I respect Shirley. I respect her journey, and I want to honor her. And so to get to walk in her shoes now for three seasons and show the world who this weird, crazy woman is has been great
— Yvette Nicole Brown
Yvette Nicole Brown
Yvette Nicole Brown is the American actress and singer. She was born on August 12, 1971 in East Cleveland, Ohio. Before Community she was best known for her role as Helen on the Nickelodeon show "Drake and Josh". She has had many roles in commercials, televison shows and movies. She is also a voice actress and accomplished singer who was once signed to Motown records when she was just a teenager. Brown portrayed Shirley Bennett on Community for five seasons. She asked to be released from her contract during pre-production of Season Six to devote her time to taking care of her ailing father.
Yvette has done a lot of commercial work appearing in television ads for such diverse products as Hamburger Helper, Big Lots, Pine-Sol, Fiber One, DiGiorno Pizza, and Dairy Queen. Her first big break as an actress was on the UPN sitcom Girlfriends. She played the part of the sister to the character Toni Childs named Sherri in two episodes of that series. She continued to appear in other shows such as "Boston Legal", "Malcolm in the Middle", "7th Heaven", "House", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Two and a Half Men", "That 70s Show", and "The Office". At the same time she also had roles on the big screen with her first one being in the 2004 Brittney Murphy romantic comedy "Little Black Book" . She later followed that up with parts in "The Island", "Dreamgirls" and "Tropic Thunder". Her first featured role was as the character Eartha Cleveland in the Kevin Hart vehicle "The Big House" on the ABC network. The show was cancelled after only six episodes. She appeared in various roles on different shows before finding steady work on Nickelodeon's hit kid's show "Drake and Josh" playing the role of Helen Dubois. She played the part of Helen on the popular show for three years before it ended. She later reprised the role twice in the 2008 TV Movie "Merry Christmas Drake and Josh" and a 2011 episode of another Nickelodeon show "Victorious". She landed the role of Shirley Bennett on "Community" in 2009 and played that role from 2009 to 2014 until she left the show before production of Season Six. She has also done voice over work and provides the voice of Cookie on the cartoon show "Pound Puppies". On August 8, 2014 Brown joined the cast of another reboot of the sitcom "The Odd Couple".