March 14, 1966
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
F Gary Gray, F. Gary Gray
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An attractive, rising African-American star of film and TV, Elise Neal first garnered attention with roles in four films released in 1997, including playing a teenager whose family takes in a mysterious border in John Singleton's "Rosewood," Chris Tucker's pregnant girlfriend in "Money Talks" and as Neve Campbell's college roommate in "Scream 2." Born and raised in Tennessee, Neal originally hoped for a career as a dancer and spent one year studying in Philadelphia after high school. Relocating to Manhattan, she made her Broadway debut in the short-lived, all-black revival of the Gershwin musical "Oh, Kay!" in 1990 and supported herself doing commercials. Branching into acting, Neal appeared in an episode of "Law & Order" and landed a recurring role of a street-smart teen on the ABC soap opera "Loving" in 1994. A memorable turn as a young breast cancer patient on "Chicago Hope" led to the regular role of Lt. J.J. Fredricks on the NBC sci-fi series "seaQuest DSV" during the 1995-96 season. Following her banner year, the actress appeared as a waitress and singer who begins an interracial romance with a bartender in the acclaimed independent film "Restaurant" (1998). After establishing herself in features, Neal returned to the small screen to play the exasperated wife of a successful suburbanite in "The Hughleys" (ABC, 1998-2000; UPN, 2000-02).