Chandra Wilson Biography

Chandra Wilson is an American actress, director, and philanthropist. Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family, personal life, career, and achievements.

Chandra Wilson
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Chandra Wilson
Quick Facts

Birthday: August 27, 1969

Nationality: American

Famous: Singers Actresses

Age: 50 Years, 50 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Virgo

Born in: Houston, Texas, U.S.

Famous as: Actress

Family:

children: Joylin, Michael, Sarina

City: Houston, Texas

U.S. State: Texas, African-American From Texas

More Facts

education: New York University

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Chandra Wilson is an American actor, director and philanthropist, best known for her award-winning role of ‘Dr. Miranda Bailey’ in the ‘ABC’ medical series ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ Born and raised in Texas, she attended dance and acting classes in early childhood. She began performing on stage at the age of 5. She earned a BFA degree in drama from the ‘Tisch School of the Arts’ (‘New York University’) and attended workshops at the ‘Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute.’ Initially, Wilson appeared in a few stage productions such as ‘The Good Times Are Killing Me,’ and on TV shows such as ‘The Cosby Show.’ She also appeared in films such as ‘Philadelphia.’ In spite of receiving excellent reviews, she did not get any good work offers for nearly 8 years. During that period, she worked at ‘Deutsche Bank’ as a cashier. Later, during the 2000s, she appeared in a number of TV series and theater productions. In 2005, she was cast as a supervising doctor in the hit TV series ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ Her performance earned her praises, awards, and nominations. She has also directed several episodes of the series. Wilson lives with her partner and is a mother of three children.
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Childhood & Early Life
Chandra Danette Wilson was born on August 27, 1969, in Houston, Texas, and was raised by her mother, Wilma Bradshaw Allen, who worked for the postal services. Wilson began attending dance and acting classes at a tender age. She was also involved in modeling, as her mother did not want her to be an idle child.
At the age of 5, Wilson began appearing in the musicals at the ‘Theater under the Stars (TUTS)’ in Houston. Her first appearance was in ‘The King and I.’ She worked in over 10 of their musical productions. She played ‘Li’l Bits’ in ‘One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show’ at Houston’s ‘Ensemble Theater.’
Wilson studied at Houston’s ‘High School for the Performing and Visual Arts,’ from where she graduated in 1987. Later, she attended ‘New York University’s ‘Tisch School of the Arts’ and obtained a BFA degree in 1991. During this course, she was trained at workshops at the renowned ‘Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.’
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Career
While at the university, Wilson also worked in professional theater. Her debut stage performance was as ‘Bonna Willis,’ a black woman trying to rise above racial discrimination, in ‘The Good Times are Killing Me’ (1991). She earned the ‘Theater World Award’ for ‘Outstanding Debut Performance’ for this role.
During those initial years of her career, she also appeared in ‘off-Broadway’ productions such as ‘Paper Moon: The Musical’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ In 1998, she performed in the play ‘On the Town.’
Wilson made her TV debut in 1989, as ‘Dina’ on ‘The Cosby Show.’ She also appeared in ‘Law & Order’ and the ‘CBS Schoolbreak Special’ ‘Sexual Consideration,’ in which she had a major role.
After working in small parts in a couple of films, Wilson’s major movie beak came with a role in 1993’s ‘Philadelphia.’ In this much-admired movie, she shared screen space with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.
Her work received praises across stage, TV, and films. However, Wilson found it difficult to secure substantial roles. Thus, in order to pay her bills, she worked as a cashier at ‘Deutsche Bank’ for 8 years. She did appear in small roles occasionally, such as the one in ‘Lone Star’ (1996).
After a long gap, in 2001, Wilson earned the series-regular role of ‘Claudia Hopper’ in ‘ABC’s ‘Bob Patterson.’ However, the show proved to be short-lived. Earlier, she had guest-starred on other TV shows, such as ‘Cosby’ (2000), ‘Third Watch’ (2001), and ‘100 Centre Street.’ Later, she guest-starred in the TV series ‘Sex and the City’ (2002), ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (2002), and ‘The Sopranos’ (2004). She appeared in recurring roles in ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘Queens Supreme.’
Around the same time, Wilson also performed and sang in the theater musicals. She appeared as ‘Gary Coleman’ in ‘Avenue Q’ (2003) and as Caroline’s friend, ‘Dotty Moffett,’ in ‘Caroline, or Change’ (2004).
In 2005, Wilson was cast as the tough supervising doctor ‘Miranda Bailey’ in ‘ABC’s TV drama series ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ The role brought her both fame and awards. She won the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ (2007) for ‘Outstanding Female Actor in Drama Series’ and won four nominations for the ‘Emmy Award’ for the ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Drama’ (2006 to 2009). From 2006 to 2015, she won four ‘NAACP Image Awards’ and was nominated multiple times. She also won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ in 2008 for this role. Wilson has also directed a number of episodes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘The Fosters.’
In 2009, Wilson appeared on stage as ‘Matron Mama Morton’ in ‘Chicago: The Musical.’ Her other theater credits include ‘The Miracle Worker,’ ‘The Family of Mann,’ and ‘Believing.’ She guest-starred in the TV series ‘Private Practice’ (2009) and in a few episodes of ‘General Hospital.’
Wilson won the 2015 ‘SOHO International Film Festival’s ‘Best Acting Performance Award’ for her work as ‘Lena Gladwell’ in the award-winning short film ‘Muted.’ She narrated the documentary ‘Autism in America.’
She has appeared in a number of magazines, such as ‘Ebony,’ ‘Heart & Soul,’ ‘Parade,’ ‘Venice,’ ‘Working Mother,’ and ‘Essence.’ In 2004, ‘The New York Times’ listed her as one of the “8 to watch, on stage and behind the scenes.”
She co-produced the 2015 documentary ‘Autism in America.’
Family & Personal Life
Wilson is in a relationship with her boyfriend since 1988 and is a mother of three children: daughter Sarina (born in 1992), daughter Joylin (born in 1998), and son Michael (born in 2005). In 2007, Wilson revealed during a magazine interview that she had never been married to her partner but they had been living together for over 3 decades.
Philanthropy
Wilson has been known for her philanthropic work, too. She has served as a spokesperson for the ‘Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association.’ Her eldest daughter, Sarina, suffers from the syndrome, and on Wilson’s suggestion, an episode that focused on this subject was incorporated in ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ with her directing the episode. She also provides funds for the ‘Sermoonjoy’ scholarship and fellowship annually.

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