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Gabrielle Monique Union (born October 29, 1972) is an Americamarker actress and former model. Among her notable roles is as the cheerleader opposite Kirsten Dunst in the film Bring it On. Union also starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the blockbuster film Bad Boys II and played a medical doctor in the CBS drama series City of Angels. She also starred with LL Cool J and Meagan Good in Deliver Us from Eva in 2003.


Early life

Union was born in Omaha, Nebraskamarker, the daughter of Theresa and Sylvester Union. She was raised as a Roman Catholic At the age of eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, Californiamarker, where she grew up and attended Foothill High Schoolmarker. In high school, Union was an all-star point guard and a year round athlete participating in soccer, basketball, and track. During this time, Union dated current Dallas Mavericks star point guard Jason Kidd.


Union attended the University of Nebraska before moving on to Cuesta Collegemarker. She eventually transferred to UCLAmarker and earned a degree in Sociology; while studying there, she interned at a modeling agency to earn extra academic credits. She was asked by the agency to sign on with them as a new model. She needed money to pay off some college loans and debts, so she eventually agreed to become a fashion model.

Union started her acting career in minor roles. Most were in teen movies like 10 Things I Hate About You and Love and Basketball. In 1997, Union appeared in a sixth-season episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Klingon N'Garen. She also appeared in Sister, Sister as Vanessa, in Smart Guy as Denise, and in five episodes of 7th Heaven as Keesha Hamilton. In 2000, Union landed the role of Isis in the cheerleading movie Bring it On opposite Kirsten Dunst. Bring It On helped push Union into the mainstream and she began gaining more exposure. This led to Union being cast in the CBS television drama City of Angels as Dr. Courtney Ellis.

Union was cast in her first leading role in the 2003 film Deliver Us from Eva with rapper L.L. Cool J. This was her second time working with the rapper since making a cameo in his video "Paradise" in 2002. The film received fair reviews from critics and it showed that Union was a leading lady. But first, Union landed the role of Oscar nominee Will Smith's girlfriend Syd in the film Bad Boys II, a box office success grossing over $273 million worldwide. Union then starred with Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx in the film Breakin' All the Rules in 2004.

Union starred in the short-lived 2005 ABC series Night Stalker. She has also starred in the independent drama films Neo Ned and Constellation, the latter of which was released to theaters. She also starred in the 2005 remake of The Honeymooners with comedian Cedric The Entertainer. In 2006, she starred as Busta Rhymes' love interest in the music video for Rhymes' "I Love My Chick". Union starred in the 2007 films Daddy's Little Girls by Tyler Perry (released on Valentine's Day) and the Christmas film The Perfect Holiday which opened on December 12.

In an interview with Art Nouveau Magazine, Union complained about the lack of roles for black actresses and actors in Hollywoodmarker: "There used to be [roles] specifically written black, if you knew Denzel was doing a movie you knew his wife, girl or love interest was going to be black [but] that’s not necessarily the case anymore. You’re in that room with every amazingly talented actress of every hue, and it’s a dogfight, it’s hard".

In 2008, Union appeared on Ugly Betty for three episodes (36-38) as Renee, Wilhelmina Slater's (Vanessa L. Williams) sister and Daniel Meade's (Eric Mabius) love interest. She also made a cameo appearance in the music video for Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent".

She joined the cast of the U.S. television series Life on NBC and appeared in four episodes prior to the cancellation of series in May 2009. She appears in the ABC series FlashForward alongside John Cho and Joseph Fiennes which premiered on September 24, 2009.

Personal life

In 1992, at age 19, Union was attacked, beaten and raped at her part-time job in a shoestore. Her attacker later turned himself in and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. She has since become an advocate for victims of sexual assault. Union was once married to football player Chris Howard. They divorced in 2005. Since she has been linked to rapper Ludacris in 2007. Most recently she has been linked to Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

Awards and nominations

  • BET Awards
    • 2005, Best Actress (Nominated)
    • 2004, Best Actress (Nominated)
    • 2003, Best Actress (Nominated)

  • Image Awards
    • 2005, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture: Breakin' All the Rules (Nominated)
    • 2005, Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-Series: Something the Lord Made (Nominated)
    • 2004, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture: Deliver Us From Eva (Nominated)
    • 2004, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Bad Boys II (Nominated)




  1. Gabrielle Union Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  2. Gabrielle Union stars in 'The Perfect Holiday' | ScrippsNews
  3. Gabrielle Union: the sky is the limit Hollywood's rising star. | Jet (May , 2004)
  4. | Art Nouveau Magazine | Art, Fashion, Music, Culture
  5. CALCASA, Actress Gabrielle Union, State Legislators Kick Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month Statewide Campaign Throughout April Provides Education, Resources for Residents on Preventing Sexual Assault
  6. Union and Ludacris?
  7. Union and Wade coupled up

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