Leslie Jones Biography

(Stand-up Comedian)

Birthday: September 7, 1967 (Virgo)

Born In: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

American comedienne and actor Leslie Jones is best known for her 3-time Emmy-nominated work as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live (2014-2019). The Memphis-born comic initially focused on basketball because of her unusual height and turned out to be a talented player, too. However, she decided to pursue stand-up comedy as a career option after winning a comedy contest in college and after changing her major multiple times. Apart from Saturday Night Live, she is also known for projects such as Ghostbusters, Angry Birds 2, Coming 2 America, and Supermarket Sweep. She has hosted award shows and been an Olympic commentator for NBC, too. She has also been in the news for facing online bullying and racist and misogynistic attacks on Twitter. Known for her signature hair-do, she has also made it to TIME magazine's 2017 list of The 100 Most Influential People.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Annette Jones

Age: 56 Years, 56 Year Old Females


siblings: Rodney Keith Jones

Born Country: United States

African Americans African American Women

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Females

U.S. State: Tennessee

Notable Alumni: Chapman University, Colorado State University

City: Memphis, Tennessee

More Facts

education: Colorado State University, Chapman University

Childhood, Early Life & Education

Leslie Jones was born Annette Leslie Jones, on September 7, 1967, in Memphis, Tennessee, US. She grew up with her younger brother, Rodney Keith Jones.

Since Jones’s father served the US Army, her family moved from one place to another frequently. They later moved to Los Angeles, when her father joined KJLH (102.3 FM), Stevie Wonder's radio station, as an electronics engineer.

Jones initially attended high school in Lynwood, California and was a talented basketball player there. She was already 6 feet tall in high school. Her overwhelming height made her father encourage her to play basketball.

She later earned a basketball scholarship to Chapman University. However, Jones was unsure about whether she would pursue basketball as a career option. Thus, while contemplating playing basketball abroad, she also worked as a DJ at KNAB, a student radio station.

In 1986, her coach, Brian Berger, joined the Colorado State University, as a head coach. Jones, too, followed him and played basketball for Colorado. She also thought of joining a pre-law course but eventually switched her major multiple times, studying computer science and business accounting, before choosing communications.

In 1987, Leslie started performing stand-up comedy in college. Soon, she won a campus comedy competition and aspired to become a full-time stand-up comic.

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Starting her comedy career in college, Leslie Jones later performed in various comedy clubs in Los Angeles. During the same time, she also worked at UPS and Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles to pay her bills.

She later moved to New York, where she honed her comedy skills and appeared on BET's ComicView. She also performed as an opening act for Jamie Foxx, though she was not received well by the audience.

In 2000, Leslie Jones made her TV show debut with Showtime at the Apollo. In 2003, Jones bagged her first movie, National Security, starring with actor Martin Lawrence. However, she was yet to make a mark with her comedy.

Chris Rock later saw her perform and got her a breakthrough on Saturday Night Live (SNL). In October 2014, Jones, aged 47, scripted history as the oldest cast member on SNL, breaking the records of George Coe and Michael McKean, who were both 46 years old when they joined SNL in 1975 and 1994, respectively.

Jones’s addition also marked the first time in history that SNL had more than one African American woman on their cast. Her SNL stint (from 2014 to 2019) also earned her 3 Primetime Emmy Award nominations (for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2019 and for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017 and 2018). She was also nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in 2015 for her work as a writer on the same show.

Jones was part of the 2007 mockumentary Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary. Jones has also appeared in films such as Lottery Ticket (as Tasha, 2010) and Top Five (as Lisa, 2014). She was seen in a minor role in the 2015 film Trainwreck and as Patricia "Patty" Tolan in the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.

In 2017, she was featured on TIME magazine's list of The 100 Most Influential People, with a homage by Russell Crowe. She bagged the People’s Choice Award for The Comedy Act of 2020. She also hosted the 2017 BET Awards and the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

As a voice actor, she has lent her voice to the villain Zeta in Angry Birds 2 (2019). She has been part of commercials for countless brands such as Amazon Echo, Allstate, and Oculus Go.

She has had a successful hosting stint on ABC's revival of the game show Supermarket Sweep (2020). Jones also had her own one-hour Netflix special, Leslie Jones: Time Machine (2020).

In 2021, she won the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance for her role of Mary Junson in Coming 2 America. In February 2022, Jones appeared in the Super Bowl commercial for Toyota, with Tommy Lee Jones, Rashida Jones, and Nick Jonas.

She has appeared on TV shows such as The $100,000 Pyramid (2017-2019), Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (2021), and Our Flag Means Death (2022), too. Apart from films and TV, she has also performed as a highlighted act at comedy festivals such as the Aspen Comedy Festival and Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival. She is all set to appear in the upcoming movie, Coming to America 2.

During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Jones was an Olympic commentator for NBC and covered gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball, and track and field. Jones reprised her role at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She later live-tweeted for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Personal Life

Jones is single. However, she has often been romantically linked with her SNL co-star Kyle Mooney. There were even rumors of their marriage, though the duo has maintained they are neither in a relationship nor married.

In 2016, following the release of Ghostbusters, Jones faced racist and misogynistic attacks on Twitter. Twitter later banned several users and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who had called Jones "barely literate.”

On July 18, 2016, Jones quit Twitter temporarily. A month later, Jones faced online harassment again. This time, the perpetrators hacked her personal website and put up her passport and driver's license photos. The hackers also posted nude photos of Jones, along with a tribute to Harambe, the gorilla that was killed in Cincinnati Zoo in May 2016 (as part of their racist attack).

Jones is known for her dimpled cheeks and her signature upright hair-do. She is terribly scared of insects such as ants and spiders.

She once stated she often misses the road-trips that she and her family would take in a van in her childhood. She is quite close to her friend and American comedian Loni Love. Leslie Jones is also an avid fan of the soccer team Seattle Sounders FC.

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