Kimberly Elise: An Insightful Career Retrospective

Real Name:Kimberly Elise Trammel
Birthday:April 17, 1967
Net Worth$2 million
Height:170 cm
Occupation:American Actress

Kimberly Elise, born April 17, 1967, is a talented American actress known for her impressive performances and dedication to her craft. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she has made a significant impact on the entertainment industry, with an extensive list of film and television credits to her name. With each role, Elise showcases her versatility and depth as an actress, positioning herself as one of Hollywood’s leading talents.

Elise made her feature-film debut in the 1996 drama Set It Off and garnered critical acclaim for her performance in the 1998 film Beloved. Throughout her career, she has appeared in numerous notable films, such as John Q (2002), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), and The Manchurian Candidate (2004). In addition to her work on the big screen, Elise has also made her mark on television, further showcasing her range as an actress.

From her humble beginnings in Minneapolis to her success in Hollywood, Kimberly Elise has become a respected figure in the entertainment world. Her dedication to her craft and ability to captivate audiences make her a force to be reckoned with.

Early Life and Education

Minnesota Roots

Kimberly Elise Trammel was born on April 17, 1967, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She spent her childhood days in the city, raised by her mother, Erma Jean, who was an elementary school teacher, and her father, Marvin Trammel, the owner of an executive search firm. Elise has three siblings, growing up in a loving and supportive family environment.

University Studies

Elise pursued her higher education at the University of Minnesota, where she studied Communications. Being passionate about acting from an early age, she later transferred to the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California. This move provided her with the opportunity to delve deeper into her love for acting, gain acting knowledge, and hone her skills in the field.

Acting Career

Film Breakthrough

Kimberly Elise, a talented actress, first gained notable recognition in the mid-1990s. Her breakthrough role came in the film “Set It Off,” where she portrayed the character Tisean. Following this success, she continued to feature in various acclaimed movies. Among these were Oprah Winfrey’s “Beloved,” the drama “John Q” alongside Denzel Washington, and Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Elise also delivered a powerful performance in the ensemble film “For Colored Girls.”

Television Roles

In addition to her film career, Elise has proven her versatility with numerous television roles. She has starred in crime dramas like CBS’s “Close to Home” (2005-07) and appeared in popular series such as “Grey’s Anatomy” (2009) and “Private Practice” (2007). Venturing into comedy-drama, she further showcased her range in the VH1 series “Hit the Floor” (2013-2016).

Stage Performances

Though primarily known for her film and television work, Kimberly Elise has also appeared in select stage productions. A notable stage role was her portrayal of Helen in the drama “Ad Astra,” which allowed her to delve into a complex character-driven narrative.

In conclusion, Kimberly Elise has built an impressive acting career spanning various film genres such as crime, drama, and comedy. With an extensive filmography that includes standout performances in movies like “Set It Off” and “Beloved,” as well as television roles and stage appearances, Elise has solidified her position as a versatile and skilled actress.

Notable Film Contributions

Hollywood Impact

Kimberly Elise has made a significant impact in Hollywood through her work in various films. One of her notable performances was in The Manchurian Candidate (2004), where she starred alongside Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. The film received critical acclaim and showcased Elise’s ability to hold her own among seasoned actors.

In addition to her Hollywood roles, Elise has acted in a range of independent films that explore diverse themes and genres. Her performance in the 2016 comedy-drama Almost Christmas garnered positive reviews and showcased her ability to take on lighter, comedic roles.

Independent Films

Outside of mainstream Hollywood, Kimberly Elise has also made significant contributions to independent cinema. In the critically acclaimed film Dope (2015), she played a supporting role and brought depth to her character. The film was nominated for several awards, including the coveted Independent Spirit Award.

Another notable performance in the independent film sphere was her role in Death Wish (2018), a crime drama that put Elise’s range and versatility as an actress on full display.

Throughout her career, Kimberly Elise has consistently provided memorable and impactful performances, both in Hollywood and independent films. Her dedication to her craft and ability to adapt to various roles has earned her recognition and respect within the industry, making her a valuable asset to any film project she takes on.

Collaborations and Co-Stars


Kimberly Elise has had the opportunity to work with renowned directors throughout her career. Her big screen debut was in the 1996 crime action film Set It Off, directed by F. Gary Gray. Later in her career, Elise joined forces with Tyler Perry in the 2010 drama film For Colored Girls, where she played the role of Crystal. Notable director Denzel Washington also expressed interest in Elise for a film project, showcasing her talent and appeal across genres.

Acting Colleagues

Elise has been fortunate enough to share the screen with numerous prominent actors. In Set It Off, she co-starred with Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Vivica A. Fox. The film resulted in both critical acclaim and box office success.

Some of Elise’s other notable acting colleagues include:

  • Thandie Newton: They both appeared in For Colored Girls, along with other powerful actresses like Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.
  • Bruce Willis: In the 2004 science fiction action film The Manchurian Candidate, Elise shared the screen with star Bruce Willis.

Throughout her career, Kimberly Elise has demonstrated not only her exceptional acting abilities but also her versatility, working with acclaimed directors and sharing the screen with A-list talent in the industry.

Awards and Recognition

Industry Accolades

Kimberly Elise has received numerous awards and nominations throughout her career, showcasing her talent as a versatile actress. Some of the most notable accolades include the NAACP Image Awards and the Black Reel Awards. She has received a total of 16 wins and 15 nominations. Her performance in the 1998 film “Beloved” earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the Acapulco Black Film Festival.

In 2010, Elise was awarded by the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) for her outstanding work. Apart from these, she has been nominated for several other awards, such as the Chicago Film Critics Association Award and the Satellite Award.

Cultural Honors

As an African-American actress, Kimberly Elise has been recognized for her contributions to the portrayal of diverse and powerful characters in film and television. She has been honored with:

  • NAACP Image Awards for her performances, which are given to honor outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in various fields, including motion picture, television, music, and literature.
  • Black Reel Awards for her compelling performances, which are annually presented to African-Americans and other people of color in the film industry.

Kimberly Elise’s body of work and her commitment to bringing authentic and relatable African-American characters to the screen have made her both a respected and celebrated artist in the industry. Through her consistent excellence, she continues to raise the bar for talent and representation in Hollywood.

Personal Life


Kimberly Elise Trammel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Erma Jean, an elementary school teacher, and Marvin Trammel, who owns an executive search firm. She has three siblings.

Kimberly first tied the knot with Maurice Oldham in 1989. The couple had two children together before their divorce in 2007. Maurice tragically passed away in 2017. Kimberly found love again and got remarried on September 9, 2024.


Throughout her life, Kimberly has maintained a passion for giving back to the community. A notable philanthropic endeavor is her strong support for animal rights. As a proud vegan, she promotes a healthy and compassionate lifestyle. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an international animal rights organization, recognizes Kimberly Elise as one of their celebrity supporters.

In addition, she is known for her spiritual beliefs, with a strong connection to God. This faith informs her outlook on life and her commitment to helping others.

Advocacy and Activism

Animal Rights

Kimberly Elise is a passionate advocate for animal rights. As a committed vegan, she has spoken openly about her decision to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, emphasizing its positive impact on both her health and the environment. Elise has also lent her support to various organizations dedicated to animal welfare, such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Her advocacy for animals extends not only to her dietary choices but also to her support of cruelty-free fashion and cosmetics.

  • Veganism: Kimberly has been a vegan for many years, believing in the compassionate treatment of animals and the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
  • PETA: As a prominent supporter of PETA, Kimberly Elise has participated in various campaigns to raise awareness about animal rights and cruelty-free living.

Social Causes

In addition to her animal rights advocacy, Kimberly Elise has been actively involved in numerous social causes, particularly those that affect the African-American community. She has consistently used her platform to speak out against various forms of abuse and to empower individuals, evident in her film choices such as ‘For Colored Girls’.

  1. Abuse: Elise is vocal about the importance of addressing and confronting abuse in all its forms. Her commitment to this cause is apparent through her participation in Tyler Perry’s ‘For Colored Girls’, a film adapted from the 1977 Broadway play that tells stories of abuse and empowerment.
  2. African-American Community: As a proud member of the African-American community, Kimberly Elise is invested in promoting social and political change that benefits marginalized groups. Her involvement in activism and advocacy reflects her deep-rooted commitment to address systemic inequalities and inspire positive change.

Off-Screen Endeavors

Business Ventures

Apart from her successful acting career, Kimberly Elise has taken a keen interest in entrepreneurship. She has launched her own brand of natural skincare products called Kimberly Elise Naturals. The skincare line focuses on providing chemical-free, vegan, and cruelty-free beauty products, catering to the needs of women with diverse skin types and textures. Kimberly Elise’s business acumen further extends to her collaboration and representation by Untitled Entertainment, a top-tier management company in the entertainment industry.

Social Media Presence

In today’s digital era, Kimberly Elise has effectively used social media platforms to connect with her fans and share glimpses of her personal and professional life. Her Instagram account, with a followers count exceeding 450K, showcases her movie promotions, behind-the-scenes moments, and advocacy for veganism and healthy living. Furthermore, her engagement with fans on Instagram has made her highly influential in promoting her skincare line and other endeavors.

Kimberly Elise has also established her presence on YouTube, where she shares content related to her lifestyle, skincare tips, vegan recipes, and her daily routine. The informative and personal nature of her videos has allowed her to develop a closer bond with her fans while sharing valuable knowledge on healthy living and wellness.

By striking the right balance between her acting career and off-screen endeavors, Kimberly Elise has demonstrated her versatility and adaptability in the ever-changing landscape of the entertainment industry. Her commitment to her passions and her ability to connect with her audience has undoubtedly played a significant role in her continued success.

Filmography Highlights

Lead Roles

Kimberly Elise has delivered powerful performances in various lead roles throughout her career. One of her earliest lead roles was in the 1996 crime action film, Set It Off, where she starred alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Vivica A. Fox. The film received critical acclaim and grossed over $41 million at the box office.

In 1998, Elise took on the emotional role of Denver in the film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Her portrayal of the character, the daughter of a former slave haunted by the ghost of her deceased child, was well-received by audiences and critics alike.

Supporting Parts

Aside from her impressive lead roles, Kimberly Elise has also shined in several supporting roles. In the 2010 drama film, For Colored Girls, she played the character Crystal, one of several ladies dealing with real-life trials and tribulations. With a star-studded ensemble cast, the film garnered both praise and critique for its portrayal of sensitive subjects.

On television, Elise played Sloane in the drama series Hit The Floor, which aired from 2013 to 2018. Her character, a former dancer-turned-basketball team executive, showcased her range as a performer.

In more recent years, Elise has taken on roles in notable films such as Ad Astra (2019), where she played Lorraine Deavers, and Death Wish (2018), in which she portrayed Detective Raines. In these films, she continued to demonstrate her versatility as an actress, working within various genres and displaying her talent for taking on complex characters.

Together, these roles illuminate Kimberly Elise’s noteworthy filmography and her ability to captivate audiences with her powerful performances.

Public Image

Media Portrayals

Kimberly Elise Trammel, born April 17, 1967, is an American actress best known for her powerful performances in notable films such as Set It Off (1996), Beloved (1998), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), and John Q (2002). Over the years, Elise has successfully portrayed various characters on screen, earning critical acclaim and respect for her acting skills. In her public appearances, such as red carpet events, she consistently presents herself as a poised and polished public figure.

Brand Endorsements

As of now, there is limited information available about Elise’s brand endorsements. However, she has frequently used her social media platforms, particularly Instagram, to express her interests in promoting a healthy lifestyle. On her Instagram account, Kimberly shares updates regarding her acting career as well as insights into her personal life, engaging with fans and followers in a genuine manner.

Her active and candid online presence has allowed her to enjoy a positive public image. Elise’s style of communication reflects a confident, knowledgeable, and sincere demeanor, which has helped in establishing her brand as an artist and public figure. Although there are no specific accounts of Elise being involved in major commercial endorsements, her presence in the media and online has undoubtedly made her a significant public figure in the entertainment industry.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.