Shondrella Avery

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Shondrella Avery
Shondrella Avery LF.jpg
Avery, December 2007
Born Shondrella Dupre Avery
(1971-04-26) April 26, 1971 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater California State University, Los Angeles
Occupation Actress, model, comedian
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Ade Kester

Shondrella Dupre Avery[1] (born April 26, 1971) is an American actress, model and comedian. Her film roles include as LaFawnduh Lucas in the independent comedy Napoleon Dynamite (2004), and supporting roles in Domino (2005) and The Secret Life of Bees (2008).

Early life[edit]

Avery was born in Los Angeles, California,[2] and grew up in South Central Los Angeles, as the oldest of 10 children.[2] She has created a one-woman show titled "Ain't I Enough," based on her experiences growing up with her enormous family, which has aired on HBO.

She graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and studied for her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles.[2]

Career[edit]

Avery began her career as a comic, performing as a member of the improvisational comedy groups The Groundlings in Los Angeles, and The Second City in Chicago.[2] She and her family produced four different "workout" spots for up-and-coming and seasoned comics throughout Los Angeles County, while working a corporate job. Avery felt she had to produce her own spots because the famed clubs only allowed three minutes. She has been quoted as saying: "It takes me three minutes to say my name." Her first big break came in 2001 during a Fourth of July celebration on Martha's Vineyard hosted by local politicians related to her high school friend. She and good friend Tony Rock (brother to Chris Rock) performed, with an overwhelming response.

From 2002 until 2005, Avery had a recurring role as Candy Taylor on the situation comedy One on One and later became a cast member on the spinoff Cuts, playing the same role.[2] Simultaneously, she was a cast member for five seasons on the first ever all-female reality/prank television series, Girls Behaving Badly.[2]

In movies, Avery played internet girlfriend "LaFawnduh Lucas-Dynamite" in the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite.[3] At the time of being cast, Avery was working as a contracts executive at the Hilton Hotels Corporation in Beverly Hills.[4] She subsequently had supporting roles in the films Trippin' and Domino. She also appeared in Déjà Vu with Denzel Washington, in which she was directed by Tony Scott for the second time. In 2012, Avery appeared in End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. The movie was filmed in her native South Central Los Angeles, and was written and directed by Training Day writer David Ayer.

In 2007, Avery appeared in a People magazine "who wore it best" feature comparing her to Beyoncé in an H&M dress. In US magazine, she was pictured with Mena Suvari attending Carmelo Anthony's Shoe launch in 2008. She has also been seen at many of Macy Gray's concerts. Gray played Avery's twin sister in Domino. In 2010 she staged a high tea at Philippe Chow for friend Mo'Nique, also from Domino, in honour of her Oscar nomination. The day after the high tea, Mo'Nique won the Oscar for her acclaimed performance in Precious. Avery helped celebrate the win when she made an appearance on the Mo'Nique show in 2010.

Avery and her husband, who is originally from Nigeria, produced a TV pilot in 2010 in which she examines the differences between Africans and Americans, suggesting there should be a mediator explaining both sides.[5] She describes her show as Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm meets The Office. Avery is in search of the right network to launch it.

Personal life[edit]

Avery's husband is Ade Kester.[5] Avery has been linked to many philanthropic causes. She is a children's advocate, mentoring kids at "A Place Called Home" in South Central. She's also involved with the WGA Writer's Program for teens, speaking at high schools and universities. She gives time at Los Angeles children's charity Penny Lane and is a sitting board member of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California; her mother has the disease, and two of her siblings died of it.[4] She also works with Coach Art, a charity offering free athletic and arts training to chronically ill children.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Cyberdorm Lawanda
1999 Trippin' Amazon Woman
2004 Napoleon Dynamite LaFawnduh Lucas
2005 Domino Lashindra Davis
2006 Déjà Vu Kathy
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Greta
2010 Our Family Wedding Keisha Boyd
2012 End of Watch Bonita
2012 Happy Anniversary Honey Donna Short film
2015 Klown Forever Casper's 69 partner
2016 Boy Bye Charity
2016 A Weekend with the Family Rosie

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 The Jamie Foxx Show Female Security Guard Episode: "On Bended Knee"
2002–2005 One on One Candy Recurring
2003 Strong Medicine Etta Episode: "Prescriptions"
2004 Girls Behaving Badly Self/Shondrella Series regular
2005–2006 Cuts Candy Series regular
2006 Community Service Selma NBC TV-Pilot
2009 Eleventh Hour Louella Episode: "Madea"
2010 Gillian in Georgia Alicia Series regular
2011 Disney Prank Stars Shelly Episode: "Adventures in Dog Sitting" with Raven-Symoné
2014 That Guy: Pilot Tiz TV movie
2015 Will to Love Monica Hawkins TV movie
Judge Amos Charlene Hunter TV movie

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kester, Shondrella Avery". Veromi. Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f McCann, Bob (2009). Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-786-45804-2. 
  3. ^ Downer, Kristin (10 June 2014). "Interview: Shondrella Avery on the 10th Anniversary of Napoleon Dynamite". Nerd Problems. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  4. ^ a b McCray, N.D. (14 August 2014). "Napoleon Dynamite: Ten Years Later". Paper. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Shondrella journeys to Africa – Introducing "The Shondrella Adventures"". Bella Naija. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 

External links[edit]