Candice Patton is an American actress best known for her breakthrough role as Iris West in The CW superhero television series ‘The Flash’. She is also very popular for her recurring role as Tori in the BET television series ‘The Game’. Before appearing on television, she performed on stage in a 2002 production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus at the Collin Theatre Center in Plano, Texas. In 2004, she debuted her professional acting career, appearing in the CBS series ‘The Young and the Restless’ in which she portrayed Robin, a role she earned by winning a nationwide talent contest. In the following years, she continued to find roles in many popular television shows, such as ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, ‘Entourage’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Grey's Anatomy’, ‘CSI: Miami’, and ‘Man Up!’. She also acted in the TV movie ‘The Craigslist Killer’ and the action-horror film ‘The Guest’. In 2014, she ranked 5th in the list of "TV’s 100 Sexiest Women" by BuddyTV. Patton, who hated photoshoots, was initially hesitant to accept an offer by Maxim, but eventually was featured on the December 2014/January 2015 issue of the magazine. In May 2015, she made it to the Maxim Hot 100 list, securing the 61st position.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
Born in a family of performers, Candice Patton was interested in acting since her childhood days. Performing as a cheerleader in her school, she started to focus more on theatre after she tore her ACL. It was her obsession with actress Lucille Ball that eventually inspired her to pursue her dreams. While she was studying at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, a talent scout group from the long-running CBS soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ hosted the Soap Star Contest, which was meant to search for a new male and female cast to join the show. She won the contest and briefly moved to Los Angeles to be part of the show as a cast member for five episodes. She moved to Los Angeles permanently after completing her graduation and started to look for serious acting opportunities. Soon after, she was cast in an episode of the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, which was also created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell—the creators of ‘The Young and the Restless’. Long before joining the cast of the superhero series, ‘The Flash’, she played the role of Olivia, a sorority applicant, in two episodes of the NBC sci-fi superhero series, ‘Heroes’ in 2009. However, she became a household name after portraying the role of Iris West in The CW television series ‘The Flash’.
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It is a little known fact, but after moving from Plano, Texas to Los Angeles, California following her graduation, Candice Patton worked at Bubba Gump restaurant for a couple days. She picked up the job immediately after she moved into the city in search for auditions. However, she quit the job even before completing the training in order to avoid memorizing the different types of shrimps in the menu. After that, she worked for about a year at Pink Berry, but eventually decided to focus fulltime on her acting career.
While she is now best known for playing Iris, there is interesting back-story behind her casting. Initially, big names like Keke Palmer and Ciara Renee were considered for the role. Moreover, Patton messed up her first audition by failing to remember the name of Channing Tatum, about whom she was to say a line. However, during the second audition that she did with co-star Grant Gustin, she tickled him to make him smile so that their chemistry looked entertaining, which eventually charmed the casting directors.
Candice Kristina Patton was born on June 24, 1988, in Jackson, Mississippi to an African-American mother and a European-American father. Her mother, Arianna Jackson, was an opera artist and her father, Paul Patton, was an engineer. While her mother acted in theatre and musical dramas, her father is also a musician who can play many instruments. Her parents met during one of Arianna's performances and started dating soon after. They got married after the birth of their first child Adrian. Her parents separated when Candice was just five years old. Along with her brother, she was raised in Plano, Texas, where her mother moved after the divorce. However, she kept in touch with her father, and even went to stay with him often. Her brother grew up to be a theatre artist. She also started to show interest in drama and acting since her school days while studying at the St. Paul's’ School in Plano. She later attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, from where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre.