Primetime Emmy Award-nominated actress best known for playing Dr. Miranda Bailey on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.
Her acting career began at age five while performing at the Theater Under the Stars in Houston.
She worked as a bank temp across from South Tower of the World Trade Center and was there during the September 11 attacks.
She has three children, two girls and a boy, with her boyfriend, whom she began dating in 1988.
Her first regular TV role was in the short-lived TV series Bob Patterson with Jason Alexander.