R. J. Atkins was born June 10, 1978 as Rickey Atkins, Jr. in Palestine, TX to Rickey Atkins, Sr, and Nancy Glover (née Starr). He was raised in Palestine by his paternal grandparents, the late Ira and Ruth Atkins.  R. J. is the oldest of three brothers, with one brother residing in Houston, TX and the other in Austin, TX. R.J. discovered and developed his love and talent for acting, as a young child having appeared in several church plays as a member of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and taking classes such as Theatre Arts, Public Speaking, and Drama, starting in the 7th grade at Palestine Middle School and continuing through his years at Palestine High School.  

After graduating high school in 1996, R.J. entered the workforce for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer in late 1997. He trained and served in various capacities at military installations in Missouri, Texas, California, Louisiana, and Georgia and also served in combat in Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004-2005. R.J. was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant in May 2011 after serving in numerous capacities from squad dismount to administrative sergeant between the Regular Army and Army National Guard.  

After military service, R.J. relocated to San Antonio, TX and tried his hand at various professions such as correctional officer, truck driver, dispatcher, government contract specialist before becoming a special education teacher and securing a teaching position with the Aldine Independent School District in Houston in mid 2016. Two years later, R.J. rekindled his love for acting and hit the ground running, appearing in several productions around the Houston area to include, but not limited to feature films, short films, theatre, and commercials. He continues pursuing his talents and perfecting his craft to this day, taking acting classes, attending workshops and auditions, and networking with other like-minded artists and performers.  

R.J. is the founder and chairman of Every Effort, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization benefiting at-risk youth, Veterans, and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, the founding president of R.J. Atkins Entertainment & Ventures, LLC, a media conglomerate engaged in various business interests, and the co-founder/executive vice president of 4141 Productions, Inc., a film production company created to bring the freshest and most untouched creative content to the big screen and networks.  

He is the proud father of three adult daughters, Abrianna, Kianna, and Deianna, and is enjoying being a first-time grandfather to his grandson, Zavion Atkins-Jackson. He resides in the suburbs of Houston and is represented by Neal Hamil Agency.