Tracee Ellis Ross
TraceeEllisRossbyErikMelvin.jpg
Ross in 2018
Born
Tracee Joy Silberstein

(1972-10-29) October 29, 1972 (age 49)
Alma materBrown University (BA)
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
  • television host
  • producer
Years active1996–present
Parent(s)
Relatives
Websitetraceeellisross.com

Tracee Joy Silberstein (born October 29, 1972), known professionally as Tracee Ellis Ross, is an American actress. She is known for her lead roles in the television series Girlfriends (2000–2008) and Black-ish (2014–2022).[1]

She is the daughter of actress and Motown recording artist Diana Ross and Robert Ellis Silberstein. She began acting in independent films and variety series. She hosted the pop-culture magazine The Dish on Lifetime. From 2000 to 2008 she played the starring role of Joan Clayton in the UPN/CW comedy series Girlfriends, for which she received two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. She also has appeared in the films Hanging Up (2000), I-See-You.Com (2006), and Daddy's Little Girls (2007), before returning to television playing Dr. Carla Reed on the BET sitcom Reed Between the Lines (2011), for which she received her third NAACP Image Award.

Since 2014, Ross has played the starring role of Dr. Rainbow Johnson in the ABC comedy series Black-ish. Her work on it has earned her three NAACP Image Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy. She has also received nominations for two Critics' Choice Television Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. In 2019, she co-created a prequel spin-off of Black-ish titled Mixed-ish. In 2020, she starred in and recorded the soundtrack album for the musical film The High Note.

Early life

Ross was born October 29, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Motown singer/actress Diana Ross and music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. Actor and musician Evan Ross is her half-brother.[2] Her father is Jewish;[3][4][5] her mother is African-American and a Baptist.[6] She adopted the name Tracee Ellis Ross, wishing to retain both of her parents' names after her father dropped the name Silberstein.[7] She has two sisters, Rhonda Ross Kendrick and Chudney Lane Silberstein.

When her mother married Arne Næss Jr. in 1985, Tracee gained three step-siblings: Katinka, Christoffer, and folk singer Leona Naess. She remains on close terms with all of them. Before her mother and Naess divorced in 2000, they welcomed her two half-brothers, Ross Arne in 1987 and Evan Ross in 1988.

Ross attended The Dalton School in Manhattan, Riverdale Country School in the Bronx and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland. She was a model in her teens. She attended Brown University, where she appeared in plays, and graduated in 1994 with a theatre degree.[8] She later worked in the fashion industry as a model and contributing fashion editor to Mirabella and New York magazines.[9]

Ross has ptosis, slightly affecting her left eye-lid. Following a speech at the American Music Awards, Internet trolls commented on her condition, leading her to post an Instagram video saying, "I know y'all make fun of my eyes, you know what I mean? Well, f**ck off, 'cause it's not my fault, alright? My body does what it does, I don't know why. But sometimes when I'm tired, this one just gives up, and it's like, 'Goodnight!'..."Go ahead, make fun of my eyes, OK? But I think they're nice, I think they're so nice, I do."[10]

Career

Early works

Ross made her big-screen debut in 1996, playing a Jewish/African-American woman in the independent feature film Far Harbor. The following year, she debuted as host of The Dish, a Lifetime TV magazine series keeping tabs on popular culture.[8] In 1998, she starred as a former high school track star who remained silent about having been abused at the hands of a coach, in the NBC made-for-TV movie Race Against Fear: A Moment of Truth.[11] Her next role was an independent feature film titled Sue. In 2000, she landed her first major studio role in Diane Keaton's Hanging Up. That same year, she broke into comedy as a regular performer in the MTV series The Lyricist Lounge Show, a hip-hop variety series mixing music, dramatic sketches, and comedic skits.[12] In February 2006 she starred in Kanye West’s "Touch The Sky" MTV music video, playing the role of the best friend of Kanye's ex.

2000–2013: Breakthrough with Girlfriends

Ross with Mara Brock Akil and Girlfriends cast in 2013
Ross with Mara Brock Akil and Girlfriends cast in 2013

Ross's biggest career achievement came when she landed the lead role in the hit UPN/The CW series Girlfriends, starring as the show's protagonist Joan Carol Clayton — a successful (and often neurotic) lawyer looking for love, challenges, and adventure. The series centered on four (later three) young African-American women, and their male best friend.[13] In 2007, Ross won an NAACP Image Award in the category, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on the series. She won a second Image Award for the role in 2009.[14]

In 2007, Ross starred with her brother Evan Ross and Queen Latifah in the HBO movie Life Support.[15] That same year, she appeared in the Tyler Perry theatrical movie Daddy's Little Girls.[16] She appeared in the 2009 film Labor Pains.[17]

In 2010, she appeared in an episode of Private Practice as a pregnant doctor.[18] In 2011, Ross appeared in four episodes of CSI as the estranged wife of Laurence Fishburne's character.[19][20]

Ross starred in the sitcom Reed Between the Lines with Malcolm-Jamal Warner airing on BET starting in October 2011. She won a third NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series in 2012 for her performance in the series. In August 2012, it was announced that Ross would not return for Season Two.[21] In 2011, she appeared in the Lifetime film Five directed by Alicia Keys.[22] The performance in the film earned her nominations for an NAACP Image Award and Black Reel Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series. In 2012, Ross starred in the NBC drama pilot Bad Girls.[23]

2014–present: Black-ish and mainstream success

Ross at the 2014 NAACP Image Awards
Ross at the 2014 NAACP Image Awards

In 2014, Ross was cast in the ABC comedy series Black-ish, opposite Anthony Anderson.[24][25] She plays the female lead role of Dr. Rainbow Johnson. The series debuted with generally positive reviews from critics.[26] Ross received three NAACP Image Awards and received nominations for two Critics' Choice Television Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance in the series.[27] Ross's 2016 nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series was the first for an African-American woman in that category in 30 years.[28] The same year, Ross and Anderson faced off on Spike's Lip Sync Battle. She emerged victorious with performances of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" and Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield".

In 2015, Ross was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine art (honoris causa) by Brown University.[29] Ross hosted the BET Awards in 2015 and 2016, and the American Music Awards in 2017 and 2018.[30] She also hosted The Fashion Awards in 2019.[31]

As of 2018, as CEO of Pattern Beauty LLC of El Segundo, California, Ross produces a line of "Juicy and Joyful" beauty hair care products made with safe ingredients for curls and promotes support organizations to empower women and people of color. Ross appeared in the fourth episode of A Little Late with Lilly Singh.[32][33]

In 2019, Ross created, alongside Kenya Barris, a prequel spin-off of Black-ish called Mixed-ish. Ross serves as a narrator for the series starring Tika Sumpter and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.[34][35] Ross will star in and executive produce the adult animated comedy Jodie, the first in a series of spin-offs based on MTV's Daria franchise. Ross will voice the title character, Jodie Landon.[36]

In 2020, Ross played the leading role as Grace Davis, the legendary superstar singer, in the musical comedy-drama film The High Note for Focus Features.[37] The High Note marks the first big-screen role for Ross since the 2007 comedy-drama Daddy’s Little Girls. The film was scheduled to be theatrically released on May 8, 2020, but the theatrical release was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[38] The film later moved its release date to May 29, 2020, through video on demand.[39] In The High Note Ross made her singing debut, recording a soundtrack album titled The High Note (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). The lead single, pop-ballad "Love Myself" was released on May 15, 2020, through Republic Records.[40][41]

Ross emceed the second night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.[42] More recently, she signed a deal with ABC Signature.[43] In 2021, she was included on the Time 100, Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[44]

She appears as Lainie in the seventh episode of the revived The Kids in the Hall, released in May 2022.[45]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Far Harbor Kiki
1997 Sue Lost in Manhattan Linda
1999 A Fare To Remember Jane
2000 Hanging Up Kim
2000 In the Weeds Caroline
2006 I-See-You.Com Nancy Tanaka
2009 Daddy's Little Girls Cynthia
2009 Labor Pains Kristin
2019 Little Homegirl Voice[46]
2020 The High Note Grace Davis
TBA Jodie Jodie Landon (Voice)

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Broken Silence Kaycee King Television film
2000 The Lyricist Lounge Show Various roles 1 episode
2000–2008 Girlfriends Joan Clayton Series regular, 172 episodes
2004 Second Time Around Naomi Episode: "A Kiss Is Still a Kiss"
2007 Life Support Tanya Television film
2010 Private Practice Ellen Episode: "War"
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Gloria Parkes Recurring role, 4 episodes
2011 Reed Between the Lines Dr. Carla Reed Series regular, 25 episodes and producer
2011 Five Alyssa Television film; segment "Lili"
2012 Bad Girls Rachel Unsold pilot
2014–2022 Black-ish Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson Lead role, director of 2 episodes and producer
2016 Broad City Winona Episode: "Jews on a Plane"
2018–2022 Grown-ish Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson 2 episodes
2018 Portlandia Professional In Getting Her Picture Taken Episode: "You Do You"
2019–2021 Mixed-ish Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson/Narrator Also co-creator, executive producer
2021 The Runaway Bunny Narrator Television special
2021 The Premise Rayna Bradshaw Episode: "Social Justice Sex Tape"
2022 The Kids in the Hall Lainie Episode 7

Music videos

Year Song Artist Role
2004 The New Workout Plan Kanye West Fifi LeBeouff/ Herself[47]
2005 "Touch the Sky" Kanye West Herself[47]
2018 "Nice for What" Drake Herself[48]
2019 "Earfquake" Tyler, the Creator Pearl Edwards (Talk Show Host)[49]

Discography

  • "Love Myself" (single)
  • "Stop For A Minute"
  • "Bad Girl"
  • "New To Me"
  • "Like I Do" - with Kelvin Harrison Jr.
  • Love Myself (Film Version) - with Amie Doherty

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Girlfriends Nominated
2003 Prism Award Best Performance in a Comedy Series Nominated
2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2004 BET Comedy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2005 BET Comedy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Won
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2006 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2007 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Won
2008 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Won
2012 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Five Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Reed Between the Lines Won
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series Five Nominated
NAMIC Vision Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Reed Between the Lines Nominated
2015 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Black-ish Won
BET Awards Best Actress Nominated
EWwy Awards Best Actress, Comedy[50] Nominated
2016 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series[51] Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series[52] Won
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series[53] Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy[54] Nominated
BET Awards Best Actress Nominated
2017 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series[55] Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series[56] Nominated
2018 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2019 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedy TV Star Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Directing, Comedy Series Nominated
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series Nominated
2020 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series Nominated
People's Choice Awards Fashion icon Fashion Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Drama Movie Star The High Note Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2021 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated[57]
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Black-ish Nominated[58]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated

Business

Tracee Ellis Ross is also the founder of Pattern Beauty, a company which makes natural hair care products for curly and textured hair. [59] The company was founded in 2018.

See also

References

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  2. ^ Whitall, Susan (February 26, 2011). "Diana Ross opens up on 'Oprah' show". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via PressReader.
  3. ^ "Diana Ross's Daughter Tracee Ellis Ross: Her Time to Shine". PEOPLE. December 15, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  4. ^ Windeler, Robert (January 26, 1976). "Mr. & Mrs. Diana Ross?". PEOPLE. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Miller, Gerri (January 20, 2015). "Tracee Ellis Ross: Black-ish and Jewish". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (October 11, 2011). "Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner Talk 'Reed Between the Lines'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn. "Tracee Ellis Ross Has Definitive Proof That Diana Ross Is the Greatest Mom of All Time". W Magazine. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Tracee Ellis Ross Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  9. ^ Christian, Margena A. (April 17, 2006). "Tracee Ellis Ross: 'Girlfriends' TV star takes center stage her way". Jet. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Park, Andrea (November 20, 2017). "Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Why Her Eye Was Twitching at the AMAs". Allure. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  11. ^ "Ross' daughter still auditions". Rochester Sentinel. Associated Press. September 8, 1998. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  12. ^ "UPN'S GIRLFRIENDS TRIES TO SURVIVE". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. February 25, 2001.
  13. ^ "After 8 years, 'Girlfriends' comes to an end". TODAY.com. February 14, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  14. ^ Hite, N'Neka (February 12, 2009). "'Bees' big at NAACP Image Awards". Variety. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  15. ^ Hale, Mike (March 4, 2007). "The Week Ahead: March 4–10 > Television". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  16. ^ Morris, Wesley (February 15, 2007). "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls Movie Review – Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls Movie Trailer". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  17. ^ "Newsvine". Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Private Practice: War Episode Summary". TV.com. February 27, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  19. ^ "CSI "All That Cremains" Season 11 Episode 14 Photos With Tracee Ellis Ross". Daemon's TV. January 28, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "CSI – LOST'S L. Scott Caldwell to Guest Star". Bscreview.com. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  21. ^ "It's Official – Tracee Ellis Ross Leaves BET's 'Reed Between The Lines'". Shadow and Act. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  22. ^ Porter, Rick (July 27, 2011). "Lifetime's 'Five' gets a premiere date, Roseanne makes a press tour cameo". ScreenerTV. Archived from [/http://screenertv.com/blogs/lifetimes_five_gets_a_premiere_date_roseanne_makes_a_press_tour_cameo-2011-07/ the original] on February 14, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2014. ((cite web)): Check |url= value (help)
  23. ^ "Tracee Ellis Ross To Star In NBC Prison Drama Pilot "Bad Girls"". Shadow and Act. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Tracee Ellis Ross To Co-Star In Anthony Anderson Pilot; Ricky Blitt Pilot Adds One". Deadline. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  25. ^ "Tracee Ellis Ross Will Play Anthony Anderson's Wife In ABC's Kenya Barris Pilot, 'Black-ish'". Shadow and Act. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  26. ^ "Black-ish : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  27. ^ "'Get On Up,' 'Selma,' 'Dear White People' Score NAACP Image Award Nominations (Full List)". Variety. December 9, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  28. ^ Hairston, Tahirah (September 19, 2016). "Rami Malek Is the Emmys' First Non-White Best Actor in a Drama in 18 Years". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  29. ^ "Brown awards six honorary doctorates: Tracee Ellis Ross, Doctor of Fine Arts", Brown University, May 23, 2015.
  30. ^ Courtney, Ian (March 27, 2019). "Dates Set For 2019 American Music Awards". Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  31. ^ Conti, Samantha (October 31, 2019). "Tracee Ellis Ross to Headline 2019 Fashion Awards in London". WWD. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  32. ^ "A Little Late With Lilly Singh". NBC. September 19, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  33. ^ "Our Story". Pattern Beauty. September 8, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  34. ^ Darrisaw, Michelle (May 15, 2019). "Tracee Ellis Ross Will Star in Her Own Black-ish Spin-Off Called Mixed-ish". Oprah Magazine.
  35. ^ Framke, Caroline (September 24, 2019). "TV Review: 'Mixed-ish'".
  36. ^ Petski, Denise (June 13, 2019). "Tracee Ellis Ross To Star & Exec Produce 'Daria' Spinoff From MTV Studios".
  37. ^ Atler, Rebecca (February 28, 2020). "Tracee Ellis Ross Is a Pop Star in the Trailer for The High Note".
  38. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 25, 2019). "Todd Haynes' 'Dark Waters' Lands November Release; Nisha Ganatra's 'Covers' Opens in Summer 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  39. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 4, 2020). "Focus Features Sets Digital Release For 'The High Note' Starring Tracee Ellis Ross & Dakota Johnson". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  40. ^ Spanos, Brittany (May 15, 2020). "Tracee Ellis Ross Debuts 'Love Myself' From Film 'The High Note'". Rolling Stone.
  41. ^ Romano, Nick (May 15, 2020). "Tracee Ellis Ross releases her first song from 'The High Note' soundtrack". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  42. ^ Mucha, Sarah (August 17, 2020). "Eva Longoria, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced as Democratic convention emcees". CNN.
  43. ^ Petski, Denise (September 15, 2020). "Tracee Ellis Ross Signs Overall Deal With ABC Signature". Deadline. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  44. ^ Trepany, Charles (September 15, 2021). "Time 100 revealed: Harry and Meghan, Britney Spears, Simone Biles, Dolly Parton make 2021 list". USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  45. ^ "It's Head-Crushing Time! Prime Video Announces the Premiere Date and Trailer Release for Canadian Amazon Original Series The Kids in the Hall". newswire.ca. April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  46. ^ Brockington, Ariana. "Tracee Ellis Ross Has A Pretty Big Role In". www.refinery29.com.
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  48. ^ Maicki, Salvatore (April 7, 2018). "A breakdown of all the cameos in Drake's "Nice For What" video". The Fader. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  49. ^ Sam Sodomsky (May 17, 2019). "Watch Tyler, the Creator's New "EARFQUAKE" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  50. ^ "Best Actress, Comedy - EWwy Awards 2015 - Meet Your Winners". Entertainment Weekly. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  51. ^ Patrick Hipes (December 14, 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations 2016 — Full List – Deadline". Deadline.
  52. ^ Maane Khatchatourian (December 8, 2015). "NAACP Award Nominations 2015: 'Creed,' 'Empire,' 'Black-ish' Lead – Variety". Variety.
  53. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (July 14, 2016). "2016 Emmy Nominations: 'Game of Thrones' Leads Field, 'The Americans,' 'Mr. Robot' Grab Series Bids". Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  54. ^ "The International Press Academy Announces Winners for the 21th Annual Satellite™ Awards", International Press Academy, December 19, 2016.
  55. ^ Schwartz, Ryan, "NAACP Image Awards: This Is Us, black-ish, Queen Sugar Among Winners", TVLine, February 11, 2017.
  56. ^ "Emmys 2017: Full List of Nominations". Variety. July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  57. ^ "2021 Nominees". NAACP Image Awards.
  58. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (February 2, 2021). "NAACP Image Awards: black-ish and Lovecraft Country Top TV Nominations; Bridgerton Among First-Timers".
  59. ^ Beauty, Pattern. "Hair Story Spotlight: PATTERN CEO & Founder Tracee Ellis Ross". Pattern Beauty. Retrieved April 13, 2022.