Long in 2012.
October 30, 1970 |
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Partner(s)||Ime Udoka (2010–present)|
Nia Long (born October 30, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Third Watch, and the films In Too Deep, Boyz n the Hood, Friday, Boiler Room, Soul Food, Love Jones, The Best Man, Big Momma's House, and the sequels to the latter two films.
Long was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Talita (Gillman), a teacher and printmaker, and Doughtry "Doc" Long, a high school teacher and poet. Her family is of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent. Her name, Nia, is one of the seven days of Kwanzaa, which means purpose in Swahili. Long was two years old when her parents were divorced. She accompanied her mother when she moved to Iowa City, Iowa to study fine arts. Her mother moved to South Los Angeles when Long was seven years old, as she planned to marry there. She and her fiance called off the wedding, but Talita chose to stay in L.A. Long's father currently resides in Trenton, New Jersey.
Long attended the Roman Catholic school St. Mary's Academy. In addition to her academic classes, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, guitar, and acting. She graduated from Westchester High School in 1989.
She has an older half-sister, the actress and comedian known as Sommore.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (August 2010)|
Long's acting coach was Betty Bridges, better known as the mother of Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges. Her earliest role was in the Disney television movie, The B.R.A.T Patrol alongside Sean Astin, Tim Thomerson and Brian Keith. Her first notable role on television was a three-year contract role as Kathryn "Kat" Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. Long portrayed Kat from 1991 to 1994. Long played Brandi in Boyz n the Hood. The film excited Long, who was doing her "first real movie role" would helped Long build her confidence as an actress. "It introduced me to the world in a way that it was okay for me to be who I am and still find success," she added. "I didn’t have to conform to anything." From 1994 - 1995, she played Will Smith's girlfriend and fiancée Beulah "Lisa" Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jada Pinkett-Smith was originally supposed to play Lisa, but was too short for the role (opposite a 6'2" Will Smith), thus leaving Nia to take the part.
In 2000, Long was offered the role of Alex Munday in Charlie's Angels, but she turned it down, and the role was eventually given to Lucy Liu. In 2003, she joined the cast of the drama Third Watch, where she played NYPD Officer Sasha Monroe, continuing until the series finale in 2005. In 2005 and 2006, Long appeared on Everwood, and appeared on Boston Legal during its 2006-2007 season. Long also starred in Big Shots from 2007-2008 alongside Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott.
Long appeared in supporting roles in a number of movies such as Friday and Made in America. Long played a leading role, or a member of the primary ensemble, in several films, including Soul Food, Love Jones, Boiler Room, Big Momma's House, Are We There Yet?, and The Best Man. Ice Cube has starred with her in four films, while (fellow Westchester High alum) Regina King has starred with her in two. Long starred alongside Michael Beach in Soul Food and in the TV series Third Watch.
Long appears in the video for Kanye West's "Touch the Sky". She directed Yolanda Adams's music video for "This Too Shall Pass". She won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 for her performance on Third Watch. Long co-directed and appeared in Ashanti's music video, "Baby". She also made a guest appearance on the successful sitcom Living Single during its first season.
She appeared in the 2013 film The Best Man Holiday, reprising her role from the original 1999 film. Unlike the original film, however, her character is in an interracial relationship with a Caucasian man. Long was revealed to have pursuing an interracial relationship in the film and explained: "We're living in a modern world where it happens and it's OK and it's no disrespect to any Black man. I love Black men, but the reality is the sistahs are marrying white men and the brothas are marrying white women and that's the world that we live in and it's not to be judged, and if it works for you then embrace it". Director Spike Lee also supported the interracial relationship being portrayed in the film. "African-American women who are extremely successful can't always find Black male counterparts on that level so it's a little bit of a reflection of reality that Black women are starting to date outside their race — and why not?"
Long has two sons, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II and Kez Sunday Udoka. With regard to being a working parent, Long says "she is up for the challenge so long as it does not require disturbing her family's well-being". "If I’m gonna hustle, I want to hustle in one place... I uprooted everything, moved to New York for two years, moved back and it was great but I really am enjoying the stability." Long described Massai as "a great kid who really is like my best friend".
The actress contributes her time to the Sterling Children's Home in Barbados, as a motivational speaker. 
|1991||Boyz n the Hood||Brandi|
|1993||Made in America||Zora Mathews|
|1997||Love Jones||Nina Mosley|
|1999||In Too Deep||Myra|
|The Best Man||Jordan Armstrong||Winner of a Black Reel Award for Best Actress and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture|
|The Secret Laughter of Women||Nimi Da Silva|
|2000||The Broken Hearts Club:
A Romantic Comedy
|Boiler Room||Abbie Halpert||Nominated for a Black Reel Award|
|Big Momma's House||Sherry Pierce|
|Alfie||Lonette||Nominated for a Black Reel Award|
|2005||Are We There Yet?||Suzanne Kingston|
|2006||Big Momma's House 2||Sherry Pierce-Turner||Reprising her role from the 2000 film Big Momma's House|
|Are We Done Yet?||Suzanne Kingston-Persons||Reprising her role from the 2005 film Are We There Yet?|
|2008||Gospel Hill||Mrs. Palmer|
|2013||The Best Man Holiday||Jordan Armstrong||Reprising her role from the 1999 film The Best Man|
|2014||The Single Moms Club||May|
|The B.R.A.T. Patrol||Darla Perkins||Buried Alive 1990|
|1991–1993||Guiding Light||Katherine 'Kat' Speakes||unknown episodes|
|1993||Living Single||Stacey Evans||1 episode|
|1994–1995||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Lisa Wilkes||15 episodes|
|1995–1996||Live Shot||Ramona Greer||1 episode|
|ER||Christy Wilson||1 episode|
|1998||Black Jaq||Jaqueline 'Jaq' Blackman||(unsold pilot)|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Karen||"1972" segment|
|2001–2002||Judging Amy||Andrea Solomon||6 episodes|
|2002||Sightings: Heartland Ghost||Lou||Television Movie|
|2003–2005||Third Watch||Officer Sasha Monroe||45 episodes|
|2007||Boston Legal||Vanessa Walker||3 episodes|
|2007–2008||Big Shots||Katie Ghrham||11 episodes|
|2009–2010||The Cleveland Show||Roberta Tubbs||13 episodes|
|2012–2013||Malibu Stacy||Martina Barry||08 episodes|
|2012||House of Lies||Tamara|
|2014||The Divide||Billie Page|
Awards and nominations
|BET Comedy Awards|
|2005||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Theatrical Film (Alfie)||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards|
|2001||Best Supporting Actress (Alfie)||style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress (Boiler Room)|
|2000||Best Actress (The Best Man)||Won|
|2005||Outstanding Actress in a Television Drama ("Third Watch")||style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won|
|2004||Outstanding Actress in a Television Drama ("Third Watch")|
|2001||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Big Momma's House)||style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in Television Movie/Mini-Series (If These Walls Could Talk 2)|
|2000||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (The Best Man)||Won|
- Nia Long Biography (1970-)
- BV Entertainment Newswire December 21: Lauryn Hill, Nia Long - AOL Black Voices
- "In Step With: Nia Long". Parade Magazine. January 16, 2005.
- http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_12_30/ai_61185319[dead link]
- Melton, Nicole Marie Nia Long Reflects on 20th Anniversary of 'Boyz n the Hood' (July 14, 2011)
- Ramos, Dorkys (November 18, 2013). "Nia Long Wanted a White Boyfriend on The Best Man Holiday". BET.
- Pettigrew, Mika (October 1, 2007). "Nia Long: We Love Nia". Clutch Magazine.
- "Nia: A Purpose-Driven LIfe"". Ebony Magazine. November 2011.
- "Nia Long Poses Naked in Subway Car to Save Animals". celebritybrands.net. August 15, 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
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