Wanda Sykes

  • Birth Name: Wanda Sykes
  • Birth Place: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
  • Profession: Comedian, Writer, Actor
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Fast Facts

  • After college, worked at the National Security Agency as a procurement officer, which included negotiating contracts for spying equipment.
  • While at the NSA in 1987, heard about a talent showcase for aspiring comics and (though she had no experience) wrote five minutes of material at her desk. Although she didn't win, she was hooked, and eventually quit her day job in 1992 to pursue stand-up comedy.
  • Opened for Chris Rock at Caroline's comedy club in New York City in 1995; he hired her as a writer when he launched The Chris Rock Show in 1997.
  • In 2004, published the book, Yeah, I Said It, a collection of her comical observations and anecdotes.
  • Was one of the subjects one the PBS series Finding Your Roots in 2012.
  • Publicly came out as a lesbian in 2008 and has been an activist for same-sex marriage since.

Awards

  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program: Nominee
  • 2019, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special: Nominee
  • 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 2017, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2018, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program: Winner
  • 2019, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Comedy Act: Nominee
  • 1998, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program: Nominee

Relationships

  • Marion Louise Peoples — Mother
  • Harry Ellsworth Sykes — Father
  • Dave Hall — Ex-husband
  • Harry Sykes — Father
  • Alex Sykes — Wife
  • Olivia Lou — Daughter
  • Lucas Claude — Son
  • Marion Sykes — Mother

College

  • Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, United States (BS in Marketing, 1986)
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