This was the breakout year for the 42-year-old Dallas actress. After a decade as one of the area's leading musical theater stars—most recently starring in the title role in Theatre Three's Caroline, or Change—Mikel made the leap to TV and film with a year's worth of work. On NBC's critically acclaimed series Friday Night Lights, she plays Corinna Williams, tough-but-warm mom to "Smash," one of the show's star high school football players (played by Gaius Charles). Cast for what she thought was a one-episode shot, Mikel ended up appearing on nearly every episode of the drama's freshman season and will be back again this fall. She'll also be seen in the new film comedy The Better Man, starring with James Earl Jones, Martin Lawrence, Mo'Nique and Cedric the Entertainer. Always a joy to watch in musical comedies, Mikel shows real fire as a dramatic actress. Friday Night Lights may shine on the show's younger stars, but playing Corinna has finally put Mikel in the national spotlight.