Lauren London is an American actress and model. Born to African-American mother and white father, she inherited a lighter skin color, because of which she initially suffered from an identity crisis. But later, she began to love both sides of her, accepting that she was a Black woman like her mother, concurrently loving who her father was. She was also a rebellion and knew what she wanted; she left high school in her sophomore year, but continued to study at home. Beginning her career at the age of 17, as a model, she later started appearing in music videos for many well-known singers and bands, debuting both on television and films four years later. Receiving not only recognition, but also award nomination for her role in her debut film ‘ATL’, she continues to appear in films and television productions.
Childhood & Early Life
Lauren Nicole London was born on December 5, 1984, in Los Angeles County, California to a Caucasian Jewish father and African-American mother, whose names are not known. It is also possible that she was her parents’ only child.
Her parents divorced when she was three years old. Thereafter, she was raised mostly by her mother. However, she also spent the summers with her father, who often sent her to summer camps, attended by white children.
Although she inherited her mother’s skin color it was of a lighter shade and because of that she often suffered from identity crisis. Her cousins on her mother side teased her for not being black enough while white kids in the summer camps referred to her as “that black girl”.
Little is known about her educational background except that she attended Palisades Charter High School. A rebel from the start, she stopped going to school in her tenth grade and had her boyfriend’s name tattooed at sixteen. But, she did not completely quit studying and continued to be homeschooled.
By seventeen, she had decided to become an actor and being homeschooled enabled her to appear for auditions. Looking back, she later said, “I remember being that way at 17 and rebelling against what everyone wanted me to be and who I thought I wanted to be”.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
In 2002, Laurel London began her career with commercials, later starring in number of music videos for rappers like Tyrese, Ludacris, JAY-Z and Pharrell. However, she had to wait for few more years for her first screen appearance.
In 2006, she debuted on television with the ‘Everybody Hates Funerals’ episode of the sitcom ‘Everybody Hates Chris’, appearing in it in the role of Monay. Also in the same year, she landed her first film role in ‘ATL’, appearing in it as Erin "New New" Garnett.
’ATL’ was released on March 31, 2006, changing the course of her life. The film not only established her as an actress, but also earned her the next role and a nomination in the Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role category of Black Movie Awards.
Her next film, ‘This Christmas’, was released in November 2007. It was a Christmas romantic musical comedy-drama film, in which she got the role of Melanie 'Mel' Whitfield without any audition. Also in 2007, she appeared as Kelly in two episodes of ‘Entourage’, a HBO production that ran for eight seasons.
In 2008-2009, she appeared in three episodes of the teen drama series, ‘90210’ and one episode (aired on November 8, 2009) of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’.
In 2009, she appeared in two feature films; as Ivy in ‘Next Day Air’ (released on May 8) and as Cameron "Cammy" Alcott in ‘I Love You, Beth Cooper’ (released on July 10). These apart, she also appeared as herself in the documentary film, ‘Good Hair’.
In 2011, she appeared as Renee in ‘Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family’. It was followed in 2013 by ‘Baggage Claim’ and in 2016 by ‘The Perfect Match’. Meanwhile from 2013 to 2015, she appeared as Keira Whitaker in 44 episodes of the comedy-drama television series, ‘The Game’.
In 2017-2018, she appeared in three television series; in ‘Chasing Ghost’ episode of ‘Rebel’, in 'Guest Co-Hostesses Lauren London & Carnie Wilson/ Molly Shannon' episode of ‘The Talk’ and ‘Dave East vs Nipsey Hussle' episode of ‘Hip Hop Square’. In 2018, she appeared in two films, i.e. 'Always & 4Ever' and 'Poinsettias for Christmas'.
Her latest work is a television drama series, entitled ‘Games People Play’, which started on April 23, 2019 and its first season ended on June 25, 2019.
Lauren London is best known for her role in ‘ATL’. She had to appear for audition five times before she was chosen to play Erin, a character loosely based on T-Boz. To play her role authentically, she also did a lot of research and talked to T-Boz to know more about her.
Family & Personal Life
Around 1999-2000, London met Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., professionally known as Lil Wayne, with whom she has a son, Cameron, born on 9 September 2009. Although their brief engagement did not culminate into marriage they remained friends.
In 2013, she began dating rapper Ermias Asghedom, professionally known as Nipsey Hussle, having another son, Kross Ermias Asghedom, born on August 31, 2016, with him. They remained together until his death on March 31, 2019.