Born on August 15, 1970, in Los Angeles, California, Anthony Anderson worked in stage and on television before becoming a big-screen star in projects like Life, Big Momma's House, Barbershop, The Departed and Transformers. Known for his comedic flair, Anderson starred on his own sitcom for a season and was later featured in more serious fare, including the cop series K-Ville and Law & Order.
Background and Education
Anthony Anderson was born on August 15, 1970, with most reports citing his place of birth as Los Angeles, California. He was raised in the area of Compton, with his mother working as a telephone operator and background actor in various productions, while his stepfather (whom Anderson sees as his "real" father as opposed to his biological dad) ran a clothing chain. Anderson discovered his passion for acting via his mother, and attended a performing arts high school, subsequently earning a scholarship to attend Howard University. He graduated with a theater arts degree in 1993.
Launches Screen Career
Anderson worked in television for a while, making guest appearances on various programs and starring in the Saturday morning teen sitcom Hang Time before having his big break in film with a role in Life (1999), starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.
Over the next decade, Anderson had roles in an array of movies; many were humorous outings, yet he also took on action and dramatic fare as well. Some of his most prominent projects include Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Romeo Must Die (2000), Kingdom Come (2001), Barbershop (2002), Kangaroo Jack (2003), The Departed (2006) and Transformers (2007).
After a series of meetings with WB Network executives, Anderson got the opportunity to star in his own TV sitcom partially inspired by his own life—All About the Andersons, which ran from 2003 to 2004, and on which he also served as writer and producer.
More television work soon followed. In 2007, Anderson starred on the police drama K-Ville with Cole Hauser. The show was set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While that show only lasted a season, Anderson joined one of TV's most successful crime dramas, Law & Order, in 2008. He played Detective Kevin Bernard until the series ended in 2010.
After Law & Order, Anderson continued to work steadily in television. He made numerous guest appearances in such shows as Soul Man, Raising Hope and Rake. In 2012, Anderson starred as a Gary, a 30-something father in Guys with Kids, which ran for one season. He also did additional film work, such as the fifth installment of the Scary Movie franchise and the boxing flick Grudge Match, both from 2013.
In 2014, Anderson demonstrated his passion for food as the host of the Food Network's Eating America series. He also showed off his comedic talents that same year with his new sitcom. Anderson stars in Black-ish, a sitcom about a middle-class African-American family. In 2015, he was nominated for an Emmy for Lead Actor in a comedy for his work on the show. The following year he earned a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a television series.
Anderson has also served as a health and fitness role model, taking on a more active exercise regimen after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes along with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He has lost weight and utilized social media to inspire others to maintain fitness with the group Weight No More, with wife Alvina and his children enjoying exercise as well.
Anderson has also been known to return to his Compton neighborhood to inspire youth to reach for something else outside of the streets and tough urban life.
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