Tracee Ellis Ross

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Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross.jpg
Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Photograph by Christopher Peterson)
Born Tracee Joy Silberstein
(1972-10-29) October 29, 1972 (age 41)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other names Tracee Ellie Ross
Occupation Actress
Years active 1996–present

Tracee Ellis Ross (born October 29, 1972) is an American actress.[1] She is best known for her lead role as Joan Clayton on the UPN/CW series, Girlfriends. Also, she was recently known for starring as Dr. Carla Reed on the new BET sitcom Reed Between the Lines

Early life[edit]

Born Tracee Joy Silberstein in Los Angeles, California, she is the daughter of legendary Motown singer/actress Diana Ross and music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. Actor and musician Evan Ross is her half-brother.[2] Her father is Jewish and her mother is African-American.[3][4] Ross attended the Dalton School in Manhattan and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland. She was a model in her teens.

She attended Brown University where she appeared in plays, and graduated in 1994 with a theatre degree. She later worked in the fashion industry, as a model and contributing fashion editor to Mirabella and New York magazine.[5] She also featured in the video of the 1996 dance hit Macarena by Los del Río, as one of the ten female dancers.


Ross made her big screen debut in 1996, playing a Jewish/African-American woman in the independent feature film Far Harbor. The following year, she debuted as host of The Dish, a Lifetime TV magazine series keeping tabs on popular culture. In 1998, she starred as a former high school track star who remained silent about having been abused at the hands of a coach, in the NBC made-for-TV movie: Race Against Fear: A Moment of Truth.[6] Her next role was an independent feature film Sue. In 2000, she landed her first major studio role in Diane Keaton's Hanging Up. The same year, she broke into comedy as a regular performer in the MTV series The Lyricist Lounge Show, a hip-hop variety series mixing music, dramatic sketches, and comedic skits.[7]

Ross' biggest career achievement came when she landed the lead role in the hit UPN/CW series Girlfriends in which she starred as the show's main protagonist Joan Carol Clayton — a successful (and often neurotic) lawyer looking for love, challenges, and adventure. The series centered on four (later three) young African-American women, and their male best friend.[8] In 2007, Ross won an NAACP Image Award in the category, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on the series. She won a second Image Award for the role in 2009.[9]

In 2007, Ross starred with her brother Evan Ross and Queen Latifah in the HBO movie Life Support,[10] That same year, she appeared in the Tyler Perry theatrical movie, Daddy's Little Girls.[11] She appeared in the 2009 film Labor Pains.[12] In 2010, she appeared in an episode of Private Practice as a pregnant doctor.[13] In 2011, Ross appeared in four episodes of CSI as the estranged wife of Laurence Fishburne's character.[14][15] Ross starred in the sitcom, Reed Between the Lines, with Malcolm-Jamal Warner airing on BET starting in October 2011. In August 2012, it was announced that Tracee Ellis Ross would not return for Season Two.


Ross in June 2006
Year Film Role Notes
1996 Far Harbor Kiki Credited as Tracee Ellie Ross
1997 Sue Linda Alternative title: Sue lost in Manhattan
1998 A Fare to Remember
2000 Hanging Up Kim
In the Weeds Caroline
2006 I-See-You.Com Nancy Tanaka
2007 Daddy's Little Girls Cynthia
2009 Labor Pains Kristin
Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Dish Host Unknown episodes
1998 Broken Silence: A Moment of Truth Movie" Kaycee King Television movie
2000 The Lyricist Lounge Show Various roles Unknown episodes
2000–2008 Girlfriends Joan Clayton 172 episodes
2004 Second Time Around Naomi 1 episode
2007 Life Support Tanya Television movie
2010 Private Practice Ellen Episode: "War"
2010-present Black Girls Rock! Co-Host With Regina King; on BET
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Gloria Parkes Episodes: "All That Cremains"; "Father of the Bride"; "Cello and Goodbye"; "In a Dark, Dark House"
2011 Reed Between the Lines Dr. Carla Reed 25 episodes
2011 Five Alyssa Nominated— Black Reel Awards for Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Series
2003 Prism Awards Nominated Performance in a Comedy Series Girlfriends
2004 BET Comedy Awards Nominated Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Girlfriends
2005 Won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
2002 NAACP Image Awards Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Girlfriends
2007 Won
2008 Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
2009 Nominated Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
(For episode "What's Black-A-Lackin")
Won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Serie
NAACP Image Awards Won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Reed Between the Lines


  1. ^ Sweet, Lynn (2011-03-28). "Michelle Obama books stars to mentor: Hilary Swank, Geena Davis, Anna Deavere Smith, Michelle Kwan - Lynn Sweet". Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Diana Ross opens up on 'Oprah' show | | The Detroit News". Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  3. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (2011-10-11). "Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner Talk 'Reed Between the Lines'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  4. ^ "Joanne Weintraub". 
  5. ^ Christian, Margena A. (2006-04-17). "Tracee Ellis Ross: 'Girlfriends' TV star takes center stage her way". Jet. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (8 September 1998). "Ross' daughter still auditions". Rochester Sentinel. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "UPN'S GIRLFRIENDS TRIES TO SURVIVE". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Feb 25, 2001. 
  8. ^ "CW's 'Girlfriends' to End After 8 Years - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment". 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2011-04-08. [dead link]
  9. ^ Hite, N'Neka (2009-02-12). "'Bees' big at NAACP Image Awards". Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  10. ^ Hale, Mike (March 4, 2007). "The Week Ahead: March 4–10 > Television". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Morris, Wesley (2007-02-15). "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls Movie Review - Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls Movie Trailer - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  12. ^ Retrieved 2009-04-02
  13. ^ "Private Practice: War Episode Summary on". 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  14. ^ "CSI "All That Cremains" Season 11 Episode 14 Photos With Tracee Ellis Ross | Daemon's TV". 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  15. ^ "CSI – LOST’S L. Scott Caldwell to Guest Star". Retrieved 2011-04-08. 

External links[edit]