Bianca Jasmine Lawson was born on March 20, 1979 in Los Angeles, California, U.S., is an American film and television actress. She is perhaps best known for regular roles in the television series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Goode Behavior and Pretty Little Liars. She has also had recurring roles in the series Sister, Sister, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Vampire Diaries.
She is the daughter of Denise and actor Richard Lawson. Lawson is also the great niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy. She attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and graduated from Marymount High School, a Catholic school in Los Angeles. She then went on to study film and psychology at University of Southern California.
Lawson started acting at the age of nine. She has appeared in commercials for Barbie and Revlon and in several television series. In 1993, Lawson was one of the original cast members of Saved by the Bell: The New Class, she also appeared in multiple episodes of The WB sitcoms Sister, Sister, The Parent ‘Hood and The Steve Harvey Show. In the late summer of 1996, Lawson co-starred in the UPN sitcom, Goode Behavior, which lasted one season.
On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lawson appeared in a three-episode stint where she portrayed Kendra Young, another Vampire Slayer who is activated as a result of the temporary death of title character, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar).
She has also appeared on The WB’s Dawson’s Creek, where she portrayed Nikki Green, the daughter of the high school’s new principal and competitor of the show’s title character Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek).
Some of Lawson’s film credits include Primary Colors (1998), Save the Last Dance (2001), Bones (2001) and Breakin’ All the Rules (2004).
In December 2009, Lawson was cast as Maya St. Germain in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars based on the book series by Sara Shepard.