Monique was born on December 11, 1967 in Baltimore,
Maryland. She started in stand-up comedy on a dare and was soon appearing on It’s Showtime at the Apollo and Def Comedy Jam. She made appearances on Moesha and The Bernie Mac Show before landing a starring role on The Parkers. In 2009, Mo’Nique won an Academy Award for her performance in Precious, a film based on the novel Push by Sapphire.
Comedian, actress. Born Monique Imes on December 11, 1967, in Baltimore, Maryland. One of three children born to Steven Imes Jr. and his wife Alice, Mo’Nique has parlayed an extremely successful stand-up profession into a career that’s seen her become an actress, author, clothing designer, and even the host of her own late night talk show.
Mo’Nique got her start as a young college student when, on a dare from her brother Steven, she took the stage one night during an open mic session at the Comedy Factory Outlet in Baltimore. The audience loved her, and the club owners offered her the chance to host her own show at a local beauty parlor the following week for $25.
Soon, Mo’Nique was taking the stage every chance she could. When she was offered the chance by her employer to relocate to Atlanta, Mo’Nique jumped at it, believing she’d catch more breaks and find more opportunities in the South to pursue her comedy.
It proved to be a smart move. Just two years after that initial dare from her brother, Mo’Nique had earned enough stand-up work that she could pursue comedy full-time. Known for her less-than-svelte size, Mo’Nique celebrated her girth and her womanhood in a way comedy fans adored. Soon, she was on the music circuit, her brand of comedy tapped to open up for musicians like Keith Sweat and Bobby Brown.
In 1989, Mo’Nique got her first significant break when she was selected to appear on It’s Showtime at the Apollo. Other big-ticket appearances soon followed, including Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam and BET’s Comic View.
After a handful of appearances on the UPN comedy Moesha, and several other television spots, including an appearance on The Bernie Mac Show, Mo’Nique was launched full-time in the living rooms of American homes in 1999 with a starring role in the UPN sitcom, The Parkers.