Atkins is best known for her roles on television comedies.From 1997 to 1999, she starred as Tasha Yvette Henderson in The WB sitcom Smart Guy.reported that Latin pop superstar Ricky Martin got real with Andy Cohen on his Sirius XM show about the very visual beginning of his relationship with fiancé Jwan Yosef: "I met my fiance on Instagram. I wrote to him and then we were talking for like six months without me hearing his voice." In the interview with Cohen, Martin went on to describe how sparks flew when the pair finally met in person: "We talked about art, nothing sexy, nothing I swear…And then one day I went to London and I met him, game over." Martin has been living "Initially we met through twitter…He did an interview about me and the guy who interviewed him asked, 'If there was one girl in the world who would you be with?' He said 'Amber Rose,' — and then I hit him on twitter, and I said, 'That's really cute' and we fell in love!She is none other than the very pretty Essence Atkins.
We smiled at each other and in that moment, everything felt right." It's the stuff that rom-coms are made of.
She later went to star as Dee Dee Thorne in UPN sitcom Half & Half (2002-06) and TBS comedy series Are We There Yet? In film, Atkins has appeared in Deliver Us from Eva (2003), Dance Flick (2009), A Haunted House (2013) and A Haunted House 2 (2014).
The following years she spent playing guest roles on sitcoms include Family Matters, before landing co-leading role opposite James Earl Jones and Vanessa Bell Calloway in the short-lived first African American prime time soap opera Under One Roof in 1995.
The following year, she co-starred with Keri Russell in the short-lived Fox teen soap opera Malibu Shores.
One of her television roles was in the Saved by the Bell spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years in 1993.