Phylicia Rashad Will Play Taye Diggs’ Wealthy Mother in ‘Empire’ (Will Go Head-to-Head With Cookie)

Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad

A month after the announcement that Taye Diggs signed on for what Fox called a major recurring role on next season of its hit series “Empire,” Phylicia Rashad has also booked a role on the soap opera, playing Diggs’ mother.

As previously reported,  Diggs will play a character named Angelo Dubois, who is a city councilman from a respected and affluent New York family. Drawing comparisons to President Barack Obama’s earlier years, Mr. Dubois has a Harvard law degree, as well as a drive to do good in the world, and focuses his energy on community organizing, and local politics.

Rashad, as Digg’s mother, has signed up to play the wealthy Diana Dubois, matriarch of one of New York’s oldest and most prominent Africa American families. As the mother of ambitious city councilman Angelo Dubois (Diggs), she has her sights set on higher office for her only son, and she’ll stop at nothing to groom him. Diana’s interactions with Cookie, Lucious and the rest of the Lyon clan will lay bare the stark class divides that can exist, even within the black community.

By the way, the son, Angelo Dubois (Diggs), will be a new love interest for Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), meaning expect some (old money) Diana Dubois/(new money) Cookie Lyon drama as the mother likely may not be too pleased with her conservative, traditionalist, bourgeois son hooking up with the uncompromising, boisterous, “total badass” (as Henson has called her) that is Cookie, getting involved with the Lyon family. But watching the veteran Rashad (who can practically see into your soul with just a stare) and Henson potentially go head-to-head, should be fun for fans of the series.

As has been the case in past seasons of “Empire,” the upcoming season 3 will feature several newcomers. Joining Diggs and Rashad are Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi, playing a rapper named Gram, a rival to Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray); French Montana as music mogul Vaughn, a member of Lucious Lyon’s (Terrence Howard) inner circle; and Mariah Carey as a singer named Kitty who joins Jamal (Jussie Smollett) in the recording studio.

Season 3 of “Empire” premieres on Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. on Fox.


  1. Phylicia Rashad is miles ahead of this show in terms of class, character and integrity. I’m sorry she would grace this junk TV show with her acting presence.

    • This show is cutting edge and first class. This pompous pretentious class warfare argument is tired. She’s still in high class mode and it’s a very believable realistic plot development.

    • I agree with CT. Rashad and Diggs will bring a new element to the show, and I’m here for it.

  2. Just when I thought I was out, They pull me back in….
    I’ll tune in just to see Rashad take everyone to acting school!

    • Everyone, except Leslie Uggams of course. I’m excited to see the two of them shine this season.

  3. If this kind of horsepower is being added, they need a better driver for the car.

    • Yep. EMPIRE is an over the top 1980s soap opera. And the way Lee Daniels directs, he can turn good actors into stereotypical buffoons. I like the talent, but have much faith, unless they do massive overhaul in the writing and direction. Season 3 – better keep those ratings steady if they want to see a Season 4.

  4. ‘Miles ahead in class..’ I agree but she still has to eat and be relevant. Let’s stop this class divide in the Black community and come together. In the famous words of Rodney..’Can’t we all get along?’

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