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Kimberly Elise
Born Kimberly Elise Trammel
April 17, 1967 (1967-04-17) (age 42)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Other name(s) Kimberly Elise Oldham, Kimberly Oldham
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Maurice Oldham (1989-2005)

Kimberly Elise (born April 17, 1967) is a American film and television actress. She is best known for her role in the film Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Elise has won three NAACP Image Awards.



Personal life

Elise was born as Kimberly Elise Trammel in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Erma Jean (née Johnson), an elementary school teacher, and Marvin Trammel, who owns an executive search firm.[1][2] She has three siblings. Elise studied film and acting at the University of Minnesota and earned a BA in Mass Communications.[3] She was married to Maurice Oldham (1958-2007) from 1989 until 2005; they have two children, Ajableu Oldham and Butterfly Oldham.

Elise's maternal descent is of the Songhai people in Mali.[4]


Elise's first movie was Set It Off (1996), in which she played one of four women who resort to robbing a bank for money. Her big break came in 1997 when she was cast in the Family Channel original television movie The Ditchdigger's Daughters, based on the Pulitzer-prize nominated and critically acclaimed 1995 memoir The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story, written by Yvonne S. Thornton and Jo Coudert. She received critical acclaim for her role in this film, and in 1997 she was recognized as Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries at the 19th annual CableACE Awards. A relative unknown at the time, she conveyed her anonymity upon receiving the award by saying "Who is Kimberly Elise?". Her performance helped her land a role the next year in Beloved alongside Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. She is often compared to a young Cicely Tyson whom she resembles.

In 2004, she appeared in Woman Thou Art Loosed portraying Michelle, an abused young woman who finally got the help she needed behind bars. This role won her a Black Reel award for Best Actress. She also appeared in John Q, The Manchurian Candidate and Diary of a Mad Black Woman (she won a NAACP Image Award for the latter). From 2005 to 2007 she starred on the CBS crime drama Close to Home, playing Marion County, Indiana (Indianapolis) prosecutor Maureen Scofield. Her character was killed off in the last episode of the 2006-2007 season. The series was cancelled in May 2007.

She has since made a guest appearance on the sitcom Girlfriends in which she played an HIV-positive woman.


Television Work

Awards and nominations

Acapulco Black Film Festival

  • 1999: Nominated - Best Actress for Beloved (1998)

Black Reel Awards

  • 2002: Won - Best Supporting Actress for Bojangles (2001)
  • 2003: Nominated - Best Actress for John Q (2002)
  • 2005: Nominated - Best Supporting Actress for The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
  • 2005: Won - Best Actress, Independent Film for Woman Thou Art Loosed (2004)
  • 2006: Won- Best Actress for Diary of a Mad Black Woman

CableACE Award

  • 1997: Won - Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries for The Ditchdigger's Daughters (1997)

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

  • 1999: Won - Most Promising Actress for Beloved (1998)
  • 1999: Nominated - Best Supporting Actress for Beloved (1998)

Golden Satellite Awards

  • 1999: Won - Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Drama for Beloved (1998)

NAACP Image Awards

Independent Spirit Awards

  • 2005: Nominated - Best Female Lead for Woman Thou Art Loosed (2004)


External links

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