African Americans Making History and a Better Future
Wayne Alphonso Brady (born June 2, 1972) is known for his work as a regular on the American version of the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He was host of the The Wayne Brady Show, the original host of Fox’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, and has hosted Let’s Make a Deal since its 2009 revival.
Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia to West Indian parents, and moved to Orlando, Florida as a young child to live with his grandmother and aunt. Brady refers to his grandmother, Valerie Petersen, as his “mom,”. Brady’s career began as one of the improvisational theater performers in the original (British) version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Brady won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety, Musical or Comedy Series for his work on the show, the only person to win the award for a television series. In 2004, Brady joined the Broadway revival of Chicago, playing the role of lawyer Billy Flynn. He guest starred on the Sci Fi Channel’s hit series show Stargate SG-1 as Trelak, the first-prime of the Goa’uld System Lord, Ares. He made an appearance on Chappelle’s Show, poking fun at his squeaky clean persona. Brady made several guest appearances on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Brady guest starred as Julius Rock’s gifted younger brother, Louis, in the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. On May 3 he appeared on Dancing With The Stars as the lead performer in a tribute to James Brown.
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In 2007, Brady became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board. Brady has been married twice. He married Diana Lasso on December 31, 1993. They divorced on September 21, 1995. On April 3, 1999, he married dancer Mandie Taketa. He and Taketa have one child, a daughter named Maile Masako Brady, born on February 3, 2003. Brady and Taketa separated on April 5, 2006. Wayne stated in a November 2014 Entertainment Tonight interview that he suffers from clinical depression, and that he suffered a mental breakdown on his 42nd birthday. He credits Taketa for helping him recover.
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