WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 11: Tracee Ellis Ross attends the Marie Claire's Image Makers Awards 2018 on January 11, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.

Tracee Ellis Ross has made such a name for herself in Hollywood that you almost forget she is related to Diana Ross. While Tracee is the daughter of one of the most legendary singers, Tracee is her own woman. With her portrayal of intelligent women in hilarious sitcoms, her unforgettable guest star roles, and her infectious personality off-screen, she’s created a successful two-decades-long career.

She began her career in independent films and hosted The Dish on Lifetime. Her big break was when she scored the role of Joan Clayton on UPN/CW’s Girlfriends. Throughout her acting career, she has mainly played in comedic roles with a small variety of more serious parts.

What is Tracee Ellis Ross Up To Now?

In addition to being on television and in films, the Golden Globe-winning performer is also a household name in the beauty industry. She launched her hair care line, Pattern Beauty, in 2019. Ellis Ross is known for her curls, and Pattern Beauty puts textured hair at the forefront. The line sells shampoos, conditioners, oil treatments, and more. Earlier this year, it launched its first styling tool with attachments curated to curly hair. The products are sold in stores at Ulta Beauty, Sephora, and Target and at www.patternbeauty.com.

As for acting projects, according to the actress’ IMDB profile, she has just completed a project called Candy Cane Lane, where she will play the role of Carol Carver. This project is set to be out sometime this year. She also has a voice-acting role in a production called Jodie, where she plays the character Jodie. There is no release date for this project at this time. So far this year, she has played in Cold Copy, a thriller film about a journalism student who is trying to impress a hard news reporter. She also starred in a dramedy called American Fiction about writer Cord Jefferson.

Take a look at seven of her best roles ranked:

  • 8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2011)

    Ellis Ross was a guest star on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation back in 2011. She played the role of Gloria Parkes, the ex-wife of Laurence Fishburne’s character, Raymond. The two would star together again on ABC’s black-ish where she would play his daughter-in-law (weird, change right?). Her character on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation gets kidnapped by a serial killer but throughout the four episodes she’s on, she made a dynamic impact on telling Parkes’ character and not letting her just be someone’s annoying ex-wife that we later feel sorry for. You can watch CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, YouTube, CBS, Apple TV, and Pluto TV.

  • 7. Broad City (2016)

    Ellis Ross portrayed a hilarious flight attendant named Winona on an episode of Broad City back in 2016. When one of the main characters, Abbi, talks about her menstrual cycle on the plane as an “explosion,” it doesn’t go over too well. This is one of the actresses’ best guest star roles to date. You can relive the moment by watching Broad City on YouTube TV, Apple TV, YouTube, Hulu, Paramount+, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 6. Five (2011)

    Five tells the story of how five different women’s bout with breast cancer affects the lives of the people around them. The anthology story where Ellis Ross is seen is in the “Lily” chapter. Ross co-stars alongside Rosario Dawson and Jennifer Lewis in the film. Lewis would later become Ellis Ross’ mother-in-law on  black-ish three years later. There was also star power behind the lens as the “Lily” chapter was directed by Alicia Keys. You can watch Five on Lifetime and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 5. Reed Between the Lines (2011)

    Reed Between the Lines was Ellis Ross’ first stab at playing a TV mom. She starred as Dr. Carla Reed, a psychologist, with Malcolm-Jamal Warner. In Reed Between the Lines, the couple was raising three children; two were from a previous relationship. The series was renewed for a second season but Ellis Ross did not return. You can watch Reed Between the Lines on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Paramount+, and BET Plus.

  • 4. Life Support (2007)

    Life Support

    An HIV-positive woman's work at an AIDS outreach group helps her atone for the past, but winning back her family proves more difficult.

    Life Support is one of Ellis Ross’ more serious roles. She plays alongside Queen Latifah, a mother who was recently diagnosed with HIV. She has an estranged relationship with her daughter Kelly (Rachel Nicks) who she is trying to create a better bond with. The Los Angeles native plays Kelly’s friend’s older sister Amare (Evan Ross) who is her real-life younger brother. While Tracee seems very closed off she does show a more vulnerable side when speaking to Queen Latifah’s character later in the film. You can watch Life Support on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Max (formerly known as HBO).

  • 3. The High Note (2020)

    Ellis Ross channels her inner Diana Ross for her role in The High Note. Ellis Ross plays a narcissistic star who is doing everything she can to stay relevant. She also shows off her singing chops (it’s safe to say Diana taught her a thing or two) for a part that is like none other that she’s played so far in her career. You can feel on screen how much fun Tracee is having, and you can’t help but feel the same watching her in this role. You can watch The High Note on Peacock, YouTube, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 2. Girlfriends (2000-2008)

    Ellis Ross’ breakout role was as Joan Clayton in Girlfriends. It was her first lead role in a sitcom, and it lasted for eight seasons. The attorney and later restauranteur goes through the ups and downs of dating, family drama, and figuring out her career all with the help of her girlfriends Toni Childs (Jill Marie Jones), Lynn Searcy (Persia White), and Maya Wilkes (Golden Brooks). You can watch Girlfriends on Netflix.

  • 1. Blackish (2014-2022)

    Black-ish is Ellis Ross’ best role so far. The actress has won six NAACP Image Awards, earned four Emmy nominations and won a Golden Globe for her role as Rainbow “Bow” Johnson. She starred alongside Anthony Anderson (Andre “Dre” Johnson), Yara Shahidi (Zoey Johnson), Marsai Martin (Diane Johnson), Marcus Scribner (Andre Johnson Jr.), Miles Brown (Jack Johnson), Jenifer Lewis (Ruby Johnson), and Laurence Fishburne (Pops). The Johnsons are an upper middle class Black family in Sherman Oaks, Calif. and Ellis Ross plays anesthesiologist who also values hard work and being a loving (and sometimes) awkward mom to her five children.

    The show spawned two spin-offs: Mixed-ish where the premise is a better understanding of Bow’s non-traditional childhood and Grown-ish which stars the oldest daughter from black-ish Yara Shahidi.

    You can watch all three shows on Hulu.

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