Whatever Happened to Chip Fields?

Updated on December 2, 2019
Rachelle Williams profile image

Rachelle is a digital content creator who enjoys playing video games in their spare time.

Chip Fields is a black actress who appeared in many popular films and TV shows in the 1970s. Her strong acting skills and distinct voice always made her a standout in her roles. Not only is she an actress, but Fields is also a singer, director, producer and acting coach.

Chip Fields was most active in front of the camera in the 70s and 80s, but since that time, she's been more active behind the camera. Fields is also the mother to two celebrity daughters who are easily recognizable and well known in the industry, and there's no doubt their mother helped to guide their careers.

Chip Fields, Kim Fields and Alexis Fields
Chip Fields, Kim Fields and Alexis Fields

Laverne "Chip" Fields is probably best known for her role of Mrs. Gordon, Penny Gordon's abusive mother on Good Times.

Fields was born on August 5, 1951, in New York City. Before her first television appearance, Chip Fields gave birth to a daughter, Kim Victoria Fields, who was born on May 12, 1969.

If you didn't already know, Chip Fields is indeed the mother of Kim Fields, aka, Tootie (The Facts of Life) or Regine (Living Single), depending on whether you were an 80s or 90s kid.

Her first acting role was as Harriet Morse in the TV movie, Change at 125th Street (1974). Fields soon moved on to roles in film; she was an extra in Claudine (1974), and she had guest appearances on 70s TV staples like Rhoda, Police Story, Barnaby Jones and What's Happening!!

In 1978, Chip Fields starred opposite LeVar Burton in the TV movie Battered. The story was a collection of vignettes about the lives of women who were experiencing domestic violence in a time when neither the general pubic nor law enforcement was educated about domestic violence and the effect it has on victims and even survivors.

In between her acting roles, Chip Fields was busy singing with Ronnie Spector during her brief mid 1970s revival of The Ronnettes. Fields can be heard on the single, "I Wish I Never Saw the Sun Shine." The Original Ronnettes are the girls group who sang the popular song, "Be My Baby."

Towards the end of the 70s, Fields was cast as a series regular, Rita Conway, in the TV show The Amazing Spider-Man.

On March 3, 1979, Fields gave birth to her second child, Alexis Fields. Alexis follows in her mother and sister's footsteps as an actress, appearing in roles from Hangin' with Mr. Cooper to The Bernie Mac Show.

Chip Fields was cast on the classic TV series Good Times in more than one role in the late 1970s, but I don't think any of us will ever forget when she played Penny's (Janet Jackson) abusive mother. Decades later, I still can't pick up an iron without thinking about poor little Penny...

At the turn of the decade, Fields' was making regular guest starring roles in 80s TV series' staples like Hill Street Blues, TJ Hooker and Roc.

Earlier in her career, Chip Fields' eldest daughter, Kim Fields, was cast on Good Times as well, but they were never cast together. However, in the mid 1980s, Chip was cast as Kim's mother in her daughter's mega-hit TV series, The Facts of Life.

Then in the early 1990s, Chip was cast as Kim's mother once again in her daughter's second hit TV series, Living Single.

By the time the early 2000s rolled around, Chip Fields was married to technical director Ervin Hurd, and her acting career was slowing down; she had brief roles in The Wayans Brothers, The Parkers and the Bishop T.D. Jakes' TV movie, Woman Thou Art Loosed.

By the mid 2000s, Chip Fields-Hurd was focusing her energies behind the camera as consultant on projects like Menace II Society (1993), Living Single and The Parkers.

Fields-Hurd was making the biggest waves as a director on shows like Sister Sister, Grlfriends, Hannah Montana, Just Jordan and most recently, Meet the Browns and House of Payne.

Chip Fields last acting role to date was as Gert on the TV series Just Jordan in 2007. We don't know if she'll ever return to fans in front of the camera; for now, we'll be content to watch her shine as a director.

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    • Rachelle Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachelle Williams 

      7 months ago from Tempe, AZ

      Hi Miss Dora! Yes! Chip Fields is an awesome all-around actress...Do you recall her episodes on "Good Times" where she played Penny's abusive mother?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 months ago from The Caribbean

      I appreciate this information on this actress. I know her best as Kim's mother in Living Single, but didn't realize that she had all those other accolades. Thanks for making us see her for the all round celebrity entertainer that she is.

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