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Tracee Joy Silberstein was born October 29th, 1972, in Los Angeles, California, as the daughter of iconic Motown singer Diana Ross and music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. Tracee took on the stage name of Tracee Ellis Ross, to honor both her parents, and has been using it professionally since she began to act in independent films. Tracee studied theater at Brown University, from where she graduated in 1994.

In 1996, after working in the fashion industry for some years, Ellis Ross made her film debut in independent movie Far Harbor. She later appeared in Sue Lost in Manhattan (1997) and A Fare to Remember (1999.) Tracee’s first television appearance was in the movie Broken Silence (1998,) followed by an episode of the sketch comedy series The Lyricist Lounge Show in 2000. After a supporting role in the comedy-drama Hanging Up that same year, Tracee landed her breakout role when she was cast in UPN’s sitcom, Girlfriend. She was a series regular throughout its eight-year run. During this time, Tracee also continued to do films and guest star in other television shows, like an episode of Second Time Around (2004,) the comedy I-See-You.Com (2006,) Daddy’s Little Girls (2007,) and TV film, starring alongside her brother Evan Ross, Life Support (2007.)

After the end of Girlfriends, Ellis Ross went on to appear in several television shows, such as Private Practice, and CSI, before being cast as one of the main characters in the family sitcom Reed Between the Lines (2011-2012.) Although the series lasted for two seasons before it was canceled, Tracee only starred in the first one. In 2011, Ellis Ross was part of the ensemble cast on the anthology television film, Five. Her performance in this movie was well received and earned her nominations to the NAACP and Black Reel Awards.

After a failed 2012 pilot, Tracee was cast in a lead role on ABC’s new comedy series, Black-ish, in 2014. The show was favorably viewed by critics and audiences, and resulted in Critics’s Choice, Primetime Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations for her. It ran for eight seasons, until the finale in 2022. The series also originated two spin-off series, in which Tracee reprised her role: Grown-ish (2018-2022) and Mixed-ish (2018-2022.) In 2018, Tracee was seen in an episode of sketch comedy Portlandia. The following year, she returned to the big screen in fantasy comedy film Little. Tracee starred in The High Note in 2020, and in 2021 as the narrator of television special The Runaway Bunny and an episode of The Premise. 

Aside from her acting duties, Tracee has hosted several award shows, most notably the BET Awards (2015 and 2016,) the American Music Awards (2017 and 2018,) and The Fashion Awards in 2019. In 2020, Ellis Ross was the master of ceremonies for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Tracee made her singing debut when she recorded the soundtrack album for her movie The High Note, which was released in May 2020 through Republic Records. In addition, Tracee has been acting as CEO of Pattern Beauty LLC, a beauty company based in California, since 2018. Through the company, she has produced a beauty line of hair products for curls, called “Juicy and Joyful.”

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