Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross was born on October 29, 1972 in Los Angeles, California to singer and actress Diana Ross and her music business manager. Robert Ellis Silberstein. She is known as a model, actress, comedian, producer and television host. Actor and musician Evan Ross is her half- brother, her older sister is Chudney Ross.


Ross completed her initial education in Manhattan as she attended the Dalton School and she then went on to attend the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland. She began modelling at a young age. She was a model in her teens while her peers were going to school. She modelled for many famous ads.

She attended Brown University where she appeared in multiple plays and graduated with a theatre degree in 1994 at the esteemed William Esper Acting Studio. Ross was awarded an honorary doctorate of Fine Art. After graduation, Ross worked in the fashion industry as an editor for magazines such as Mirabella and New York. The exposure to the industry helped her segue way into a career with modeling. Ross was featured in many magazines, she was happy to be landing on the cover of Essence and Jet. She was proud to be posing for such luminaries as Herb Ritts and Francesco Scavullo.

Acting Career

Put together beauty, charm, grace, confidence, success together and add a spoonful of wit and humor to it. Tracee Ellis Ross will the result of the mixture. She is the complete package who is winning millions of hearts on the go as she rises in her career.

Ross began her acting career working in a variety of jobs related to the entertainment industry. She initially acted in independent films, variety series and hosted the pop culture magazine The Dish on the Lifetime channel.

She was known for her lead role as Joan Clayton in the comedy series ‘Girlfriends’ in which she starred from 2000 to 2008.  It was her role as Joan Clayton, a successful and often neurotic lawyer looking for love and adventure that gained her fame among the masses. She won an outstanding actress in a comedy series award for her role in the female comedy drama. A particular significant project of hers is the 1998 movie “Race Against Fear: A Moment of truth” in which she starred as a former high school track star who remained silent after having been abused at the hands of a coach. She starred in the 2007 drama film ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ and had the lead role of Dr. Carla Reed in the 2011 sitcom ‘Reed Between the Lines’. As a comedian, she has performed in the MTV comedy series “The Lyricist Lounge Show”.

In 2014, she began acting as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in the ABC comedy series ‘Black-ish’. Her recent series has achieved critics’ praise where she acts as the lead female opposite Anthony Anderson. The series is doing very well among audiences that extends past just the African American demographic. Her character on Black-ish, Bow is praised by many people because of how complex the character is. Usually the sitcom wife is very one dimensional but Bow has very deep levels to her. Tracee is proud to portray a strong character, “Black-ish is told through [Bow’s husband] Dre’s eyes, so it is very traditional in that sense. But I am not wife wallpaper in his world. The tendency, in the old paradigm of how you look at a sitcom wife, is to say, “Isn’t it incredible that she’s also a doctor?” And it’s like, No, what’s incredible about her is that she’s a doctor, wife, mother, person—at any given point she can be any of those things. She’s very fully-formed. And I am constantly asking questions of the writers: Why? Why am I doing—I coined it as lady chores—why is it that I am making lunches, and Dre is not making lunches?”


Ross really likes playing a mom and wife because it allows her to imagine what that type of life would be like. It is fun for her and it sometimes feels like it steals certain experiences from her since she’s never been pregnant.

Tracee became the first black woman in more than three decades to win the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy in 2016. She was also nominated for a 2018 NAACP Image Award which is one of her biggest career highlights. She was asked by Glamour magazine how she felt about her recent accolades and praise, “There’s the personal gratification: I have dreamt of moments like these since I was a little girl, accepting my Oscar in the mirror. So it’s a dream come true. Oh my God, I made it. Pinch me. But what has been way more impactful for me is the larger meaning…. When another woman or another woman of color has a win, I feel like it’s my win. I feel like it’s a ceiling breaking open. And so the nominations, even the win, really feels like it’s not mine. It’s like something becomes more possible.”

Ross has kept busy in other venues when not working on her popular TV series. She appeared in the 2011 short film anthology Five on Lifetime, a project which focused on breast cancer awareness. She acted in the New York and Los Angeles stage productions of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, co-hosted Black Girls Rock, a BET awards show in 2013. She was featured in two Kanye West videos, The New Workout Plan (2004) and Touch the Sky (2006).

Personal Life

Ross is also a motivation speaker, she created a workshop called ‘tapping into your creative well’ and she is active with the children’s services in Los Angeles and the national program Big Brother Big Sister. For her efforts and helpful contributions, she has been awarded with the volunteer of the year award by the Los Angeles Urban League.

There is a rumor regarding Ross and her sexuality. According to the media, Ross stated she is Lesbian, yet there is no concrete information about it.  Ross has never been known to be married as yet, but has been involved in two celebrity relationships. None of her past boyfriends lasted long enough to become her husband.

Currently, she is dating Bu Thiam and there are no reports of her having any kids. She is quite active on Twitter and Instagram with a large number of fans following and her pictures are a treat for the fans.

Last Modified: Apr 10, 2020

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