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Paula Jai Parker
Born August 19, 1969 (1969-08-19) (age 40)
Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995-present

Paula Jai Parker (born August 19, 1969) is an American actress and comedian. She is best known of her roles as Lexus in Hustle & Flow, Joi in Friday, and as the voice of matriarch Trudy Proud on the Disney Channel animated sitcom The Proud Family.



Parker was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved to Washington, D.C. in 1987 to study at Howard University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she moved to New York City and played a number of clubs. Her reputation as a comedian earned her a place on the FOX comedy program "The Apollo Comedy Hour," filmed live at the legendary Apollo Theater. She left the show after one year to pursue a film career, taking memorable roles in the F. Gary Gray urban comedy Friday and earned a Cable ACE Award for her role in the HBO anthology presentation, Cosmic Slop.


Parker returned to television in 1995 in the WB television series The Wayans Bros. opposite Shawn and Marlon Wayans. Throughout the 1990s, she appeared in several short-lived shows, including 1997's The Weird Al Show and David E. Kelley's Snoops in 1999. Between television projects, she appeared in a number of films, including the Million Man March docu-drama Get on the Bus (1996), the urban comedy Sprung (1997), the Frankie Lymon biography, Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998), the ensemble comedy 30 Years to Life (2001), Cover (playing a woman who is married to a bisexual man), and as a lesbian in the LGBT comedy-drama, She Hate Me (2004).

In 2000, Parker voiced the sophisticated Amazing and I'm Proud in the popular animated series The Proud Family. The series became a success, and has continued to be produced by Disney and gain a positive standing among television critics. Between voice sessions, Parker has continued to take supporting roles in films, though she has become type casted as urban characters, especially prostitutes (she portrayed such characters in 2002's "High Crimes (film)", 2003's Phone Booth and 2005's Hustle & Flow). A Proud Family film was released directly to DVD in late 2005. She also starred in My Baby's Daddy as the trashy Rolanda. Parker was also featured in the show Touched By An Angel. Parker played the role of Billie Holiday on the episode entitled "God Bless The Child" which is a song by Billie Holiday.

In 2006, Parker starred in the feature film, The Genius Club for writer/director Tim Chey. She plays a genius with an IQ of 229 who must solve the world's problems in one night.

Personal life

She is expecting her first child with husband Forrest Martin. Paula Jai Parker appeared in music video I Belong To You by singer Rome.




Awards and nominations

External links

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