Union in May 2010
|Born||Gabrielle Monique Union
October 29, 1972
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Chris Howard (m. 2001–06)|
Gabrielle Monique Union (born October 29, 1972) is an American actress and former model. Among her notable roles is her performance of the cheerleader opposite Kirsten Dunst in the film Bring It On, (2000). In 2000, she played a medical doctor in the CBS drama series City of Angels. In 2003, Union starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the blockbuster film Bad Boys II. Also in 2003, she starred with LL Cool J in Deliver Us from Eva. In 2008, she featured in the film Cadillac Records with Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles and Jeffrey Wright. In 2012, Union featured in an ensemble cast of the film version of Think Like a Man.
Gabrielle Union was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on October 29, 1972. She was the middle child in a family of four daughters. She is the daughter of Theresa (née Glass), a former dancer, social worker, and phone company manager, and Sylvester C. Union, an AT&T manager and military sergeant. Union's early childhood years were spent as part of a rich African American community. Her large family had been in the Omaha area for many generations. She was raised Catholic.
Union attended the University of Nebraska, where she played on the soccer team, before transferring to Cuesta College. She eventually transferred to UCLA and earned a degree in sociology with honors. While studying there in her senior year, she interned at the Judith Fontaine Modeling & Talent Agency to earn extra academic credits. Oftentimes during her internships, clients would ask after her and be disappointed that she was only a behind-the-scenes employee. The agents started to notice this; so, upon the end of her internship, Union was asked to become a client. Invited by the agency's owner, Judith Fontaine, Union agreed and started working as a model because she thought it would be an easy way to pay off her college loans. She modeled until her agent discovered she had a talent for acting.
Union started her acting career in minor roles. She landed her first audition (without any headshots) on "Saved by the Bell". Other of her earlier roles included those in teen movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Love & Basketball. In 1997, Union appeared in the sixth-season episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – "Sons and Daughters" as the Klingon N'Garen. She also appeared in Sister, Sister as Vanessa, in Smart Guy as Denise, and in five episodes of 7th Heaven as Keesha Hamilton.
In 2000, Union landed the role of Isis in the cheerleading movie Bring it On opposite Kirsten Dunst. Bring It On helped push Union into the mainstream and she began gaining more exposure. This led to Union being cast in the CBS television drama City of Angels as Dr. Courtney Ellis.
Union was cast in her first leading role in the 2003 film Deliver Us from Eva with rapper LL Cool J. This was her second time working with the rapper since making a cameo in his video "Paradise" in 2002. The film received fair reviews from critics. Union landed the role of Will Smith's character's girlfriend Syd in the film Bad Boys II, a box office success grossing over $273 million worldwide . Union starred with Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx in the film Breakin' All the Rules in 2004.
Union starred in the short-lived ABC series Night Stalker. She has also starred in the independent drama films Neo Ned and Constellation, the latter of which was released to theaters. She won an award for Best Actress in Neo Ned at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, and the film received awards at several festivals.
She starred in the 2005 remake of The Honeymooners with comedian Cedric The Entertainer. In 2006, she starred as Busta Rhymes' love interest in the music video for Rhymes' "I Love My Chick". Union starred in the 2007 film Daddy's Little Girls by Tyler Perry (released on Valentine's Day). Before working with Perry, she went to see his stage show, which helped her understand him and his audience. She also appeared in the 2007 Christmas film The Perfect Holiday which opened on December 12.
In an interview with Art Nouveau Magazine, Union complained about the lack of roles for black actresses and actors in Hollywood: "There used to be [roles] specifically written black, if you knew Denzel was doing a movie you knew his wife, girl or love interest was going to be black [but] that’s not necessarily the case anymore. You’re in that room with every amazingly talented actress of every hue, and it’s a dogfight, it’s hard". Moreover, although she often plays strong, opinionated characters, Union believes that "Hollywood needs to recognize all shades of African-American beauty."
In 2008, Union appeared on Ugly Betty for three episodes (36–38) as Renee, Wilhelmina Slater's (Vanessa L. Williams) sister and Daniel Meade's (Eric Mabius) love interest. She also made a cameo appearance in the music video for Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent".
She joined the cast of the U.S. television series Life on NBC and appeared in four episodes prior to the cancellation of series in May 2009. She appeared in the ABC series FlashForward alongside John Cho and Joseph Fiennes as Zoey Andata, a role for which she got nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 2013, Union starred in Ava DuVernay's short film The Door as part of Miu Miu's Women's Tales campaign.
In 2012, she worked with Tyler Perry on the romantic comedy Good Deeds playing the role of Natalie, the soon to be wife of Perry's character Wesley Deeds. She now appears in Steve Harvey's movie Think Like A Man, another romantic comedy which is based on his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The movie debuted at No. 1 during the weekend of April 20, 2012. In 2013, she began as the star of the BET network show Being Mary Jane.
In 1992, at age 19, Union was attacked and raped at her part-time job in a shoe store. Her attacker later turned himself in and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. She has since become an advocate for survivors of assault. Union is an Ambassador in Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Circle of Promise. She ran in the Global Race for the Cure in Washington D.C. on Saturday, June 2, 2012, in honor of her late friend Kristen Martinez, who died from breast cancer. Union admits to being a huge fan of Kimberly Elise.
Union met NFL player Chris Howard at a party in 1999. They married on May 5, 2001, and separated in October 2005. The divorce was finalized in 2006. In 2009, Union began dating NBA player Dwyane Wade. Union and Wade became engaged in December 2013.
Wade admitted to fathering a son named Xavier Zechariah Wade (b. 2013) with longtime acquaintance Aja Metoyer during a temporary split from Union. In an interview with Glamour magazine, Union blamed her career for the split with Wade. The two have since reconciled their relationship.
|1999||She's All That||Katie|
|10 Things I Hate About You||Chastity|
|H-E Double Hockey Sticks||Gabrielle|
|2000||Love & Basketball||Shawnee|
|Bring It On||Isis|
|2001||Brothers, TheThe Brothers||Denise Johnson|
|Two Can Play That Game||Conny Spalding|
|2002||Welcome to Collinwood||Michelle|
|2003||Deliver Us from Eva||Evangeline 'Eva' Dandrige|
|Cradle 2 the Grave||Daria|
|Bad Boys II||Syd|
|2004||Something the Lord Made||Clara Thomas|
|Breakin' All the Rules||Nicky Callas|
|The Honeymooners||Alice Kramden|
|Say Uncle||Elise Carter|
|2006||Running with Scissors||Dorothy|
|Daddy's Little Girls||Julia|
|Box, TheThe Box||Det. Cris Romano|
|Perfect Holiday, TheThe Perfect Holiday||Nancy|
|2008||Meet Dave||Number 3 – Cultural Officer|
|Cadillac Records||Geneva Wade|
|Think Like a Man||Kristen|
|In Our Nature||Vicki|
|2013||Miss Dial||Long Story Caller|
|Being Mary Jane||Mary Jane Paul|
|2014||Think Like a Man Too||Kristen|
|Finally Famous||Erica Long|
|1993||Family Matters||Mall girl (uncredited)||Episode: "Scenes from a Mall"|
|1995/96||Saved by the Bell: The New Class||Hilary / Jennifer||2 episodes|
|Malibu Shores||Shannon Everette||Episode: "The Competitive Edge"|
|Goode Behavior||Tracy Monaghan||3 episodes|
|1996–99||7th Heaven||Keesha Hamilton||5 episodes|
|1997||Smart Guy||Lydia||Episode: "Don't Do That Thing You Do"|
|Dave's World||Carly||Episode: "Oh Dad, Poor Dad"|
|Hitz||Soul||Episode: "The Godfather: Not the Movie"|
|Sister, Sister||Shawn / Vanessa||2 episodes|
|City Guys||Katisha Grant||Episode: "The Date"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||N'Garen||Episode: "Sons and Daughters"|
|1998||The Steve Harvey Show||Naomi Parson||Episode: "The He-Man, Player-Hater's Club"|
|1998/99||Clueless||Lydia / Rebecca||2 episodes|
|1999||Grown Ups||Felicia||Episode: "Pilot"|
|H-E Double Hockey Sticks||Gabrielle||Movie|
|2000||ER||Tamara Davis||Episode: "Family Matters"|
|The Others||Lindsay||Episode: "Theta"|
|Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane||Lana||Episode: "Too Much Pressure"|
|City of Angels||Dr. Courtney Ellis||11 episodes|
|2001||Close to Home||Gabby||Movie|
|Friends||Kristen Leigh||Episode: "The One With The Cheap Wedding Dress"|
|2003||The Proud Family||Sunny Stevens / Iesha (voice)||Episode: "Hooray for Iesha"|
|2004||The West Wing||Meeshel Anders||Episode: "The Benign Prerogative"|
|Something the Lord Made||Clara Thomas||Movie|
|2005||Family Guy||Shauna Parks (voice)||Episode: "Peter's Got Woods"|
|2005–06||Night Stalker||Perri Reed||10 episodes|
|2007||Football Wives||Chardonnay Lane||Movie|
|2008||Ugly Betty||Renee Slater||3 episodes|
|2009||Life||Jane Seever||4 episodes|
|2010||The BET Honors||Herself||Movie|
|2009–10||FlashForward||Zoey Andata||9 episodes|
|2010||Army Wives||Episode: "Murder in Charleston"|
|2011||NTSF:SD:SUV||Sandy Canyons||Episode: "Tijuana, We've Got a Problem"|
|2012||Half the Sky||Herself||Documentary|
|2013-present||Being Mary Jane||Mary Jane Paul||Main Role|
Awards and nominations
|2001||Bring It On||Black Reel Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|2003||Bring It On||MTV Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2004||Deliver Us From Eva||Black Reel Awards||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Bad Boys II||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Deliver Us From Eva||MTV Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Breakin' All the Rules||Black Reel Awards||Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|Something the Lord Made||Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-Series||Nominated|
|Breakin' All the Rules||Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Something the Lord Made||Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-Series||Nominated|
|2006||Neo Ned||Palm Beach International Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|2009||Cadillac Records||Black Reel Awards||Best Ensemble||Won|
|2013||Think Like a Man||BET Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
- "Gabrielle Union".
- Gabrielle Union Biography – Yahoo! Movies. Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- Gabrielle Union, A Star is Born « Leo Adam Biga's Blog. Leoadambiga.wordpress.com (2010-08-21). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- Gabrielle Union Biography – life, family, childhood, parents, death, wife, school, mother – Newsmakers Cumulation. Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- Wiltz, Teresa (December 11, 2007). "Gabrielle Union, Relishing Her Latest 'Holiday' Treat". The Washington Post.
- DeMarco Williams (2008-01-04). "Gabrielle Union: National Treasure". hiphopdx.com. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- "Gabrielle Union". BET. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- Murray, Rebecca. "Gabrielle Union Discusses "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls"". About.com.
- | Art Nouveau Magazine | Art, Fashion, Music, Culture[dead link]
- "Life Cancelled". Retrieved August 28, 2009.
- Miu Miu. Miu Miu. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- "Gabrielle Union Talks Good Deeds, Think Like A Man". Blackfilm.com (2012-02-22). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- "BET unveils new programming at Upfront". RBR.com. April 18, 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- When I Was 19 Years Old, I Was Raped. Global Grind (2009-11-04). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- Gabrielle Union's Rape Confession!. PerezHilton.com (2009-11-09). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- G. Komen for the Cure(R)'s Circle of Promise Welcomes Gabrielle Union, Lalah Hathaway, Synthia SAINT JAMES as National Ambassadors. Prnewswire.com (2008-05-28). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- Gabrielle Union | Gabrielle Union Takes Part In Cancer Charity Race. Contactmusic (2012-06-04). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- "'DADDY’S LITTLE GIRLS' STAR GABRIELLE UNION: DATING AND CAN AFFORD HER'". Hollywood.com.
- "Gabrielle Union, Husband Split". People. November 1, 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "Gabrielle Union: Dwyane Wade Banned Me From Courtside Seats At Miami Heat Games". The Huffington Post. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Johnson, Zach (April 9, 2012). "Gabrielle Union: I Didn't Break Up Dwyane Wade's Marriage". Us Weekly. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- Fowler, Brandi (December 21, 2013). "Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Are Engaged--See the Stunning Ring!". E!. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "Dwyane Wade Fathers Child During Break from Gabrielle Union", "People.com", Dec. 30, 2013
- "Gabrielle Union talks priorities amid Dwyane Wade cheating scandal", "New York Daily News", Jan. 9, 2014