Academy award-winning actress and director Regina King is well known and recognized for her work on and off-screen. With notable lead roles in classic films such as Poetic Justice, Ray, and the movie that helped her snag an Oscar and a Golden Globe: If Beale Street Could Talk, King has forged a rewarding career in Hollywood that has spanned more than three decades. Her recent endeavors in television, including American Crime, Seven Seconds, and Watchmen, introduce King to new audiences and helped make her a household name. She’s snagged four Emmy awards to date — tying Alfre Woodard’s record for the most wins of any Black performer.
In the midst of her success, King has largely kept her personal life private throughout her career, but all that changed when she hit the 2019 Golden Globes red carpet with her son, Ian Alexander Jr. The love and support for his “super mom” shined brighter than the shiny statue she took home that night. Let’s learn more about King’s plus-one and their powerful mother-son bond.
Regina King's shared the spotlight at the Golden Globes
It was Regina King’s powerful roles as mothers in If Beale Street Could Talk and Seven Seconds that garnered her two Golden Globes nods in 2019. She honored her real-life role as a parent by bringing her one and only child, Ian Alexander Jr., with her to the festivities and thanking him during her emotional acceptance speech after winning best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. That project was personal to both mother and son. Alexander had told his mom that If Beale Street Could Talk “was the first time that he really saw himself” represented on screen.
During a red carpet interview before the show, Alexander didn’t hold back when expressing his appreciation and admiration for his mother. “Usually people will ask me, ‘What’s it like having Regina King be your mother,” he told Ryan Seacrest for E! News. “She’s just a supermom, really. She doesn’t really let bad work days or anything come back and ruin the time that we have, so it’s really awesome to have a mother that I can enjoy spending time with.”
Regina King created a peaceful co-parenting experience for her son
Regina King welcomed her son with her ex-husband, music executive Ian Alexander Sr., on Jan. 19, 1996. Born just four days after her own birthday, the mother and son appear to have always had a strong bond. She and Ian Alexander Sr. worked together overcome the pain of their 2007 divorce and prioritize co-parenting their son. In a 2011 essay for Essence, King talked about the epiphany that changed the dynamic with her ex.
“At one point, I looked up and across the stands and realized that I was sitting on one side and he was all the way on the other. Damn. On an occasion when we should have been united, we were miles apart, which was not cool,” she recalled. “…Because of our issues, Ian was becoming the kid whose parents were so disconnected that they couldn’t even sit next to each other, let alone have a civilized conversation. I had been that kid once and it wasn’t fun.”
King approached her ex after the game. “This is not good for Ian,” she told him. “Let’s put this sh*t behind us because it has nothing to do with how much we both love him.” That was a turning point. “It wasn’t easy, but we started putting in the work it took to find our way back to a friendship.”
Ian is a passionate supporter of Time's Up.
Regina King’s love for her son helped mold his current support for women everywhere. Ian Alexander Jr. donned a sophisticated wine-colored tuxedo for his 2019 Golden Globes appearance and topped it off with a Time’s Up pin, per Elite Daily. While speaking ahead of the ceremony, Alexander explained his genuine support for the women’s empowerment movement. “Time’s up,” he said. “Just for women having equality and safety in the workplace, and all individuals.” He said his “powerful” mom fuels his fight for gender equality.
King opened up about the way motherhood changed her during a segment with CNN’s Red Chair Interview. “You don’t know what unconditional love is until you have a child,” she said. “…It is the most full feeling ever. This is the greatest part about me — being a mom to Ian.”
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