Elise Demetria Neal
March 14, 1966
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Education||University of the Arts|
From 1998 to 2002, Neal starred as Yvonne Hughley in the ABC/UPN sitcom The Hughleys. Other film appearances include Mission to Mars (2000), Hustle & Flow (2005) and Logan (2017). On television, Neal also starred as Tia Jewel in the first two seasons of the UPN/The CW sitcom All of Us from 2003 to 2005. She is a three-time NAACP Image Award nominee.
Neal was born on March 14, 1966, in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of a nurse and a construction worker. She attended Lakeview Elementary. She was a ballet dancer and a cheerleader. She broke her left wrist in a high toss cheerleading stunt; after the bones healed, her wrist never straightened back out completely. She graduated from Overton High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
From 1984 to 1988, she attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Elise left college after two years and moved to New York City where she landed roles in musical theater and found herself traveling the world with various touring companies. Her experience in musical theater allowed her to easily transition into commercials, eventually bringing her to Los Angeles. Neal was a member of the Tennessee Ballet Company.
Neal was an accomplished dancer and appeared in several hip hop and R&B music videos in the early 1990s. One of her earliest jobs was as a background dancer in Chubb Rock's music video for "Just the Two of Us." Other music videos Neal has appeared in include Black Sheep's 1992 video for Strobelite Honey, Father MC's 1991 video for "Lisa Baby", Aretha Franklin's 1998 video for "A Rose Is Still a Rose", Trick Daddy's 2001 video "I'm a Thug", and Vanessa Williams' video "Work to Do". Neal was featured in the November 2007 edition of King Magazine. Neal also appeared as a backing dancer in the music video for Dannii Minogue's 1993 single "This Is It".
Neal made her film debut in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992). She landed the role of Janice Sinclair on the soap opera Loving. She then played fighter pilot J.J. Fredericks on the series seaQuest 2032. Neal was cast in the high-profile role of Hallie in Scream 2. Her character was originally written to be one of the killers of the movie, but due to a script leak her role was changed. She portrayed school teacher Scrappie in Rosewood.
Her breakout role was being cast as Yvonne Hughley, the wife of D.L. Hughley in the television sitcom The Hughleys (1998−2002). She received two NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in the series. Following The Hughleys, Neal portrayed Kindergarten teacher Tia Jewel in All of Us. She left the series in 2005.
She has made guest appearances on Law & Order, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and Method & Red. Other film credits include: Paid in Full, Money Talks, and Mission to Mars. In Restaurant, she played Jeanine, a waitress who aspires to be a singer. Neal acted in a 2001 remake of Brian's Song as the wife of Gale Sayers.
Neal received her third NAACP Image Award nomination in 2006, in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for the film Hustle & Flow as Yevette, the wife of Anthony Anderson's character. Her role in the 2007 film 4 Life also marked her first soundtrack single, "I'm Down Baby". She also appeared in the series K-Ville as Ayana Boulet.
Expanding her role as producer, Neal is creating and developing several multimedia projects: a reality show based on her R&B group, "Assorted Flavors", a fitness and lifestyle brand, and several feature projects through her development deal with Mandalay Bay Entertainment. She appeared on reality show Hollywood Divas.
She played Alana in Love Ranch (2010). Neal guest starred on an episode of The Soul Man. She portrayed singer Gladys Knight in biopic Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (2014). In a negative review of the film, Jon Caramanica opined Neal was the best actor in the production. Neal played Kathryn Munson in the 2017 superhero film Logan and appeared on television series Into the Dark.
|1993||Tales of the City||Young Woman||TV movie|
|1995||Let It Be Me||Carlita|
|Def Jam's How to Be a Player||Nadine|
|1998||Chance of a Lifetime||Amy||TV movie|
|2000||Mission to Mars||Debra Graham|
|2001||The Rising Place||Wilma Watson|
|Sacred Is the Flesh||Gabi Paige|
|Brian's Song||Linda Sayers||TV movie|
|2002||Paid in Full||Aunt June|
|2003||Playas Ball||Summer Twitty|
|2005||Hustle & Flow||Yevette|
|2006||Wyclef Jean in America||Josephine Jean||TV movie|
|2009||Preaching to the Pastor||Monica|
|Jack and Janet Save the Planet||Christie||TV movie|
|2010||Let God Be the Judge||Rachel|
|Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed||Monique||Video|
|Love Me or Leave Me||Josephine Wyatt||TV movie|
|Lord, All Men Can't Be Dogs||Diane|
|The Perfect Man||Trisha|
|Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury||Florence|
|2012||The Undershepherd||Sister Roberts|
|Who's Watching the Kids||Delia|
|2013||School of Hard Knocks||Kim||Video|
|2014||First Impression||Kym Pine||TV movie|
|The Fright Night Files||Coffee Black||TV movie|
|Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B||Gladys Knight||TV movie|
|2016||Ladies Book Club||Rona||TV movie|
|36 Hour Layover||Rebecca|
|What Are the Chances?||Gina|
|Tragedy Girls||Mrs. Hooper|
|The White Sistas||Erin White|
|Our Dream Christmas||Cookie|
|2018||Don't Get Caught||Gina||Video|
|We Belong Together||Megan|
|Her Only Choice||Sherry|
|I Left My Girlfriend for Regina Jones||Regina Jones|
|2020||The Grudge||TV Contestant|
|The Sin Choice||Angela Smith|
|The App That Stole Christmas||Carly|
|A State of Mind||Keisha Thomas|
|2023||Phels High||Tina Lloyd|
|1991||Another World||Dancer||Episode: "Episode #1.6923"|
|1992||Law & Order||Charlayne Ward||Episode: "Cradle to Grave"|
|1993||Getting By||Debbie||Episode: "Back to Nature"|
|Tales of the City||Spa Instructor||Episode: "Episode #1.3"|
|California Dreams||Miss Jackie||Episode: "High Plains Dreamer"|
|Family Matters||Heather||Episode: "Car Wars"|
|Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Lisa||Episode: "Boyz in the Woodz"|
|1994||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Wendy Robertson||Episode: "M Is for the Many Things She Gave Me"|
|Loving||Janey Sinclair||Episode: "Episode #1.2860"|
|Red Shoe Diaries||Dancer||Episode: "Emily's Dance"|
|1995||Chicago Hope||Tamara Parnett||Episode: "Cutting Edges"|
|Pointman||Millie||Episode: "Take the Points"|
|Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Lisa||Episode: "Here Comes the Groom"|
|1995-96||seaQuest DSV||Lieutenant J.J. Fredericks||Main Cast: Season 3|
|1996||ABC Afterschool Special||Alicia||Episode: "Daddy's Girl"|
|Living Single||Sharon||Episode: "School's Out Forever"|
|High Incident||Arial||Episode: "Bullet the Blue Sky"|
|The Steve Harvey Show||Juanita Du'Shea||Episode: "Pool Sharks Git Bit"|
|1998||The Wayans Bros||Tanya Cooper||Episode: "The Rich Girl"|
|Fantasy Island||Catherine||Episode: "Wishboned"|
|1998-02||The Hughleys||Yvonne Williams-Hughley||Main Cast|
|2001||E! True Hollywood Story||Herself||Episode: "Scream"|
|2002||Hollywood Squares||Herself/Panelist||Recurring Guest|
|Pyramid||Herself/Celebrity Contestant||Episode: "Nov 8, 2002"|
|2003||A.U.S.A.||Jill Davis||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2004||The 100 Scariest Movie Moments||Herself||Episode: "Part I: 100-81"|
|Method & Red||Brenda||Episode: "Something About Brenda"|
|2003-05||All of Us||Tia Jewel||Main Cast: Season 1-2|
|2005||Black in the 80s||Herself||Episode: "Def Jams" & "Color TV"|
|Weekends at the D.L.||Herself||Episode: "Episode #1.13"|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Giselle||Episode: "Bodies in Motion"|
|2007||K-Ville||Ayana Boulet||Recurring Cast|
|2009||My Manny||Jennifer||Main Cast|
|Private Practice||Janine||Episode: "What You Do for Love"|
|2010||Life After||Herself||Episode: "Elise Neal"|
|2011||Funny or Die Presents||Peaches||Episode: "The Burn Unit"|
|The Cape||Susan Voyt||Recurring Cast|
|2011-12||A.N.T. Farm||Roxanne Parks||Recurring Cast: Season 1|
|2012||Scandal||Anna Gordon||Episode: "The Other Woman"|
|2013||Real Husbands of Hollywood||Herself||Episode: "Karma's a Mitch" & "Hart vs. Mosley"|
|Basketball Wives||Herself||Episode: "Episode #5.8"|
|Belle's||Jill Cooper||Main Cast|
|The Soul Man||Jessica||Episode: "Revelations"|
|2014||According to Him + Her||Herself||Episode: "Episode #1.3"|
|2014-15||Hollywood Divas||Herself||Main Cast: Season 1-2|
|2017||Tales||Beatriz||Episode: "A Story to Tell"|
|2019-20||25 Words or Less||Herself/Contestant||Recurring Guest|
|2020||Into the Dark||Dr. Linda Johnson||Episode: "Good Boy"|
|2021||A Black Lady Sketch Show||Gigi||Episode: "If I'm Paying These Chili's Prices, You Cannot Taste My Steak!"|
|2022||The Black Hamptons||Sydney Britton||Main Cast|
|2023||See It Loud: The History of Black Television||Herself||Episode: "Laughing Out Loud"|
|2008||My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage||Herself|
|2011||Still Screaming: The Ultimate Scary Movie Retrospective||Herself|
Awards and nominations
|2006||NAACP Image Awards||NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||"Hustle & Flow"||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble||Nominated|
- Jason Buchanan (2008). "Elise Neal – Biography". movies.msn. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "On This Day In Comedy… In 1966 Actress Elise Neal Was Born!". The Humor Mill. March 28, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
- Davis, Corey (October 1, 2019). "Memphis actress forms partnership to help creative entrepreneurs". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- "Winfrey autobiography is in the works". Star-News. November 2, 1994. p. 5D.
- Garcia, Frank; Phillips, Mark (March 28, 2012). Science Fiction Television Series, 1990-2004. McFarland & Company. p. 209. ISBN 9780786469178.
- West, Alexandra (June 5, 2018). The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and a New Hollywood Formula. McFarland & Company. p. 77. ISBN 9781476631288.
- "Scream 2 rewritten after script leak". April 30, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- Barclay, Dolores (February 22, 1997). "Singleton misses 'Rosewood' chance". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. p. C7.
- McDonough, Kevin (September 22, 1998). "'Encore, Encore' is terrible, terrible". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 10C.
- Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: A-E. McFarland & Company. p. 47.
- Owen, Rob (May 16, 2003). "UPN's plans". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 41.
- Muir, John Kenneth (2007). TV Year: The Prime Time 2005-2006 Season. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 158. ISBN 9781557836847.
- "Daily Highlights". Calhoun Times and Gordon County News. July 17, 2004.
- Ebert, Roger (2004). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2005. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 505. ISBN 9780740747427.
- Fhaner, Beth A. (1998). Magill's Cinema Annual: A Retrospective of the Films of 1997. Visible Ink Press. p. 380. ISBN 9781578590568.
- Monush, Barry; Willis, John (March 25, 2002). Screen World 2001. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 13. ISBN 9781557834782.
- "Actress Elise Neal on Neve Campbell, stereotypes and staying young". Boca Raton News. February 6, 2000.
- Tate, Marsha Ann (2007). Canadian Television Programming Made for the United States Market. McFarland & Company. p. 142. ISBN 9780786427451.
- "The 37th NAACP Image Awards". The Crisis. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 2006.
- Donalson, Melvin (2007). Hip hop in American cinema. Peter Lang. p. 84. ISBN 9780820463452.
- Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: F-L. McFarland & Company. p. 808.
- Ogbogu, Stephanie (October 9, 2014). "[REALITY RECAP] 'Hollywood Divas' Made in the Shade". Ebony. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- Holden, Stephen (June 29, 2010). "Attraction and Possibility When Sex Is Just Business". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- Ng, Philiana (June 27, 2013). "'The Hughleys' Star Books TV Land Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- Terrace, Vincent (April 23, 2021). Television Movies of the 21st Century. McFarland & Company. p. 3. ISBN 9781476684123.
- Caramanica, Jon (November 14, 2014). "Resinging the Song of a Life Cut Short". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- Turchiano, Danielle (April 29, 2020). "Judy Greer, Steve Guttenberg Among Cast for Blumhouse Television's 'Into the Dark: Good Boy' (EXCLUSIVE)". Yahoo!. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- Lentz, Harris M. (2001). Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits: Television shows. McFarland & Company. p. 1829.
- "Tales Episode 2 – 'I Got a Story to Tell' Cast". BET.com. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Marill, Alvin H. (2005). Movies Made for Television, 1964-2004: 1990-1999. Scarecrow Press. p. 73.