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)
BornTracee Joy Silberstein
(1972-10-29) October 29, 1972 (age 41)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesTracee Ellie Ross
Years active1996–present
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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)
BornTracee Joy Silberstein
(1972-10-29) October 29, 1972 (age 41)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesTracee Ellie Ross
Years active1996–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
1996Far HarborKikiCredited as Tracee Ellie Ross
1997SueLindaAlternative title: Sue lost in Manhattan
1998A Fare to Remember
2000Hanging UpKim
In the WeedsCaroline
2006I-See-You.ComNancy Tanaka
2007Daddy's Little GirlsCynthia
2009Labor PainsKristin
1997The DishHostUnknown episodes
1998Broken Silence: A Moment of Truth Movie"Kaycee KingTelevision movie
2000The Lyricist Lounge ShowVarious rolesUnknown episodes
2000–2008GirlfriendsJoan Clayton172 episodes
2004Second Time AroundNaomi1 episode
2007Life SupportTanyaTelevision movie
2010Private PracticeEllenEpisode: "War"
2011CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationGloria ParkesEpisodes: "All That Cremains"; "Father of the Bride"; "Cello and Goodbye"; "In a Dark, Dark House"
2011Reed Between the LinesDr. Carla Reed25 episodes
2011FiveAlyssaNominated— 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]

2003Prism AwardsNominatedPerformance in a Comedy SeriesGirlfriends
2004BET Comedy AwardsNominatedOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesGirlfriends
2005WonOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
2002NAACP Image AwardsNominatedOutstanding Actress in a Comedy SeriesGirlfriends
2008NominatedOutstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
2009NominatedOutstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
(For episode "What's Black-A-Lackin")
WonOutstanding Actress in a Comedy Serie
NAACP Image AwardsWonOutstanding Actress in a Comedy SeriesReed 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. ^ Weintraub, Joanne.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  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]