Yvette Nicole Brown

Her cherubic, wide-eyed visage made her a regular in American households via a flurry of national television commercials in the 2000s, but few knew her name until Yvette Nicole Brown joined the mismatched ensemble of NBC's hit sitcom "Community" (2009-15). An Ohio native, Brown flirted early with a musical career, before she found herself peculiarly attractive to commercial casting agents. Beginning in 2003, Brown began racking up an impressive array of national TV spots for such major brands as Pine-sol, CitiBank, Hallmark, DiGiorno, Best Buy and Hamburger Helper, among many others. After a short-lived sitcom stint on "The Big House" (ABC, 2004), she picked up a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series "Drake & Josh" (2004-07), supplemented with a bevy of television guest roles, often portraying plainspoken or brassy blue-collar characters. In 2009, she landed a regular cast job as the pious Shirley Bennett, the sweet-natured soul of the hodgepodge of community college goofballs on "Community," which quickly became a staple of NBC's successful Thursday night comedy line-up. Seemingly omnipresent but anonymous for years on the airwaves, Brown endeared herself as fan favorite on one of most-watched blocks of American television.