Fearless. A word that so accurately captures the essence of award winning, celebrated actress Kimberly Elise. Garnering critical acclaim in features such as Beloved, The Manchurian Candidate & Diary of a Mad Black Woman, her soul-stirring roles continue to strike an emotional chord that pierce the very souls of audience members around the world. Elise’s big screen debut was in the action-packed thriller Set it Off, alongside actresses Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith & Vivica Fox. Her memorable and praise worthy performance in the now cult classic film turned Elise into a star almost overnight, foreshadowing a long and prosperous career in Hollywood. Living up to the hype surrounding her introductory role, Elise followed up with a Best Supporting Actress Cable Ace Award for her work in the movie Ditchdigger’s Daughters. But her “break out” role came in the film Beloved, with co-stars Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover, both cementing her place in the industry and earning her the respect of her peers and critics alike. Elise received several awards for her role in the film, including The Chicago Film Critic’s “Most Promising Actress” Award, the Best Supporting Actress Golden Satellite Award as well as an NAACP Image Award nomination. In 2000, Elise stepped into lead roles in Bait with Jamie Foxx and Bojangles with Gregory Hines. By the time she appeared in John Q with co-star Denzel Washington, Elise had been singled out by many critics to be one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, and her strong character portrayal in the film only helped to strengthen that sentiment, yielding two additional NAACP Image Award nominations. In 2004, Elise would again appear with Washington in the Jonathon Demme remake The Manchurian Candidate, followed by her leading role in the independent film Woman Thou Art Loosed, produced by filmmaker T.D. Jakes. Her compelling character role in the film brought about an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress and her fourth NAACP Image Award nod. Soon after, Elise rendered a powerhouse lead performance in Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The film opened at the top of the box office and went on to gross nearly $60 million, making Elise a rarity – an African American actress able to open a movie at #1. Her role in Diary garnered Elise the “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Theatrical Film” BET Comedy Award and the “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” NAACP Image Award. Elise collected her second NAACP Best Actress Image Award for her depiction of prosecutor Maureen Scofield on Jerry Bruckheimer’s CBS television show Close To Home. In 2007, Elise starred opposite Terrence Howard in the Lion’s Gate blockbuster Pride as well as The Great Debaters with fellow film giants Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington who also happened to direct this period piece produced by Oprah Winfrey. Elise then went on to accept her third NAACP Image Award For Best Actress for her role in the TNT presentation of Gifted Hands – The Ben Carson Story with co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. In 2010, Elise once again joined forces with Tyler Perry, starring in his film adaptation For Colored Girls alongside Kerri Washington, Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and Phylicia Rashad. Her portrayal of an abused wife and mother facing a crushing loss allowed Elise to tap deep into emotional reserves, resulting in what many critics hailed a standout ground breaking performance, showing true versatility and dimension in her craft. Elise took home her fourth NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress in a motion picture as well as Best Supporting Actress win from The African-American Film Critics Association. This spring, Elise will star will Whoopi Goldberg in the Lifetime Television film, A Day Late and A Dollar Short and she is currently starring in the VH1 scripted drama series Hit The Floor, which was the highest rated new show for summer (2013). Always up for a challenge, Elise plans to step into the world of entrepreneurship, ultimately helping to diversify her multidimensional platform. Already hard at work on several large business ventures, including writing and producing her own content, fans of Elise can expect to be entertained and engaged for years to come.
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