Nia Long

Nia Long

Birth name: Nia Talita Long
Born: October 30, 1970
Age: 48
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
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Biography

Nia Talita Long,[1] (born October 30, 1970)[1] is an American actress. She is known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Third Watch and Empire, and the films Boyz n the Hood, Friday, Love Jones, Soul Food, In Too Deep, The Best Man, Big Momma's House and Are We There Yet?.

Long was born in Brooklyn, New York,[1] to Talita Long (née Gillman), a teacher and printmaker,[2] and Doughtry Long, a high school teacher and poet.[3] Her family is of Trinidadian, Grenadian, Vincentian, and Barbadian descent.[4][5] She has an older half-sister, the actress and comedian known as Sommore.[citation needed]

Long was two years old when her parents divorced. She accompanied her mother when she moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to study fine arts. Her mother moved to South Los Angeles when Long was seven years old, as she planned to marry there. She and her fiancé called off the wedding, but Talita chose to stay in Los Angeles.[6] Long's father resides in Trenton, New Jersey.

Long attended the Roman Catholic school St. Mary's Academy in Inglewood, California. She was bused from South Los Angeles to Paseo Del Rey Elementary School in Playa Del Rey from 3rd grade through 6th grade. In addition to her academic classes, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, guitar, and acting. She graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles in 1989.[citation needed]

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Career

Long in 2009.
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Long's acting coach was Betty Bridges, better known as the mother of Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges. Her earliest role was in the Disney television movie, The B.R.A.T. Patrol alongside Sean Astin, Tim Thomerson and Brian Keith. Her first notable role on television was a three-year contract role as Kathryn "Kat" Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. Long portrayed Kat from 1991 to 1994. Long played Brandi in Boyz n the Hood. The film excited Long, who was doing her "first real movie role". It helped Long build her confidence as an actress. "It introduced me to the world in a way that it was okay for me to be who I am and still find success," she added. "I didn’t have to conform to anything."[7] From 1994 - 1995, she played Will Smith's girlfriend and fiancée Beulah "Lisa" Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jada Pinkett Smith was originally supposed to play Lisa, but was too short for the role (opposite a 6'2" Will Smith), thus leaving Nia to take the part.

In 2000, Long was offered the role of Alex Munday in Charlie's Angels, but she turned it down, and the role was eventually given to Lucy Liu. In 2003, she joined the cast of the drama Third Watch, where she played NYPD Officer Sasha Monroe, continuing until the series finale in 2005. In 2005 and 2006, Long appeared on Everwood, and appeared on Boston Legal during its 2006-2007 season. Long also starred in Big Shots from 2007-2008 alongside Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott. In 2016, Long was cast in a recurring role for the TV series Empire. She acquired the role of Giuliana, a Las Vegas club owner.[8]

Long appeared in supporting roles in a number of movies such as Friday and Made in America. Long played a leading role, or a member of the primary ensemble, in several films, including Soul Food, Love Jones, Boiler Room, Big Momma's House, Are We There Yet?, and The Best Man. Ice Cube has starred with her in four films, while (fellow Westchester High alum) Regina King has starred with her in two. Long starred alongside Michael Beach in Soul Food and in the TV series Third Watch.

Long appears in the video for Kanye West's "Touch the Sky". She directed Yolanda Adams's music video for "This Too Shall Pass". She won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 for her performance on Third Watch. Long co-directed and appeared in Ashanti's music video, "Baby". She also made a guest appearance on the successful sitcom Living Single during its first season.

She appeared in the 2013 film The Best Man Holiday, reprising her role from the original 1999 film. Unlike the original film, however, her character is in an interracial relationship with a white man. Long was revealed to have pursuing an interracial relationship in the film and explained: "We're living in a modern world where it happens and it's OK and it's no disrespect to any black man. I love black men, but the reality is the sistahs are marrying white men and the brothas are marrying white women and that's the world that we live in and it's not to be judged, and if it works for you then embrace it". Director Malcolm D. Lee also supported the interracial relationship being portrayed in the film. "African-American women who are extremely successful can't always find black male counterparts on that level so it's a little bit of a reflection of reality that black women are starting to date outside their race — and why not?"[9]

Personal life

Long started dating Ime Udoka in 2010, and gave birth to their son, Kez Sunday Udoka on November 7, 2011.[10] The couple became engaged in May 2015.[11] She also has another son, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II (born November 26, 2000), from a previous relationship with Massai Dorsey.[10]

The actress contributes her time to the Sterling Children's Home in Barbados, as a motivational speaker.[12]

Long is a supporter of PETA.[13]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Buried Alive Fingers
1991 Boyz n the Hood Brandi
1993 Made in America Zora Mathews
1995 Friday Debbie
1997 Love Jones Nina Mosley Nominated—Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Hav Plenty Trudy
Soul Food Ryla "Bird" Joseph
1998 Butter Carmen Jones
1999 In Too Deep Myra
The Best Man Jordan Armstrong Black Reel Award for Best Actress
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Stigmata Donna Chadway
Held Up Rae
The Secret Laughter of Women Nimi Da Silva
2000 The Broken Hearts Club:
A Romantic Comedy
Leslie
Boiler Room Abbie Halpert Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Big Momma's House Sherry Pierce Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress in a Comedy
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
2003 BAADASSSSS! Sandra
2004 The N-Word Herself Documentary
Alfie Lonette Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
2005 Are We There Yet? Suzanne Kingston
2006 Big Momma's House 2 Sherry Pierce-Turner
2007 Premonition Annie
Are We Done Yet? Suzanne Kingston-Persons
2008 Gospel Hill Yvonne Palmer
2009 Good Hair Herself Documentary
2010 Mooz-lum Safiyah Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Actress
2013 The Best Man Holiday Jordan Armstrong Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Actress
2014 The Single Moms Club May Miller
2016 Keanu Hannah
2017 Lemon Cleo
Roxanne Roxanne Peggy
TBA The Banker Eunice Garrett Filming

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1986 227 Girl (uncredited) Episode: "Slam Dunked"
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Darla Perkins Episode: "The B.R.A.T Patrol"
1991-93 Guiding Light Katherine "Kat" Speakes Unknown episodes
1991 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Claudia Prescott Episode: "She Ain't Heavy"
1993 Living Single Stacey Evans Episode: "Love Takes a Holiday"
1994-95 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Lisa Wilkes 15 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
1995 Live Shot Ramona Greer Unsold TV pilot
1996 ER Christy Wilson Episode: "Baby Shower"
Moesha Ruth 2 episodes
1998 Black Jaq Jaqueline "Jaq" Blackman Unsold TV pilot
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Karen Television movie
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
2001-02 Judging Amy Andrea Solomon 6 episodes
2002 Sightings: Heartland Ghost Lou Television movie
2003-05 Third Watch Officer Sasha Monroe 35 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
2006 Everwood Cassie Episode: "Truth"
2007 Boston Legal Vanessa Walker 3 episodes
2007-08 Big Shots Katie Graham 11 episodes
2009-10 The Cleveland Show Roberta Tubbs 13 episodes
2010 Boston's Finest Taylor Sanchez Unsold TV pilot
2011 Chase Melissa Randolph Episode: "Narco: Part 2"
2012 House of Lies Tamara 8 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
2014 The Divide Billie Page 8 episodes
2015-16 Real Husbands of Hollywood Herself 2 episodes
2016 Uncle Buck Alexis Smith-Russell 8 episodes
2017 Beaches Hillary Whitney Television movie
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Dear White People Neika Hobbs 3 episodes
Empire Giuliana 'Giusi' Green 8 episodes
2017-present NCIS: Los Angeles Executive Assistant Director Shay Mosley Main role (season 9-)

Awards and nominations

BET Comedy Awards
Year Category Result
2005 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Theatrical Film (Alfie) Nominated
Black Reel Awards
Year Category Result
2005 Best Supporting Actress (Alfie) Nominated
2001 Best Supporting Actress (Boiler Room) Nominated
2000 Best Actress (The Best Man) Won
Image Awards
Year Category Result
2005 Outstanding Actress in a Television Drama (Third Watch) Won
2004 Outstanding Actress in a Television Drama (Third Watch) Won
2001 Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Big Momma's House) Nominated
Outstanding Actress in Television Movie/Mini-Series (If These Walls Could Talk 2) Nominated
2000 Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (The Best Man) Won

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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