Gabrielle Union biography

Breaking In

Gabrielle Union

Date of Birth: October 29, 1973

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Union grew up with an interest in law. She was a talented sportswoman who excelled in soccer and basketball since the age of eight, and even played on the Nebraska soccer team.

Her first taste of stardom came in high school. While trying on a prom dress, Union was discovered and landed a spot in the store's commercial.

She was studying sociology at UCLA when in her senior year, she was discovered while working for a modeling agency on an internship. Following her graduation, she started landing small roles in TV series like Moesha, Dave's World, The Steve Harvey Show as well as more regular gigs on 7th Heaven and Sister, Sister.

In 1999 she landed her first feature film, She's All That. With each role that followed, her exposure grew along with her confidence. One year later she became a regular on the series City of Angels playing Dr. Courtney Ellis, and landed co-starring roles in films that featured similar interests to her yesteryears. In Love & Basketball, she returned to one of her favorite sports, while in Bring It On, Union used the experiences of her cheerleading work in grade eight to help prepare her for the role. In Deliver us from Eva (2002), she played the starring role of Eva, a woman whose sisters' boyfriends pay a pal to date her so she'll keep from meddling in their lives. Her most recent role is in the romantic comedy Think Like a Man (2012), about a group of couples who use a self-help book to navigate their relationships. She can also be seen in the comedy Tyler Perry's Good Deeds (2012). More recently, she starred in the comedies Think Like a Man Too (2014), Top Five (2014), and Almost Christmas (2016), as well as the reboot of the controversial 1915 film The Birth of a Nation (2016).

On May 5, 2001, Union married Chris Howard of NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, but they have since filed for divorce.

When not on the set, Union, who survived a rape at gunpoint when she was 19, is a public speaker on the topic of violence against women.