On this day in comedy on October 29, 1972 Comedienne, Actress, Model, Producer, Tracee Ellis Ross (nee Tracee Joy Silberstein) was born in Los Angeles, California.
After careers in theater, modeling, television hosting, serving as a contributing fashion editor to Mirabella and New York magazine as well as roles in several independent films, Ross got her introduction to comedy doing skits on The Lyricist Lounge Show on MTV.
Ross became best known to audiences for her role as Joan Clayton on the Kelsey Grammer produced, UPN/CW sitcom, Girlfriends. As the lead in the ensemble featuring three other females (Persia White, Golden Brooks and Jill Marie Jones) and a male friend (Reggie Hayes), Ross garnered two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
Once the show wrapped in 2008, Ross kept busy. She appeared in the Tyler Perry film, Daddy’s Little Girls and the 2009 movie Labor Pains. She starred opposite Malcolm Jamal Warner in the BET sitcom, Reed Between the Lines. This role got her another NAACP Image Award for Outstanding actress in a Comedy Series.
In 2014 Ross landed the part of Dr. Rainbow Johnson on the ABC sitcom Black-ish with Anthony Anderson. The show centers on a doctor mother, ad man father and their four kids (along with Anderson’s father and mother) living in the suburbs and trying to keep it black. For this role Ross received yet another NAACP Award for . . . you guessed it – Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
All told Ross has been nominated 18 times (NAACP, Prism Awards, BET Comedy Awards, Black Reel Awards, NAMIC Vision Award and Ewwy Awards) for acting honors. She has won four . . . so far.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: