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Comedian and Actress Leslie Jones

Key Facts

Full Name Annette Jones
Age 56 years old
Birthday September 7, 1967
Birthplace Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Height 6′ 0′′
Relationship Status Single
Net Worth $5 million
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Leslie Jones is an American comedian, actress and writer best known for her work on Saturday Night Live and films like Ghostbusters. With her brash stand-up comedy style and sharp wit, Leslie has become one of the most popular personalities in entertainment today.

Early Life and Background

Leslie Jones was born on September 7, 1967 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was young where she grew up in Lynwood, CA.

Jones has described her childhood as "rough" – her father left the family when she was little and her mother struggled supporting Leslie and her four siblings. Comedy became an escape for her at a young age. She has said that she used humor as a coping mechanism through difficult times growing up.

Jones developed a passion for performing, playing the drums and participating in theater in high school. She attended Chapman University on a basketball scholarship, eventually graduating with a degree in communications and theater.

After college, the naturally funny Jones began pursuing stand-up comedy full-time in 1987 at age 20. She moved to New York City to further her comedy career, performing at renowned clubs like The Comedy Store, Caroline‘s and The Comic Strip.

Early Comedy Career

Leslie hit the stand-up circuit hard in the ‘90s, determined to make it as a comedian. Some early career highlights include:

  • Appearing on BET‘s stand-up showcase ComicView in the early 1990s
  • Touring across the country as part of the Def Comedy Jam tour in 1992
  • Landing a writing job on The Chris Rock Show in the late 1990s

She also performed at top comedy festivals like Just For Laughs in Montreal and the Aspen Comedy Festival. After years on the stand-up circuit honing her craft, Leslie Jones was poised for a major breakthrough.

Breakout Success on Saturday Night Live

Jones‘ big break came in 2014 when she was hired by Saturday Night Live as a writer and cast member at age 47. She became a regular on Weekend Update, playing characters like no-nonsense relationship expert Leslie Jones.

"I just get to be myself because I‘m playing a character named Leslie Jones. So it works out." – Leslie on playing herself on SNL

Some of Leslie‘s most popular SNL characters include:

  • The exasperated relationship expert Leslie Jones – she would fire off hilarious dating advice and one-liners.
  • Celebrity impersonations like Whoopi Goldberg, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama.
  • Raunchy sketches like the messy adult version of Virginiaca.

Jones was promoted to repertory player in 2015, making her an official full-time cast member. She earned two Emmy nominations for her work on SNL in 2017 and 2018.

Leslie Jones made SNL history as the oldest person to join the cast at 47. She helped bring more diversity to the long-running sketch show.

Film Career

Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters

In 2016, Leslie Jones achieved a career milestone by co-starring in the female-led Ghostbusters remake opposite Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon. She portrayed Patty Tolan, a subway worker with extensive knowledge of New York City history who joins the Ghostbusters team.

The movie grossed over $229 million worldwide. Jones received praise for her performance, with many citing her as the funniest part of the film.

Other notable films include:

  • Lottery Ticket (2010)
  • Top Five (2014)
  • Coming 2 America (2020) – returned as Mary Junson
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) – voice role

Hosting and Television

In addition to her SNL work, Leslie Jones has taken on some high-profile hosting gigs.

  • In 2017, she made history by becoming the first woman comedian to host The BET Awards.
  • She hosted the revival of game show Supermarket Sweep, bringing her own brand of sassy humor.

Jones has made guest appearances on shows like Workaholics, Love Thy Neighbor and The League. She also served as a guest judge on shows like America‘s Got Talent and RuPaul‘s Drag Race.

Personal Life

Outside of work, Leslie Jones has said she enjoys exercising, live comedy shows, and relaxing at home with her two dogs – Sammy and Lola.

She is an avid sports fan who especially loves the Los Angeles Dodgers and LA Lakers. She played college basketball at Chapman University on a full athletic scholarship.

Jones has never been married and does not have children. In interviews, she has indicated she is happy with her single status and busy career.

Overcoming Controversy and Abuse

Being in the public eye has not always been easy for Leslie Jones. In 2016, she was the victim of extensive online abuse including hacking and the release of personal photos.

She has been open about the painful effects of the harassment, but remains determined not to let the trolls win. Jones testified before Congress about her experiences and became an advocate against cyberbullying and online harassment.

"I was threatened and branded with some of the worst racial and gender slurs I’ve ever seen floating around the internet. I decided to share my pain and my story in order to educate the public." – Leslie Jones‘ testimony to Congress

Despite the challenges, she continues to speak out and stand up for herself against online abusers.

What‘s Next for Leslie Jones?

Even after her departure from SNL in 2019, Leslie Jones remains busier than ever. She continues to do stand-up tours and recently released a Netflix comedy special called Time Machine.

With her genuine personality, bold humor and determination, Leslie Jones has solidified herself as one of the most popular comedians today. Her fans can expect many more hilarious moments from this groundbreaking performer, both on-screen and off.