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Kimberly Elise          

Film & TV Actress Known for "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" & "For Colored Girls"

Kimberly Elise is a film and television actress. She made her feature film debut in Set It Off (1996), and later received critical acclaim for her performance in Beloved (1998).

During her career, Elise has appeared in films such as John Q. (2002), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), The Great Debaters (2007), For Colored Girls (2010), Dope (2015), Almost Christmas (2016) and Death Wish (2018). She received a nomination for Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in the 2004 drama film, Woman Thou Art Loosed, and played the leading roles in a number of made for television movies. Elise also starred in the CBS crime drama series, Close to Home (2005–07), and in 2013 began starring in the VH1 comedy-drama series, Hit the Floor. She is four-time NAACP Image Awards winner.

She attended The American Film Institute as a Directing Fellow and at the University of Minnesota earned a BA in Mass Communications.

Elise made her big screen debut in the 1996 crime action film Set It Off (1996) in which she played one of four women who resort to robbing a bank for money. Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Vivica A. Fox co-star in the film. In 1997 she was cast in the Family Channel original television movie The Ditchdigger's Daughters, based on the Pulitzer-prize nominated and critically acclaimed 1995 memoir The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story. She received critical acclaim for her role in this film, and in 1997, she was recognized as Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries at the 19th annual CableACE Awards.

Her performance helped her land a role the next year in Beloved alongside Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover, a horror-drama film based on Toni Morrison's 1987 novel of the same name, directed by Jonathan Demme. Despite being a box office bomb, Elise received praise for her performance, and well as Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress and Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. She also received her first NAACP Image Award nomination.

In 2000, Elise went to star in The Loretta Claiborne Story playing Loretta Claiborne. Later that year, she was female lead in Jamie Foxx's movie Bait. The following year, she starred opposite Gregory Hines in the biographical drama Bojangles. In 2002-2003, she made guest appearanced on the UPN comedy series Girlfriends in which she played an HIV-positive woman, and in the Showtime drama Soul Food.

In 2002, Elise starred alongside Denzel Washington in the crime film John Q. It became a box office success, grossing over $100 million.[10] She next had a leading role in the independent drama Woman Thou Art Loosed portraying Michelle, an abused young woman who finally got the help she needed behind bars. This role won her a Black Reel award for Best Actress and well as received Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead nomination. She later starred in the political thriller The Manchurian Candidate, co-starring with Denzel Washington second time.

In 2005, Elise went to star in the comedy drama film Diary of a Mad Black Woman written by Tyler Perry. She won her first NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for this movie. From 2005 to 2007, Elise starred in the CBS crime drama series Close to Home, playing prosecutor Maureen Scofield.

She received NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2006 for this series. She later guest starred in two Shonda Rhimes' dramas; Private Practice in 2007, and Grey's Anatomy in 2009.

In 2007, Elise has appeared in two biographical drama films. First was Pride opposite Terrence Howard based upon the true story of Philadelphia swim coach Jim Ellis. Later, she appeared again opposite Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters, based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team by Tony Scherman for the spring 1997 issue of American Legacy.

In 2009, she starred opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in the television film Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, winning NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.

In 2010, Elise starred in the drama film For Colored Girls as the battered wife Crystal. The film is based on Ntozake Shange's 1975 original choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide, and was written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry. She won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance.

Elise has had starring roles in a number of independent films in 2000s, include a leading role in Ties That Bind (2011). She co-starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the Lifetime television film A Day Late and a Dollar Short in 2014. In 2013, she began starring in the VH1 comedy-drama series Hit The Floor.

In 2015, she has appeared in the well-received comedy-drama film Dope, and the following year co-starred opposite Kerry Washington in the HBO film Confirmation. Later in 2016, Elise starred in the Christmas comedy-drama film Almost Christmas opposite Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union and Mo'Nique. She next starred in Death Wish opposite Bruce Willis, a remake of the 1974 film of the same name.


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