Tracee Ellis Ross Biography

Tracee Ellis Ross is an award-winning American actress, producer, host, and former model who has made a significant impact in the world of showbiz. With a career spanning over 20 years, she has garnered numerous accolades and awards for her versatile performances. Beyond her work in films, TV shows, and music videos, Ellis Ross has also made a name for herself in the fashion industry and is known for her philanthropic efforts. Despite not actively seeking fame, her talent and determination have brought her widespread recognition, including being the first African-American to win a ‘Golden Globe’ for ‘Best Actress in a TV Comedy’ in over 30 years. With a strong presence on social media, she serves as an inspiration and motivational speaker, earning her a dedicated fan following. Through her consistent performances and skills, Ellis Ross has become a beloved celebrity in the entertainment industry.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Tracee Joy Silberstein
  • Age: 51 Years, 51 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Father: Robert Ellis Silberstein
    • Mother: Diana Ross
    • Siblings: Christoffer Naess, Chudney Ross, Evan Ross, Hazel Gordy, Leona Naess, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Ross Naess, Sherry Gordy
  • Born Country: United States
  • Actresses
  • American Women
  • Height: 5’7″ (170 cm), 5’7″ Females
  • Notable Alumni: Riverdale Country School, Institut Le Rosey
  • U.S. State: California
  • City: Los Angeles
  • Education: Brown University, Institut Le Rosey, Riverdale Country School

Childhood & Early Life

Tracee Ellis Ross was born Tracee Joy Silberstein on October 29, 1972, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to the famous Motown singer Diana Ross and music manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. She has two sisters, Rhonda Ross Kendrick and Chudney Lane Silberstein, and two half-brothers, Ross Arne and Evan Olav. She also has three step-siblings, Katinka, Christoffer, and Leona Naess from her mother’s marriage.

As a child, she attended ‘Riverdale Country School’ in Bronx. She then attended ‘Institut Le Rosey’ in Switzerland. She later went to the ‘Brown University’ where she pursued a degree in theatre.


Tracee Ellis Ross started modeling during her teens. After attending ‘Brown University,’ she worked in the fashion industry as a model and editor of ‘Mirabella’ and ‘New York’ magazine.

In 1996, she debuted on the big screen in the independent film ‘Far Harbor.’ In 1997, she began hosting the Lifetime TV magazine series ‘The Dish,’ which was a show based on popular culture.

In 1998, she played the role of an abused school track star in NBC’s made-for-TV movie ‘Race Against Fear: A Moment of Truth.’ In the year 2000, she landed a major role in Diane Keaton’s ‘Hanging Up’ and then ventured into comedy as a regular on MTV series ‘The Lyricist Lounge.’

Ross came into prominence with her lead role as ‘Joan Clayton’ in the TV series ‘Girlfriends,’ which premiered in 2000. The show went on for the next eight years and boosted her TV career. She also landed several roles in movies.

In 2007, she starred in the HBO production ‘Life Support’ alongside Queen Latifah and her brother Evan Ross. Her other movies during this time include Tyler Perry’s theatrical movie ‘Daddy’s Little Girls’ (2007) and ‘Labor Pains’ (2009), which starred Lindsay Lohan.

After ‘Girlfriends’ ended in 2008, she appeared in various series, including ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and BET’s ‘Reed Between the Lines,’ in which she starred opposite Malcolm-Jamal Warner in 2011.

Tracee Ellis Ross continued experimenting with different kinds of roles. She appeared in the short anthology film ‘Five’ (2011), which focuses on breast cancer awareness. She then appeared in the stage productions of ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore.’ She also co-hosted ‘Black Girls Rock,’ a BET award show, in 2013.

She landed another major role in 2014, when she played a successful physician named ‘Dr. Rainbow Johnson’ in ABC’s primetime comedy ‘Black-ish’ for which she won many accolades and awards. The story is about an upper-class African- American family with four kids.

She has also ventured into the field of motivational speaking and conducts workshops called ‘Tapping into Your Creative Well.’ She is also part of the ‘Aviva Family and Children Service’ in Los Angeles and a national program called ‘Big Brother Big Sister.’

Personal Life & Legacy

Tracee Ellis Ross has never been married and is currently single. Her half-brother Evan Ross is married to Ashlee Simpson, thus making Tracee her sister-in-law.

She is very close to her mother Diana Ross and says that she does not feel overshadowed by her fame.


As a model, Ross has been photographed by popular fashion photographers like Herb Ritts, Peter Lindberg, Francesco Scavullo, and Mario Testino.

She changed her major to theatre at ‘Brown University’ after a positive experience auditioning for ‘Malcolm X’ (1992). While she didn’t land the role, appreciation from Spike Lee’s casting director Robi Reed motivated her to follow her passion.

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