Best Known For
Mo'Nique is an actress and stand-up comedian who won an Academy Award for her role in Precious.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
"Stand-up keeps you on your toes because it's instant," she told reporters. "With TV and movies you have to wait for the numbers to come in to see what happened at the box office. With stand-up, it's right there, that night, in your face."
To help stay atop her game, Mo'Nique headlined the 2001 smash hit Queens of Comedy,
the successful female version of The Original Kings of Comedy tour. The album produced from those Queens shows, which also featured Adele Givens, Laura Hayes, and Sommore, earned a 2002 Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Comedy Album. From there, Mo'Nique returned to the Apollo, this time as host of the program, It's Showtime at the Apollo, the first female comedian to ever hold that title.
In 2003, Mo'Nique added author to her expanding resume when she penned the riotous Skinny Women Are Evil: Notes of a Big Girl in a Small-Minded World. A second title, Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted was published in 2006.
Despite her lack of any kind of formal training, Mo'Nique's acting started landing her movie work around the same time The Parkers run was coming to a close. A year before the sitcom's cancellation, the actress was cast alongside Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg in the Showtime film, Good Fences (2003).
Her comedy was also the focus of smaller roles in Soul Plane (2004) and Hair Show (2004). In addition she co-starred with Vivica A. Fox in Two Can Play That Game(2001), which earned her an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
In 2005, Mo'Nique returned to television to host the Oxygen Network's Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance, a beauty contest featuring all plus-sized women. In 2006, the comedian's extra pounds were at the center ofPhat Girlz, a film about an overweight fashion designer in search of love.
That same year, Mo'Nique stepped into her meatiest role yet in Shadowboxer (2006). Starring Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr., and directed by Lee Daniels, the film cast the actress as a drug-ravaged woman, a role that turned the heads of critics and audiences who had grown accustomed to Mo'Nique's loud-and-proud brand of comedy.
But not everyone was surprised by the performance. Least of all the film's director, who had first met Mo'Nique a few years before and raved to her about her acting abilities. So, it was no surprise he tapped the actress again for his next project, Precious (2009), a film based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Daniels cast Mo'Nique as Mary Jones, an angry and abusive mother.
It was an ugly role, but one Mo'Nique knew how to play. As a child, she herself had been molested by her oldest brother, Gerald, and she says she drew on that experience to play the part.
profile name: Mo'Nique profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
Black Comedians 35 people in this group
Taking on topics of politics, entertainment, women's issues and more, female talk show hosts have proven to be every bit as engaging, intelligent, and funny as their male counterparts. Oprah Winfrey's 25-year-reign as the queen of talk is unparalleled, but many other female talk show hosts have come into their own as well, including Tyra Banks, Ellen DeGeneres, Sally Jessy Raphael and Kelly Ripa.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women.
Female Talk Show Hosts 26 people in this group
It's hard to face weight gain—but it's even harder to face it when the whole world is commenting on your expanding waistline. Here are a group of stars who got in shape despite the scrutiny of the press. Their efforts serve as an inspiration to the millions out there trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
Weight Loss Winners 26 people in this group