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Neal, Elise 1970–

NEAL, Elise 1970


Born March 14, 1970, in Memphis, TN; father, a construction worker. Education: Studied at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. Avocational Interests: Tennis, shooting pool.

Addresses: Contact 9150 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 350, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Agent Innovative Artists, 1505 Tenth St., Santa Monica, CA 90401. Manager Edmonds Management, 1635 N. Caguenga Blvd., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Career: Actress. Appeared in television commercials; performed as a dancer.

Awards, Honors: Image Award nominations, outstanding actress in a comedy series, 2000 and 2001, for The Hughleys.


Television Appearances; Series:

Janey Sinclair, Loving, ABC, 1994.

Lieutenant J. J. Fredricks, SeaQuest DSV (also known as SeaQuest 2032 ), NBC, 19951996.

Yvonne Hughley, The Hughleys, ABC, 19981999 then UPN, 20002002.

Tia Jewel, All of Us, UPN, 2003.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Young woman, There Was a Little Boy, CBS, 1993.

Amy, Chance of a Lifetime, CBS, 1998.

Carlita, Let It Be Me (also known as Love Dance ), Starz!, 1998.

Linda Sayers, Brian's Song, ABC, 2001.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Spa instructress, Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (also known as Tales of the City ), 1993.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Jill David, A.U.S.A., NBC, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Charlayne Ward, "Cradle to Grave," Law & Order, NBC, 1991.

Heather, "Car Wars," Family Matters, ABC, 1993.

Miss Jackie, "High Plains Dreamer," California Dreams, 1993.

Lisa, "Boyz in the Woodz," Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, ABC, 1993.

Wendy Robertson, "M Is for the Many Things She Gave Me," The Fresh Prince of BelAir, NBC, 1994.

Tamera Parnett, "Cutting Edge," Chicago Hope, CBS, 1995.

Millie, "Take the Points," Pointman, syndicated, 1995.

Lisa, "Here Comes the Groom," Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, 1995.

Sharon, "School's Out Forever," Living Single, Fox, 1996.

Juanita Du'Shea, "Pool Sharks Get Bit," The Steve Harvey Show, The WB, 1996.

"You Can Almost Go Home Again," Hitz, MTV, 1997.

"Coming to Chicago," The Steve Harvey Show, The WB, 1997.

Tanya Cooper, "The Rich Girl," The Wayan Brothers, The WB, 1998.

Catherine, "Wishboned," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1998.

Also appeared as Pandora, Out All Night, NBC; Debbie, Getting By, ABC; Arial, High Incident, ABC.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Alicia, Daddy's Girl, ABC, 1996.

The 12th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, 1997.

Host (Las Vegas), Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, ABC, 1998.

Host, Bloopers, ABC, 1999.

The 26th Annual American Music Awards, 1999.

E! RackNRoll: Behind the Scenes, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

The 2nd Annual Soul Train Christmas Starfest, syndicated, 1999.

6th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, syndicated, 2000.

The 15th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, syndicated, 2000.

Presenter, The Source HipHop Music Awards 2001, UPN, 2001.

Scream: The E! True Hollywood Story (documentary), E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Guest judge, Iron Chef USA: Showdown in Las Vegas, UPN, 2001.

3rd Annual BET Awards, Black Entertainment Television, 2003.

Film Appearances:

Hooker, Malcolm X (also known as X ), Warner Bros., 1992.

Beulah (Scrappie), Rosewood, Warner Bros., 1997.

Nadine, Def Jam's How to Be a Player (also known as How to Be a Player ), Gramercy/PolyGram, 1997.

Paula, Money Talks, New Line Cinema, 1997.

Hallie McDaniel, Scream 2, Dimension/Miramax, 1997.

Jeanine, Restaurant, Palisades Pictures, 1998.

Wing Commander, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1999.

Wilma Watson, The Rising Place, 1999.

Debra Graham, Mission to Mars (also known as M2M ), Buena Vista, 2000.

Gabi Paige, Sacred Is the Flesh, Strange Fruit, 2001.

Aunt Jane, Paid in Full, Dimension Films, 2002.

Summer, Playas Ball, Ventura, 2003.

Stage Appearances:

Uptown ... It's Hot!, LuntFontanne Theatre, New York City, 1986.

Oh, Kay!, Richard Rogers Theatre, New York City, 19901991.

Andree, "Mixed Babies," Class 1 Acts: '91'92, Manhattan Class Company, 1992.

Major Tours:

Sophisticated Ladies, world cities, 1989.


Music Videos:

Appeared in Aretha Franklin's "A Rose Is Still a Rose."

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"Neal, Elise 1970–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . 15 Dec. 2017 <>.

"Neal, Elise 1970–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . (December 15, 2017).

"Neal, Elise 1970–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from

Neal, Elise 1970–

Elise Neal 1970


At a Glance

Selected filmography


With a starring role on a popular television sitcom and several film roles to her credit, Elise Neal, nicknamed the Tennessee Tulip, is well on her way to the top. Seen weekly as Yvonne Hughley in ABCs The Hughleys, Neal has received an NAACP Image Award nomination for her portrayal of an African-American wife and mother acclimating to an upwardly-mobile lifestyle.

Elise Neal was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 14, 1970. She got her first taste of show business as a child when her dancing group made it to the finals on Star Search. She cited Shirley Temple movies as an early teacher and claims to have practiced her dance-steps with the movies. While in high school, Neal, a cheerleader and participator in state dance competitions, was voted homecoming queen. Always maintaining the dream of leaving her home town to be a dancer and choreographer, Neal overcame the skepticism of her teachers who encouraged her to set more realistic goals.

Neal attended colege in Philadelphia. After she and a group of college friends traveled from their school in Philadelphia to dance auditions in New York, Neal left college for a job as a dancer in a family show in an Atlantic City hotel. In 1991, Neal appeared in New York City at the Richard Rogers and the Lunt-Fontanne theaters in Oh, Kay!. She also toured major world cities in Sophisticated Ladies.

Since moving to Los Angeles, she has become one of the fastest-rising and most attractive young stars in film and television. Neal began with a series of guest appearances, including Law and Order, Family Matters, Chicago Hope, High Incident, and Fantasy Island. Neals film career began with the small role of a prostitute in the 1992 film Malcolm X. In 1994, Neal won the role of Janie Sinclair on ABCs daytime drama Loving, in which she played a waitress who soon became the girlfriend of the lead male character. The following year, she played Lt. J.J. Fredricks on NBCs SeaQuest DSV.

In 1997 Neal added four more films to her list of credits. She took on the role of Beulah in John Singletons Rosewood. This was Neals first major film role and she played a school teacher in a booming southern and primarily black town that faced destruction amid the resentment of a neighboring white community. Neal explained to The Commercial Appeal: I think one of the reasons they saw me playing

At a Glance

Born Elise Neal, on March 14, 1970, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Career: Actress. Stage: Oh, Kay!, 1991; television series: Loving, 1994; SeaQuest, 1995-96; The Hughley% 1998-; TV guest appearances: Law & Ordef 1992; family Matters, 1993; Chicago Hope, Ï 995, The Steve Harvey Show, 1997; Fantasy Island, 1998; TV specials: 12th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, 1997; Dick Clarks New Years Rockin Eve, 1998; Bloopers, 1999; 26th Annual American Music Awards, 1999; films: Malcolm X, 1992; Rosewood, 1997; How to Be a Player, 1997; Money Talks, 1997; Scream 2, 1997; Restaurant, 1998; Mission to Mars (2000); The Rising Place, 2001.

Addresses: Agenf9150 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

herespecially with as little experience as I had at that timewas the fact that I was Southern. My accent, Im sure, was the most authentic that they heard. Later that year, she appeared opposite Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen in the action comedy Money Talks. She also played a college student targeted by a copycat killer, in Scream 2. She then appeared with Bill Bellamy in How to be a Player. In 1998 Neal appeared in Restaurant, which debuted in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

Neals big break came in 1998, when she was cast as Yvonne Hughley in the hit television series The Hughleys. Co-starring comedian D.L. Hughley, the show revolves around an upwardly-mobile African-American family that has moved to a swanky Los Angeles suburb. Yvonne and the children have adjusted to their new environment well, finding good friends, for instance, in the white family across the street. But husband Darryl, a successful, self-made black business owner who comes from a working class background is constantly afraid that somehow he has sold out by joining the affluent whites in the affluent suburb. He worries that he and his family will lose their African-American heritage. The show has gathered a loyal followingit is the top-rated show by black audiences and among the top 20 shows for all audiencesas well as Peoples Choice Award nominations for both the series and for D.L. Hughley.

Hughley, also the producer and co-writer of the sitcom, chose Neal for the part with no audition, having seen her act two years earlier. In an interview with Jet, he spoke positively about Neals impact on the show: Theres something about that lady besides being an aesthetically beautiful woman. She has a soul that reminds me so much of my wife. Its just a rare spark that you see in a woman like that.

Neal has great respect for Hughley and his sitcom creation as well. I love the character that I play on The Hughleys. When I read the pilot it was about a strong black family, and I rarely saw that on TV, so I thought that it was a great idea. Neal continued in this interview with The Commercial Appeal to relate her respect for the show to her personal commitment to the character. I wanted her to be strong. I didnt want her to be a Yes, dear type of wife. I wanted her to care about her kids but still care about the things that were important to her and make those known in a lot of the scenes.

The success of The Hughleys has opened the door to more film roles for Neal. In 2000 she appeared in Brian DePalmas science fiction tale, Mission to Mars. The following year, Neal won a starring role in the independent film, The Rising Place, a film depicting a 1940s friendship of a white girl and a black girl and its impact on their respective families. Such successes persuade Neal that she has yet to reach the peak of her career. There is so much I would like to do. she told The Commercial Appeal. This is, to me, a kind of the tip of the iceberg. With anything, there are learning processes. And (with) each one Ive learned a little more. Ive taken a lot more in. And now Im just starting to feel like I get it.

A single woman, Neal, like many an attractive young stars in Hollywood, has discovered that her busy schedule does not allow much time for relationships. The press has only added to that difficulty, for, as Neal told Todays Black Woman, theyll have you walking down the aisle with someone you just met. However, Neal has always looked forward to starting a family of her own one day. I love challenges and new experiences, Neal told Todays Black Woman. Its all about opening your horizons.

Selected filmography


Malcolm X, 1992.

Rosewood, 1997.

How To Be A Player, 1997.

Money Talks, 1997.

Scream 2, 1997.

Restaurant, 1998.

Mission to Mars, 2000.

The Rising Place, 2001.


Oh, Kay!.

Sophisticated Ladies.


Law and Order, NBC, 1991.

Family Matters, ABC, 1993.

Loving, ABC, 1994.

Chicago Hope, CBS, 1995.

SeaQuest DSV, NBC, 1995.

High Incident, ABC, 1996.

Fantasy Island, ABC, 1998.

The Hughleys, ABC/UPN, 1998-.



The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), October 24, 2000.

Jet, December 7, 1999.

Todays Black Woman, April 1999.



Additional material for this profile was supplied by the United Paramount Network (UPN).

Rose Blue and Jennifer M. York

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Neal, Elise 1970–." Contemporary Black Biography. . 15 Dec. 2017 <>.

"Neal, Elise 1970–." Contemporary Black Biography. . (December 15, 2017).

"Neal, Elise 1970–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from