Nia Long is an American actress probably best known for her roles on “Third Watch” and the film “Boyz n the Hood,” though she has appeared in a variety of other projects. She most recently appeared in “The Best Man Holiday” and “House of Lies.”
Nia Long wrote on Twitter about herself: “Living every moment with passion. Being love and loved.” Her full name is Nitara Carlynn Long. Her name Nia is one of the days of Kwanzaa and means “purpose” in Swahili. She is of Trinidadian descent.
Nia Long was born in Brooklyn, New York, though she moved to Iowa City, Iowa when she was two after her parents divorced, and then to South Los Angeles. In high school, she studied dance, guitar and acting, and graduated from Westchester High School in 1989.
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Nia Long has also appeared in “Soul Food,” “The Best Man,” “Big Momma’s House,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Her favorite role was in “Love Jones.” “I have a special place in my heart for that film…you saw two black people finding love, being in love, and losing love in a way that was urban with an edge.”
Nia Long has two children, Kez Sunday Udoka and Massai Zhivago Dorsey II. As for balancing motherhood with work, she said, “There’s a tremendous amount of organization and planning that goes into everyday…I’m really good at organizing.”
As for playing strong women, she said, “I just think playing a woman who’s strong and dynamic is more interesting…there has to be layers to any character.” In regards to “The Best Man Holiday” and dating, Nia said, “You love who you love, and you should be with who you love. That’s the end of the story for me.”
Aside from acting, she enjoys cooking, and stays in shape by hiking and horseback riding. Nia Long resides in Los Angeles, California.