Gabrielle Union is an American-born actress, writer, producer, and activist. Her long Hollywood career began in the 1990s with small roles in a series of TV sitcoms before she made it to the big screen in 1999 with supporting roles in teen comedies such as “She’s All That” and “10 Things I Hate About You”. The talented actress made her breakthrough in the teenage comedy hit Bring It On in 2000, for which she was critically acclaimed.
Gabrielle Union is known for her exceptional portrayal of the characters of the “independent woman” and has made herself popular as one of Hollywood’s most popular comedy queens, with roles in the films Bad Boys II, Deliver Us from Eva, Think Like a Man (2012) and the 2014 sequel Think Like a Man Too. On the small screen, Union’s most notable role to date is the title role of Mary Jane Paul in the BET hit series Being Mary Jane.
Gabrielle Union’s Bio
Gabrielle Monique Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of Theresa (née Glass) and Sylvester Union. The family later moved to Pleasanton, California, where Gabrielle completed her high school education at Foothill High School (FHS). She began her college education at the University of Nebraska before moving to Cuesta College in California. Finally, she graduated in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
During her studies, Gabrielle Union worked as an intern at the Judith Fontaine Modeling & Talent Agency in Los Angeles. Impressed by her fresh appearance, the founder/CEO of the agency had Union booked as a model. Under the same agency, Union also began auditions for smaller acting roles in the early 1990s until she finally got her first role as an extra in the hit sitcom Family Matters (1993). Several small roles followed in hit series such as Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Goode Behavior, 7th Heaven, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and The Steve Harvey Show.
In 1999 Gabrielle Union made her feature film debut in the teen comedy box office hit She’s All That, followed by 10 Things I Hate About You. The year 2000 can be called the year of Union’s breakout, as she starred in the cult classic Bring It On and also appeared in Love & Basketball alongside Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. Her role as Isis in Bring It On earned her the Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress and gave her an enormous boost to her up-and-coming career. The actress later appeared in The Brothers (2001) alongside Morris Chestnut and Shemar Moore and in Two Can Play That Game alongside Chesnut and Vivica Fox.
After proving her worth, Union finally got her first movie role as Evangeline “Eva” Dandridge in the romantic comedy “Deliver Us from Eva” in 2003, for which she received much critical acclaim. The talented actress also received awards for her roles in Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Michael Bay’s Bad Boys II (2003), Breakin’ All the Rules (2004), Neo Ned (2005), and The Honeymooners (2005). In 2007 she starred in Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls in the role of Idris Elba as well as in several other comedy flicks.
Gabrielle Union was an undisputed queen of rom-com and starred in the hit comedy Think Like a Man (2012), and she also resumed her role in the 2014 sequel to the film Think Like a Man Too. Union also appeared in the hit comedy Girls Trip (2017) and in the thriller Breaking In (2018), in which she was co-producer.
Gabrielle Union’s most notable role on the small screen is that of Mary Jane Paul, the main character in the BET drama series Being Mary Jane (2013-), for which she has received several awards, including the NAACP Image Award 2014 for Outstanding Television Actress. In addition to her role as the lead actress, Union is also the executive producer of the series. The actress also acted as co-producer of the 2018 thriller film Breaking In, in which she starred in the lead role.
Gabrielle Union is currently married to NBA star Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr., their relationship dates back to 2009. After several years of dating, the couple took a short break when they separated in early 2013. According to Wade, the separation was a result of the high demands of their individual careers. However, the duo was able to mend their fences and get back together before the year ended. In December 2013, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade announced their engagement. On August 30, 2014, the couple finally tied the knot of marriage.
Gabrielle Union is the stepmother of three children of her husband from previous marriages/relationships. Wade’s first son, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade, was born on February 4, 2002, and their second son, Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, was born on May 29, 2007. His third son, Xavier Zechariah Wade, was born on 10 November 2013, a few weeks before his engagement to Gabrielle Union.
With several years of film and television acting behind her, Gabrielle Union is undoubtedly one of the leading ladies of Tinseltown. In addition to her glamorous acting career, the Hollywood star is also a successful entrepreneur with her own wine brand – Vanilla Puddin – and a line of Invicta wristwatches bearing her name. In March 2017, the gorgeous actress broadened her horizons even further when she launched her own hair care line “Flawless”. All this and numerous juicy sponsorship contracts bring the net value of the star of Being Mary Jane to an estimated $20 million.
Other Facts about Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union stands at a height of 5 feet 7½ inch (171 cm). Known for her ageless look, this beautiful Hollywood star retains a slender build at a weight of 57 kg (126 lbs). Her body measurements are 36-24-36 inches (91.5-61-91.5 cm).
In 1992, 19-year-old Gabrielle Union was raped during a robbery while working part-time in a shoe store. According to the actress, she was able to process the trauma by drawing inspiration from Oprah Winfrey’s popular talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Gabrielle Union is now standing up for the victims of the robbery. In February 2011 she was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women by then-President Barack Obama.