Date of Birth : Oct 30th 1970
An American actress and occasional music video director. She is best known for her roles in Big Momma’s House, Soul Food, and Are We There Yet?.
Born in Brooklyn, New York to Talita and Doughtry “Doc” Long, a Trinidadian couple. Her father was a high school teacher and her mother was an art teacher and a bus driver. Her stage name, Nia, is one of the seven days of Kwanzaa, which means “purpose” in Swahili. Her parents divorced when Long was two years old, and she and her mother moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where her mother studied fine arts. They subsequently moved to a South Los Angeles neighborhood when Long was seven. Long’s father currently resides in New Jersey in the township of Ewing. Long also has a step sister which is Sommore star of Queens of Comedy.
Long attended Christian school and studied ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, guitar and acting. She graduated from Westchester High School in 1989. Due to the lack of employment opportunities in the Arts in Los Angeles when Long and her mother first arrived there, Long’s mother took various low-paying jobs (despite having two master’s degrees). The family suffered through financial struggle for years, which motivated Long’s desire for success.
For fifteen years, Long was instructed by acting coach Betty Bridges, better known as the mother of Diff’rent Strokes child star Todd Bridges. Her first notable role was a three-year contract role as Kathryn “Kat” Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. Long portrayed Kat from 1991 to 1994. From 1994 to 1995, she played Will Smith’s love interest on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In 2003, she joined the cast of the drama Third Watch where she played Officer Sasha Monroe until the series ended in 2005. In 2005 and 2006, Long appeared on Everwood as Cassie, daughter of Irv Harper. Long appeared on Boston Legal during its 2006-2007 season.
Long has had a prolific film career. She appeared in supporting roles in a number of movies such as Boyz N the Hood, Friday, and Made in America. Long played a leading role, or a member of the primary ensemble, in several films, including Soul Food, Love Jones, Boiler Room, Big Momma’s House,Are We There Yet?, and The Best Man. Ice Cube has starred with her in four films, while Regina King has starred with her in two. Long starred alongside actor Michael Beach in the movie Soul Food and in the TV series Third Watch.
Long appears in the video for Kanye West’s “Touch The Sky”. She directed Yolanda Adams’s music video for “This Too Shall Pass”. Long was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the World 2000 by People magazine. She also took 3rd place in a poll by the readers of Black Men’s Magazine for “The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year” in 2000. She won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 for her performance on Third Watch. Long co-directed and appeared in Ashanti’s music video, “Baby”. She also made a guest appearance as Stacey during season one of the sitcom Living Single.
The actress’s long-time boyfriend and fellow actor Massai Z. Dorsey have a son, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, born on November 26, 2000. Dorsey and Long were engaged and had planned a wedding for 2001, but ended their relationship before then.