Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1967, Kimberly Elise attended the University of Minnesota, where she received a BA in Communications. Her first major onscreen credit came in a co-starring role in the successful action movie "Set It Off" (1996). Directed by F. Gary Gray and also starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Vivica A. Fox, the film followed four friends driven by desperation to rob banks. She was highly praised for her performance in the TV Movie "The Ditchdigger's Daughter" (1997), leading to another high profile role in the adaptation "Beloved" (1998) starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. She collaborated with Denzel Washington in the film "John Q" (2002), and again in "The Manchurian Candidate" (2004). Elise starred in "Diary of A Mad Black Woman" (2005), Tyler Perry's debut feature film, based on his play. Her first series regular role came on the legal drama "Close to Home" (CBS, 2005-07). Elise starred in the highly regarded adaptation "For Colored Girls" (2010) before landing another series regular role on the dance team drama "Hit the Floor" (VH1, 2013-). In 2018, Elise appeared in a substantial role in the remake of "Death Wish" (2018), starring Bruce Willis.