Tracee Ellis Ross is an award winning American actress, producer, host and former model. The daughter of the legendary singer Diana Ross, she has carved out her own path in the glittery world of showbiz. With a career spanning over 20 years, she has made her mark with a variety of roles and has won many accolades and awards. Her career spans across the fashion industry, film and television, and featuring in music videos. She is also a Good Samaritan doing regular social work. While her work is widespread across the world, she has never been the one to chase after fame; rather fame has come knocking at her door owing to her versatile talent and determination. She went on to become the first African-American to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy in over thirty years, making it a milestone in history. She has a huge fan following on various social media platforms and provides inspiration and guidance to many as a motivational speaker as well. Her consistent performance and evolution of her skills with the years has led her to become a much-loved celebrity.
Childhood & Early Life
Tracee Ellis Ross was born on October 29, 1972, to the famous Motown singer Diana Ross and her ex-husband, music manager Robert Ellis Silberstein in Los Angeles. She is the half-sister of Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Ross Naess and Evan Ross.
As a child she attended the Riverdale Country School in Bronx and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland. She later attended Brown University where she pursued her degree in theatre.
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Tracee Ellis Ross started modeling in her teens. Post her degree from Brown University, she worked in fashion industry as a model and editor of ‘Mirabella’ and ‘New York’ magazine.
In 1996, she debuted on the big screen in the independent film ‘Far Harbor’. In 1997, she began hosting the Lifetime TV magazine series ‘The Dish’ which was a show on popular culture.
In 1998, she played the intense role of an abused school track star in the NBC’s made-for-TV movie ‘Race against fear: A Moment of Truth’. In the year 2000, she landed a major break in Diane Keaton’s ‘Hanging Up’ and then ventured into comedy as a regular on MTV series ‘The Lyricist Lounge’.
Ross rose to fame with her lead role as Joan Clayton in the TV series ‘Girlfriends’ which premiered in 2000. The show went on for the next eight years and boosted her career as a TV actress and also got her roles in movies.
In 2007, she starred in HBO production ‘Life Support’ alongside her brother Evan Ross and Queen Latifah. Her other movies during this time include Tyler Perry’s theatrical movie ‘Daddy’s Little Girls’ (2007) and ‘Labor Pains’ (2009) featuring Lindsay Lohan.
Post the ‘Girlfriends’ series which ended in 2008, she appeared in various series including ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and BET’s ‘Reed Between the Lines’ where she starred opposite Malcolm-Jamal Warner in 2011.
Tracee Ellis Ross continued her trysts with various dimensions of acting. She appeared in the short film anthology ‘Five’ (2011) on Lifetime which was focused on breast cancer awareness and in stage productions in New York and Los Angeles of ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’. She also co-hosted ‘Black Girls Rock,’ a BET award show, in 2013.
Another major gig came in 2014, when she played the successful physician Dr. Rainbow Johnson in ABC’s primetime comedy ‘Black-ish’ for which she won many accolades and awards. The story is about this upper class African- American family with four kids.
She has also ventured into the field of motivational speaking and conducts workshops called ‘Tapping into Your Creative Well’. She is also active with the Aviva Family and Children Service in Los Angeles and national program Big Brother Big Sister.
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Tracee Ellis Ross is famous for her role of one of the protagonists in the hit television series ‘Girlfriends’. The series aired for almost a decade with over 170 episodes, making her famous and winning her many accolades.
Her role as the physician Dr. Rainbow Johnson opposite Anthony Anderson who played her husband Dre, in ABC’s hit series ‘Black-ish’ won her many awards and brought her international fame.
Awards & Achievements
Tracee Ellis Ross won the NAACP Award twice for her performance in ‘Girlfriends’ in the category Outstanding Actress in Comedy Series for the years 2007 and 2009.
She won the BET Award in the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (2005) for her role as Joan Clayton in the popular series ‘Girlfriends’.
In 2012, she won NAACP Award in the category Outstanding Actress in Comedy Series’ for her role as Dr. Carla Reed in the series ‘Reed Between the Lines’.
In 2015 and 2016, she won the NAACP Award in the category Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in ‘Black-ish’.
In 2017 she won the Golden Globe Award for the category Best Actress-Television Series Musical or Comedy for her performance as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in the hit series ‘Black-ish.’
Personal Life & Legacy
Tracee Ellis Ross is currently single and has never been married. Her half-brother Evan Ross is married to Ashlee Simpson, thus making Tracee her sister-in-law.
She is very close to her mother Diana Ross and says she does not feel overshadowed by her fame, rather she feels inspired.
As a model, Ross has been photographed by the highly regarded fashion photographers Herb Ritts, Peter Lindberg, Francesco Scavullo and Mario Testino.
She changed her major to theatre at Brown University after a positive experience auditioning for ‘Malcolm X’ (1992). While she didn’t bag a role in the film, appreciation from Spike Lee's casting director Robi Reed motivated her to follow her passion.