GABOUREY "GABBY" SIDIBE
Date of Birth: May 6, 1983
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Gabourey Sidibe was raised in Harlem. She is the daughter of R&B/Gospel singer Alice Tan Ridley.
Gabourey was pursuing a degree in psychology when she was cast as Clareece 'Precious' Jones in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009).
Despite never having studied theater, Gabourey has spent time on stage, participating in plays put on by the theater department of Lehman College in the Bronx, including Peter Pan, The Wiz, and The Vagina Monologues. She also appeared in the musical revue Uptown Serenade, in which she sang two Ella Fitzgerald songs.
Gabourey had just started a new semester at college when a friend at Lehman College told her about a casting call for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. She was familiar with the novel Push, having read it a few years earlier when her mother was approached to appear in a stage adaptation. Gabourey read a few pages of the book to re-acquaint herself with Precious's voice, and decided to go the Monday morning audition. She was asked to come back on Tuesday for a second audition, then was asked to meet with the director on Wednesday, who offered her the role on the spot. It was a good choice—she received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominees.
Even though her acting career is a surprise to her, Gabourey is excited to pursue it and says the she has "fallen in love" with her work. In 2010, she was cast in a regular role as Andrea Jackson on the Showtime Networks sitcom The Big C and has since completed a role in Tower Heist (2011), starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. She also starred in the popular mini-series American Horror Story: Coven (2014) and in the thriller White Bird in a Blizzard (2014).