Tameka Jacobs (born October 22, 1979 in French Camp, California) is an African-American Model, Actress, and accomplished photographer. She is best known to Game Show audiences as Briefcase Model #21 on the NBC Game Show Deal or No Deal.
At an early age, Tameka was once adopted by a woman named Mary Brown until enraged officials in San Joaquin County opposed due to the fact that Jacobs was half & half (½ black & ½ white), and she ended up in the custody of an African-American family.
Despite this, Tameka did not let that stop her from achieving her dreams of stardom. From studying ballet, tap & jazz, and she enrolled in classes for acting, modeling and public speaking. While living in the Bay Area, she got the opportunity of a lifetime when she became the morning news and traffic reporter for one of San Francisco's highest-rated radio stations, KYLD94.9. Tameka did radio in the mornings, and used the rest of the day to continue her modeling and dance career by booking jobs in catalogs, magazines, newspapers and on television in commercials, live shows, and music videos.
A few years into her internship, Jacobs relocated to Los Angeles and within weeks she was able to secure the leads in high fashion editorials, music videos, commercial print work and even gained worldwide exposure in an earlier campaign for Apple's iPod. Since then, Tyra Banks, Iman, Ananda Lewis and a host of other Hollywood models and celebrities have taken Tameka under their wings.
In December 2005, Jacobs would soon land her best known TV gig, as one of 25 Briefcase Models on the NBC Game Show Deal or No Deal. Tameka stood beside Briefcase #21 for the show's entire run. In April 2006, Tameka and her fellow briefcase models were listed in People magazine as it's annual "100 Most Beautiful People". In season five, she will be replaced by Malika Miller.
Even though her face is not shown, Tameka was the model featured on the Deal or No Deal DVD game opening the briefcases as her name appears in the game's closing credits (the game's intro & closing also features the others models walking down the stairs & their names are listed alphabetically).
In addition to standing beside Briefcase #21 on Deal, Tameka soon began pulling double duty as she and fellow Briefcase model Patricia Kara were chosen as the assistants on the newly Syndicated, Daytime version of the show which ran from September 2008 to May 2010.
Tameka unfortunately never got the chance to reunite with her adoptive mother, Mary Brown. In February 2003, she was a guest on The Montel Williams Show where she revealed that when in high school, she began searching for Mary Brown and some time later, she finally got in touch with Mary Brown over the phone but Mary thought it was a prank call and angrily hung up the phone on Tameka. She repeatedly called the same number before finding out that Mary Brown had her phone number changed. Tameka refused to give up hope and one day, Christmas Eve 2001 to be exact, she decided to get in her car and drive over to Mary Brown's house hoping to reunite with her but upon arriving, she was hit with devastating news. Mary Brown had passed away two months earlier which left Tameka heartbroken and crushed.
Her heartbreak would eventually be healed with a happy ending. While on The Montel Williams Show, Tameka was caught off guard when Montel showed her a photo of herself as a child and then she came face to face with her biological mother and sisters as they shared a tearful and emotional reunion.
However, the glitz and glam of Tameka's rising stardom have not gone to her head. She keeps her feet firmly planted on the ground as she, like her mentor, Tyra Banks, reaches back to girls and young women in her situation. On her off days, Tameka counsels girls and young women who live in foster homes and adoption agencies, giving hope to hundreds of girls and young women who are already, or are waiting to be adopted. Tameka uses her own life as a lesson on how young women can grow to successfully create their own destinies, even if they come from a broken home.
Tameka has high hopes for her future in the entertainment field, she hopes to either star in a Hollywood blockbuster film, playing the lead in a hit television show or hosting her own show, because she has been built for stardom.