Date of Birth: March 7, 1964
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Wanda Sykes was raised in Maryland. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University and began working at the National Security Agency. In 1987, she made her standup comedy debut at a Coors Light Super talent Showcase in Washington, DC. It was her first time in front of a live audience.
She went on to become an opening act for Chris Rock and appeared on shows such as Stand-Up Spotlight and HBO Comedy Showcase. In 1997 she began a five year stint as a writer on The Chris Rock show, sharing a 1999 Emmy with the other writers. She also played various characters on the show before making her film debut in Tomorrow Night (1998), which screened at Sundance. Roles in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps(2000), Down to Earth (2001) and Pootie Tang (2001) followed.
The same year, she landed a recurring role as Christine on The Drew Carey Show, then by 2002, she was starring in her own TV series, Wanda at Large, on the WB network, which she co-created and produced. The show ran for one and a half seasons, then Wanda played herself in Comedy Central's series Wanda Does It, a reality show in which she tried her hand at various non-showbiz jobs.
She drew rave reviews in the big budget motion picture Monster-in-Law (2005), earning praise from critics who claimed she outshone the stars of the movie-Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. She also won a 2005 BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Theatrical Film.
Back on television, she played herself on the award-winning HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm before returning to the big screen in a slew of films, including My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Clerks II (both 2006) and Evan Almighty (2007). She has also provided her unique voice for Over the Hedge (2006), the videos Brother Bear II and The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (both 2006), 2011's Rio and the 2012 animated feature film Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Sykes ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. In 2001, she won an American Comedy Award for "Outstanding Female Stand Up Comic." Her first book, titled "Yeah I Said It," was published by Simon and Schuster in September 2004.
The Hot Flashes (2012)
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) (voice)
Rio (2011) (voice)
License to Wed(2007)
My Super Ex-Girlfriend(2006)
Over the Hedge(2006)
Down to Earth(2001)
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps(2000)
Tomorrow Night (1998)