Mo’Nique is a renowned contemporary African American actress, comedian, talk show host and author. She is best known for her role in the UPN series The Parkers as Nikki Parker. Moreover, she has hosted a number of shows as a stand-up comedian like Showtime at the Apollo. Later in her professional career, she headed toward more serious acting in films and garnered praise for her astonishing work.
Monique Angela Hicks was born on December 11, 1967, in Baltimore, Maryland to drug counselor Steven Imes Jr. and Alice Imes, an engineer by professor. She was the youngest in the family, who was abused by her brother Gerald in her childhood. Despite being subjected to abusive treatment, Mo’Nique made it to Milford Mill High School in Baltimore County. Afterwards, she attended Morgan State University and the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland from which she graduated with the class of 1987. Upon her graduation, she went on to work for the phone company MCI in Hunt Valley as a customer service representative.
Mo’Nique stepped into the entertainment industry inadvertently, as her brother Steve dared her to perform at Baltimore Comedy Factory Outlet during an open mic night. Henceforth, she hosted numerous venues as a stand-up comedian, such as Thank God You’re Here and Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam. In 1999, she landed a role in the UPN television series The Parkers. She is hosted and produced, a beauty pageant for plus-sized women, Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance. Her other television works include hosting of the first season of Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, which on-aired on VH1. She also made a guest-appearance in the popular TV series, Ugly Betty.
Mo’Nique is credited for her work on a television documentary, I Coulda Been Your Cellmate!, the documentary centers on the incarcerated women, featuring individual interviews with these women. It also explores the common factors that bring women to such state. In 2009, she created her own late-night talk show, The Mo’Nique Show. After hosting a series of television shows, Mo’Nique headed to films. She was offered several supporting roles in hit films. She played a vital character in the 2005 Tony Scott film, Domino. The major cast of the bounty hunt thriller included the popular Mickey Rourke and Keira Knightley. The following year she played the lead role in a comedy Phat Girlz, which shows the struggle of an obese fashion designer in search of acceptance and love. In 2008, she starred in Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, a comedy film. Some of her other movies include Two Can Play That Game, Soul Plane and Garfield: The Movie.
Furthermore, Mo’Nique appeared in a music video of soul singer Anthony Hamilton’s, “Sista Big Bones”. In addition to acting and hosting comedy shows, she has hosted a few award shows including the 2003 and 2004 BET Awards. Her opening performance of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’ at the award ceremony earned her great praise. Mo’Nique signed a Lee Daniel’s film Precious, playing an abusive mother of a teenager. Her outstanding performance garnered her Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize. She was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Award by The African-American Film Critics Association by unanimous vote. Among other prestigious accolades, Mo’Nique won the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress.