Elise Neal

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Elise Neal
Neal at the Slim Fast fashion show in 2008
Elise Demetria Neal

(1966-03-14) March 14, 1966 (age 57)
EducationUniversity of the Arts
Years active1980–present

Elise Demetria Neal (born March 14, 1966)[1][2] is an American actress. In 1997, she made her big break appearing in three films, Rosewood, Money Talks and Scream 2.

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.

Early life[edit]

Neal was born on March 14, 1966, in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of a nurse and a construction worker.[1] 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.[3]

From 1984 to 1988, she attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.[1] 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.[4]


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).[4] She landed the role of Janice Sinclair on the soap opera Loving.[4] She then played fighter pilot J.J. Fredericks on the series seaQuest 2032.[5] Neal was cast in the high-profile role of Hallie in Scream 2.[6] Her character was originally written to be one of the killers of the movie, but due to a script leak her role was changed.[7] She portrayed school teacher Scrappie in Rosewood.[8]

Her breakout role was being cast as Yvonne Hughley, the wife of D.L. Hughley in the television sitcom The Hughleys (1998−2002).[9] 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.[10][11] She left the series in 2005.[12]

She has made guest appearances on Law & Order, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper,[4] and Method & Red.[13] Other film credits include: Paid in Full,[14] Money Talks,[15] and Mission to Mars. In Restaurant, she played Jeanine,[16] a waitress who aspires to be a singer.[17] Neal acted in a 2001 remake of Brian's Song as the wife of Gale Sayers.[18]

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,[19] the wife of Anthony Anderson's character.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

She played Alana in Love Ranch (2010).[23] Neal guest starred on an episode of The Soul Man.[24] She portrayed singer Gladys Knight in biopic Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (2014).[25] In a negative review of the film, Jon Caramanica opined Neal was the best actor in the production.[26] Neal played Kathryn Munson in the 2017 superhero film Logan and appeared on television series Into the Dark.[27][28][29][30]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Malcolm X Hooker
1993 Tales of the City Young Woman TV movie
1995 Let It Be Me Carlita
1997 Rosewood Beulah (Scrappie)
Def Jam's How to Be a Player Nadine
Money Talks Paula
Scream 2 Hallie
1998 Chance of a Lifetime Amy TV movie
Restaurant Jeanine
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
2007 4 Life Jare Video
2008 Who's Deal? Passion
2009 Preaching to the Pastor Monica
Jack and Janet Save the Planet Christie TV movie
2010 Let God Be the Judge Rachel
Love Ranch Alana
Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed Monique Video
Gun Rich's Mom
N-Secure Leslie
Love Me or Leave Me Josephine Wyatt TV movie
2011 The Slap Gloria Short
Lord, All Men Can't Be Dogs Diane
The Perfect Man Trisha
Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury Florence
Breathe Kristy Burgin
2012 The Undershepherd Sister Roberts
Who's Watching the Kids Delia
2013 School of Hard Knocks Kim Video
1982 Stacy
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
ANYWHERE, U.S.A. Kim Short
2017 Logan Kathryn Munson
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
2019 All In Gina
Nineteen Summers Porsha
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
2021 Ransum Games Denise
A State of Mind Keisha Thomas
2022 892 Juanita
Survival Tally Fruge
2023 Phels High Tina Lloyd
Christmas Angel Natalie


Year Title Role Notes
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"
Angel Teresa Main Cast


Year Title Role Notes
2008 My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage Herself
2011 Still Screaming: The Ultimate Scary Movie Retrospective Herself

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Movie/Serie Outcome
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


  1. ^ a b c Jason Buchanan (2008). "Elise Neal – Biography". movies.msn. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  2. ^ "On This Day In Comedy… In 1966 Actress Elise Neal Was Born!". The Humor Mill. March 28, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  3. ^ Davis, Corey (October 1, 2019). "Memphis actress forms partnership to help creative entrepreneurs". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "Winfrey autobiography is in the works". Star-News. November 2, 1994. p. 5D.
  5. ^ Garcia, Frank; Phillips, Mark (March 28, 2012). Science Fiction Television Series, 1990-2004. McFarland & Company. p. 209. ISBN 9780786469178.
  6. ^ West, Alexandra (June 5, 2018). The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and a New Hollywood Formula. McFarland & Company. p. 77. ISBN 9781476631288.
  7. ^ "Scream 2 rewritten after script leak". April 30, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Barclay, Dolores (February 22, 1997). "Singleton misses 'Rosewood' chance". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. p. C7.
  9. ^ McDonough, Kevin (September 22, 1998). "'Encore, Encore' is terrible, terrible". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 10C.
  10. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: A-E. McFarland & Company. p. 47.
  11. ^ Owen, Rob (May 16, 2003). "UPN's plans". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 41.
  12. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2007). TV Year: The Prime Time 2005-2006 Season. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 158. ISBN 9781557836847.
  13. ^ "Daily Highlights". Calhoun Times and Gordon County News. July 17, 2004.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (2004). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2005. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 505. ISBN 9780740747427.
  15. ^ Fhaner, Beth A. (1998). Magill's Cinema Annual: A Retrospective of the Films of 1997. Visible Ink Press. p. 380. ISBN 9781578590568.
  16. ^ Monush, Barry; Willis, John (March 25, 2002). Screen World 2001. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 13. ISBN 9781557834782.
  17. ^ "Actress Elise Neal on Neve Campbell, stereotypes and staying young". Boca Raton News. February 6, 2000.
  18. ^ Tate, Marsha Ann (2007). Canadian Television Programming Made for the United States Market. McFarland & Company. p. 142. ISBN 9780786427451.
  19. ^ "The 37th NAACP Image Awards". The Crisis. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 2006.
  20. ^ Donalson, Melvin (2007). Hip hop in American cinema. Peter Lang. p. 84. ISBN 9780820463452.
  21. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: F-L. McFarland & Company. p. 808.
  22. ^ Ogbogu, Stephanie (October 9, 2014). "[REALITY RECAP] 'Hollywood Divas' Made in the Shade". Ebony. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  23. ^ Holden, Stephen (June 29, 2010). "Attraction and Possibility When Sex Is Just Business". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  24. ^ Ng, Philiana (June 27, 2013). "'The Hughleys' Star Books TV Land Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  25. ^ Terrace, Vincent (April 23, 2021). Television Movies of the 21st Century. McFarland & Company. p. 3. ISBN 9781476684123.
  26. ^ Caramanica, Jon (November 14, 2014). "Resinging the Song of a Life Cut Short". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2001). Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits: Television shows. McFarland & Company. p. 1829.
  29. ^ "Tales Episode 2 – 'I Got a Story to Tell' Cast". BET.com. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  30. ^ Marill, Alvin H. (2005). Movies Made for Television, 1964-2004: 1990-1999. Scarecrow Press. p. 73.

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