Wanda Sykes is a Hollywood actress, comedian, and writer who became famous for writing The Chris Rock Show – a position that earned her the prestigious Primetime Emmy Award in 1999. She steadily climbed up the ladder of success and by 2004, she was named one of the 25 funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly. From 2006 to 2010, she took on the role of Barb Bara on The New Adventures of Old Christine. Remember Barb Baran? – Christine’s best friend and colleague at work who had a dry sense of humor and was rarely enthusiastic about any of Christine’s numerous plans.
For ten years (2001-2011) Wanda featured as herself in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. But beyond her roles on television shows, she has also appeared in several movies including Monster-in-Law, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, License to Wed, Evan Almighty, Barnyard, Over the Hedge, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course, Rio, and Brother Bear 2.
Interestingly, there is more to be known about this amazing woman. Let’s take you on a ride into the world of this multi-talented lady – including her family and relationships.
Wanda Sykes’ Early Life & Career
Wanda Sykes was born in Portsmouth, Virginia on the 7th of March, 1964 to a banker mother, Marion Louise, and father, Harry Ellsworth Sykes, who was a U.S Army Colonel and also worked at the Pentagon. Her family relocated to Maryland when she was just in third grade. She would later attend Arundel High School and then Hampton University where she studied Marketing. While at the university, Sykes was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
After university, she spent five years of her life working as a contracting specialist for the National Security Agency (NSA) – a U.S national intelligence agency under the Department of Defense. Wanda wasn’t pretty satisfied with her job at NSA and in 1987, she decided to find something fulfilling by pursuing her dreams in the entertainment industry part-time while still at the agency. She started off as a comedian performing in front of a live audience at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington, DC. She continued this way until 1992 when she relocated to New York and began making appearances on shows including Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam which made waves in the early nineties.
Sykes also worked for Hal Leonard publishing house as an editor before landing her big break in 1997 as one of the writers for the Chris Rock show. Asides the Chris Rock show, Wanda has written for other shows including The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show, Comedy Central Presents, etc. She also appeared on The Drew Carey Show, Chapelle’s Show, Will & Grace, Futurama, The Simpsons, Alpha House, Black-ish, Bob’s Burgers and Broad City.
In 1998, she appeared in Tomorrow Night, after which she appeared in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, alongside Eddie Murphy and Janet Jackson. She also appeared in Down To Earth, Pootie Tang, Monster-In-Law (with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez), My Super Ex-Girlfriend, License To Wed, Bad Moms, A Bad Moms Christmas, and Evan Almighty.
In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for “Outstanding Female Stand Up Comic” and two years later, she won a Comedy Central Commie Award for “Funniest TV Actress. Currently, she has a net worth of $6 million. For an actress and comedian who has been working for decades, you can say that the amount is well deserved.
Interesting Facts About Wanda Sykes’ Family Life
Just like her professional life, Wanda’s private life has continued to draw people’s attention. The actress-writer-comedian was earlier known as the wife of Dave Hall, a record producer best known for his work on Mary J. Blige’s album, What’s the 411?. He also has produced hit tracks for tops artists like Usher, CeCe Peniston, Donell Jones, and Madonna. Wanda’s ex-husband is also a popular remixer and was behind the remixing of Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream” as well as Tina Turner’s “Goldeneye”.
Wanda Sykes was married to Dave Hall in 1991 and lived together as a couple until 1998 when the news about their divorce broke. Although no reason was officially given as to why the two decided to separate after seven years of marriage, Wanda once opened up saying she found Dave very annoying. Presumably, this is because of her gay nature which she was yet to accept at that time.
In 2008, Wanda came out as a lesbian while at a same-sex marriage rally. Unknown to the world, she had married her girlfriend and partner – Alex Niedbalski. Wanda and Alex met in 2006, two years before she summoned the courage to open up about being gay. Wanda only came out to her family when she was in her forties and as expected, her very conservative parents found it very difficult to accept. They refused to attend her wedding and this led to a short period of estrangement between the family members. However, the family has now reconciled and her parents are very involved in their lives.
Who is She Married To Now And Do They Have Kids?
Wanda Sykes is currently married to Alex Niedbalski. Also known as Alex Sykes, Wanda’s wife is a French-American homemaker. Details about her past relationships are not available, she only became popular after her marital union with the popular comedian. During her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011, she announced that she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). She opted to have a bilateral mastectomy even though DCIS is non-invasive breast cancer.
Wanda Sykes and Alex Niedbalski have two kids together – a son, Lucas Claude and a daughter, Olivia Lou. Alex had the fraternal twins on April 27, 2009. Currently, the couple splits their time between Philadelphia and Los Angeles.