Birthdate – October 30, 1970 (52 Years Old)
Birthplace – Brooklyn, New York, USA
Nia Long (birthname: Nia Talita Long) is a highly regarded actor known for her high percentage of commercially successful movies, primarily in comedies. Her feature debut was opposite Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasance, and John Carradine in the horror movie based on Edgar Allen Poe stories, Buried Alive (1990), followed by her proper theatrical debut in John Singleton’s acclaimed and Oscar-nominated drama, Boyz n the Hood (1991), with Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, and Laurence Fishburne, grossing a strong $57.5 million globally.
Long’s first major role was in the Richard Benjamin-directed comedy, Made in America (1993), starring Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson, and Will Smith, earning a winning $105 million on a $22 million budget. Long reunited with star-writer Ice Cube for the stoner comedy, Friday (1995), directed by F. Gary Gray and co-starring Chris Tucker, Regina King, and Bernie Mac, and making a box-office return nine times its $3.5 million budget, followed by her first starring role in another Black cinema hit with writer-director Theodore Witcher’s rom-com, Love Jones (1997), with Larenz Tate and Isaiah Washington.
Nia Long co-starred in another hit movie, writer-director George Tillman Jr.’s comedy-drama, Soul Food (1997), opposite Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Mekhi Phifer, and Irma P. Hall, reaching a global gross of nearly $44 million. Continuing her run in successful movies, Long joined Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Stanley Tucci, Hill Harper, and Pam Grier in Miramax’s crime drama, In Too Deep (1999), with a box-office return doubling its $7 million budget.
Another hit movie with Long was writer-director Malcolm D. Lee’s comedy-drama, The Best Man (1999), co-produced by Spike Lee, in which Long co-starred with Taye Diggs, with a strong supporting cast of Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, and Sanaa Lathan, earning Universal Pictures over $34 million on a $9 million budget, followed by the commercially successful horror movie, Stigmata (1999), directed by Rupert Wainwright and co-starring Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, and Rade Šerbedžija, with a box office return ($90 million) tripling its $29 million.
Nia Long’s first commercially disappointing movie was Held Up (1999), in which she co-starred with Jamie Foxx, and had a more modest result with the Sony Classics release, writer-director Greg Berlanti’s The Broken Hearts Club (2000), starring Zach Braff, Dean Cain, Timothy Olyphant, and Justin Theroux. Long joined the macho cast of Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Scott Caan, and Ben Affleck in Boiler Room (2000), written and directed by Ben Younger and premiered at the Sundance film festival, making four times ($28 million) $7 million budget.
One of Long’s biggest commercial successes was the critically-panned Martin Lawrence comedy vehicle, Big Momma’s House (2000, with Paul Giamatti, Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, and Cedric the Entertainer, grossing $174 million worldwide. Joining writer-director-star Mario Van Peebles’ loving tribute to his filmmaker father, Melvin, Nia Long co-starred with Terry Crews, David Alan Grier, and Rainn Wilson in Baadasssss! (2003), and followed this with a major supporting role in the 2004 remake of the 1966 original, Alfie, starring Jude Law in the title role, with Marisa Tomei, Omar Epps, Jane Krakowski, Sienna Miller, and Susan Sarandon, but failing at the box office ($35 million).
As a commercial lucky charm, Long rebounded with the Ice Cube-produced-and-starring Are We There Yet? (2005), with Jay Mohr and Tracy Morgan, resulting in a strong $98 million global return. Long reunited with Lawrence for the hit sequel, Big Momma’s House 2 (2006), earning a solid $141.5 million, followed by another hit, the Sandra Bullock-starring supernatural thriller, Premonition (2007), with Kate Nelligan, Amber Valletta, and Peter Stormare, and grossing over $84 million globally.
Two years after the original, Long again co-starred with Ice Cube in the sequel, Are We Done Yet? (2007), more than doubling ($58.4 million box office) its $28 million budget. In a departure, Long joined writer-narrator Chris Rock as an on-screen participant in the Sundance-premiering documentary, Chris Rock’s Good Hair (2009), earning a good $4 million return, and then joined Danny Glover for the little-seen indie drama, Mooz-lum (2011), with Roger Guenveur Smith.
Another hit sequel in which Nia Long co-starred was Malcolm D. Lee’s comedy-drama, The Best Man Holiday (2013), with Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, and Harold Perrineau, earning $73 million globally, over four times the $17 million budget. Long’s debut as the lead in a Tyler Perry production was the generally dismissed comedy-drama, The Single Moms Club (2014), with Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown, Terry Crews, and Perry, followed by a well-liked comedy project with Jordan Peele (as star, co-writer, and co-producer) and Keegan-Michael Key, Keanu (2016), with Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, and Luis Guzman, and premiering at South by Southwest.
Playing a supporting role, Long appeared in the Sundance-premiering Lemon (2017), co-written and directed by Janicza Bravo, with Bruce Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Fred Melamed, and Rhea Perlman, followed by another supporting turn in the survival thriller, 47 Meters Down Uncaged (2019), directed and co-written Johannes Roberts and grossing a hefty $47 million.
One of Long’s few commercial failures was writer-director George Nolfi’s The Banker (2020), in which she appeared opposite Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, and Samuel L. Jackson, and then Long appeared in Amazon Studios’ little-seen drama with Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne, Life in a Year (2020). Along with several features released on streaming (especially on Netflix) in 2020-2022, Nia Long co-starred with Storm Reid in the Will Merrick/Nick Johnson-written-and-directed “screen life”-style thriller, Missing (2023), projected to earn over $30 million globally.
Nia Long was born and raised in her early years in Brooklyn by parents Talita Long (a teacher and printmaker) and Doughtry Long (teacher and poet). Long has one half-sister, actor/comedian Sommore. Her parents divorced when she was two years old and moved to, first Iowa City, Ia., and then to Los Angeles with her mother Talita.
Father Doughtry moved to Trenton, New Jersey. As a student in Los Angeles, Long attended Paseo Del Rey Elementary School and then St. Mary’s Academy, graduating from Westchester High School in 1989. Long had one child, Massai, with actor Massai Dorsey, in 2000, but the couple split before their planned 2001 wedding. Long was in a relationship with former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka from 2010 to 2022; the couple had one child, Kez. Long’s height is 5’ 2”. Long’s estimated net worth is $9 million.
Some Facts About Nia Long
Speaker: Nia Long serves as a motivational speaker for the Sterling Children’s Home in Barbados.
Three-time Winner, Best Actress—Motion Picture/Best Actress-Drama Series, NAACP Image Awards (2000, 2004-2005).