lego Movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Adam Green’s upcoming live action remake of Disney’s Aladdin.
Lenny Kravtiz, a four-time Grammy Award winner, also has a stellar acting resume. He most recently appeared as Roland Crane in FX’s hit TV series Star, and had memorable roles in Lee Daniel’s The Butler, The Hunger Games, and guest-starred as himself on an episode of Entourage.