Gabrielle Union is an American-born actress, writer, producer, and activist. Her long-running Hollywood career dates back to the 1990s with small roles on a number of TV sitcoms before branching out to the big screen in 1999 with supporting roles in teen comedy films like She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You. The talented actress landed her breakout role in the 2000 teen comedy box-office hit Bring It On for which she received critical acclaim.
Well known for her exceptional portrayal of the ‘independent woman’ characters, Gabrielle Union has endeared herself as one of Hollywood’s favorite comedy queens with roles in films Bad Boys II, Deliver Us from Eva, Think Like a Man (2012) and its 2014 sequel, Think Like a Man Too. On the small screen, Union’s most notable role yet is the title role of Mary Jane Paul in the BET hit series Being Mary Jane.
Gabrielle Union Biography
Gabrielle Monique Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska to Theresa (née Glass) and Sylvester Union. The family later relocated to Pleasanton, California where Gabrielle had her high school education at Foothill High School (FHS). She started her college education at the University of Nebraska before transferring to Cuesta College in California. She eventually completed her degree in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
While in college, Gabrielle Union worked as an intern at the Judith Fontaine Modeling & Talent Agency in Los Angeles. Impressed by her fresh looks, the founder/CEO of the agency got Union booked as a model. Under the same agency, Union equally began to audition for minor acting roles in the early 90s eventually landing her first role as an extra in the hit 90s sitcom Family Matters (1993). This was followed by several small roles 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 landed 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 described as Union’s breakout year as she featured 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 a Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress and also gave a major boost to her budding career. The actress went on to star in The Brothers (2001) alongside Morris Chestnut and Shemar Moore and in Two Can Play That Game alongside Chesnut and Vivica Fox.
Having proven her worth, Union eventually landed her first movie lead as Evangeline “Eva” Dandridge in the 2003 romantic comedy Deliver Us from Eva for which she received much critical acclaim. The talented actress received more accolades 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 opposite Idris Elba in Tyler Perry‘s Daddy’s Little Girls as well as several other comedy flicks.
An undisputed rom-com queen, Gabrielle Union was on the star-studded cast of the hit comedy Think Like a Man (2012) and she also reprised her role in the film’s 2014 sequel Think Like a Man Too. Union also featured in the box-office hit comedy Girls Trip (2017) as well as the thriller film Breaking In (2018) doubling as co-producer in the latter.
Gabrielle Union’s most notable small-screen role is that of Mary Jane Paul, the main character on the BET drama series Being Mary Jane (2013-) for which she has received several accolades including the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding TV Actress. In addition to her starring role, Union also doubles as the executive producer of the show. The actress equally served as a co-producer in 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 brief hiatus as they split up at the beginning of 2013. According to Wade, the split was as a result of the high demands of their individual careers. However, the duo was able to mend their fences and get back together before that year ended. In December 2013, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade announced their engagement. The couple eventually tied the knot on August 30, 2014.
Gabrielle Union is the stepmother to 3 of her husband’s children from previous marriages/relationships. Wade’s first son, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade was born on February 4, 2002, and the second, Zion Malachi Airamis Wade was born on May 29, 2007. His third son Xavier Zechariah Wade born on November 10, 2013, a few weeks before he got engaged to Gabrielle Union.
With several years of film and TV acting behind her, Gabrielle Union is undoubtedly one of Tinseltown’s leading ladies. In addition to her illustrious acting career, the Hollywood star is also a successful entrepreneur with her own wine brand – Vanilla Puddin – and a line of Invicta wristwatches to her name. In March 2017, the gorgeous actress expanded her horizon even further as she launched her own line of hair care products ‘Flawless’. All these and numerous juicy endorsement deals, bring the net worth of the Being Mary Jane star to an estimate of $20 million.
Other Facts about Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union stands at a height of 5 feet 7½ inches (171 cm). Known for her ageless looks, the gorgeous Hollywood star maintains a trim physique with a bodyweight of 57 kg (126 lbs). Her body measurements are 36-24-36 inches (91.5-61-91.5 cm).
Back in 1992, while working part-time at a footwear retail store, 19-year old Gabrielle Union was raped during a robbery incident. According to the actress, she was able to deal with the trauma by drawing inspiration from Oprah Winfrey‘s popular talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Gabrielle Union is now an advocate for victims of assault. In February 2011, she was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women.