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Keenen Ivory Wayans Biography

Birth Place:
New York, New York, United States
Actor, producer, director, screenwriter, comedian

Fast Facts

  • Studied engineering in college
  • Began his entertainment career performing stand-up comedy in New York and Los Angeles
  • Coproduced and cowrote Eddie Murphy's hit concert film Raw (1987)
  • Hosted a short-lived late-night talk show, The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show (1997-98)
  • Appeared in the documentary The Black List: Volume One (2008), which consisted of interviews with influential black Americans
  • Is a vegetarian, and has appeared in a "Do It for Someone You Love" PSA as part of a campaign to encourage people to eat healthier
  • Says he prefers directing small-budget films
  • Received the Entertainment Icon Award at the 15th Annual American Black Film Festival in July 2011


  • 1992Emmy-Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program: nominated
  • 1992Emmy-Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program (series): nominated
  • 1991Emmy-Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program: nominated
  • 1991Emmy-Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program: nominated
  • 1990Emmy-Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series: winner
  • 1990Emmy-Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program: nominated