Nia Long Biography

Nia Long photo

Born: October 30, 1970


Date of Birth: October 30, 1970

Nia Long was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, a high school teacher, left her mother when Long was only four. She developed an interest in acting at an early age, and got instruction from Betty Bridges, the mother of former child star Todd Bridges.

Nia learned the ins and outs of acting while on the daytime soap opera, Guiding Light. Her big screen debut was alongside a stellar cast of young black talents in John Singleton's debut effort, Boyz N the Hood. The film earned Singleton two Oscar nominations, and helped launch the acting careers of Long, Cuba Gooding Jr., and rapper Ice Cube.

Nia followed up Boyz N the Hood with a comedic turn in Made in America (1993), and Friday(1995), proving that she was adept at both drama and comedy. After a two year stint on Will Smith's The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as the woman who steals Will's heart and almost marries him, she was given her first starring role in Love Jones. Although it did poorly at the box office, the film was nominated for a number of Image and Black Film awards including Best Actress for Nia.

From Friday (1995) to the sleeper hit Soul Food (1997) Nia has proved herself a talented screen entity. She returned to the big screen to play Lonette in What's It All About, Alfie? (2004), starring Jude Law.

From 2005 to 2007, moviegoers appreciated her work in films such as Are We There Yet? (2005) with Ice Cube, Big Momma's House 2 alongside Martin Lawrence (2006), Premonition (2007) starring Sandra Bullock, and Are We Done Yet? (2007), again with Ice Cube.

Her next notable project was the comedy The Best Man Holiday (2013), which earned more than its $17 million budget. A few years later, she played a role in the horror adventure 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019), alongside Canada's Sophie Nélisse.

Nia's small screen appearances include Third Watch, The Cleveland Show and House of Lies. In addition, she joined Empire's third-season cast for eight episodes in 2017, during which time she also contributed to the highly popular NCIS: Los Angeles.

Engaged, but never married, Nia Long is the mother of two boys—the first, Massai, with former fiancé Massai Z. Dorsey—was born in 2000. Her youngest son, Kez, was born in 2011. His father is Ime Udoka.


The Good Man Holiday (2013)
Good Hair (2009)
Gospel Hill (2008)
Are We Done Yet? (2007)
Premonition (2007)
Big Momma's House 2 (2006)
Are We There Yet? (2004)
Alfie (2004)
Baadasssss! (2004)
Big Momma's House (2000)
The Broken Hearts League (2000)
Boiler Room (2000)
Stigmata (1999)
The Best Man (1999/I)
In Too Deep (1999)
Butter (1998)
The Secret Laughter of Women (1998)
Soul Food (1997)
Hav Plenty (1997)
Love Jones (1997)
Friday (1995)
Made in America (1993)
Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Buried Alive (1990/I)

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