Nia Long


“I get annoyed because [show] business is so full of sh*t sometimes. But for the most part, I’m very happy with the pace I’m taking to get where I’m going.”

Nitara Carlynn Long was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, a high school teacher, left her mother when Long was only four. She developed an interest in acting at an early age, and got instruction from Betty Bridges, the mother of former child star Todd Bridges.

Long learned the ins and outs of acting while on the daytime soap opera, Guiding Light. Her big screen debut was alongside a stellar cast of young black talents in John Singleton‘s debut effort, Boyz N the Hood. The film earned Singleton two Oscar nominations, and helped launch the acting careers of Long, Cuba Gooding Jr., and rapper Ice Cube.

Long followed up Boyz N The Hood with a comedic turn in Made in America (1993), and Friday(1995), proving that she was adept at both drama and comedy. After a two year stint on Will Smith‘s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as the woman who steals Will’s heart and almost marries him, she was given her first starring role in Love Jones. Although it did poorly at the box office, the film was nominated for a number of Image and Black Film awards including Best Actress for Long.

From Friday to the sleeper hit Soul Food, Long has proved herself a talented screen entity. More recently, she wrapped work on What’s It All About, Alfie? (2004) starring Jude Law, and In Too Deep (1999) and played a starring role in the romantic comedy Are We There Yet? (2004), opposite Ice Cube. She most recently starred in the comedy flick, The Best Man Holiday (2013).