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Wanda Sykes Biography

Birth Name:
Wanda Sykes
Birth Place:
Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Profession
Comedian, writer, actor

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

  • 2020Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 2019Emmy-Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special: nominated
  • 2018Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 2010Emmy-Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: nominated
  • 2010Emmy-Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: nominated
  • 2007Emmy-Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: nominated
  • 2001Emmy-Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program: nominated
  • 2000Emmy-Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program: nominated
  • 1999Emmy-Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program: winner
  • 1998Emmy-Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program: nominated

Relationships

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