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Retta

Inspired by the likes of Roseanne, Drew Carey and Tim Allen, Retta began her career as a stand-up-comedienne before making the leap to television, eventually becoming a permanent fixture on critical darling "Parks and Recreation" (NBC 2009-15) as sassy Benz-loving dating expert Donna Meagle. Born Marietta Sirleaf in New Jersey, Retta initially considered becoming an opera singer before studying for a sociology degree at Duke University, NC. Taking a year out before medical school, she worked as a contract chemist for GlaxoSmithKline but after realizing that medicine wasn't her calling, soon moved to Los Angeles to pursue a comedy career instead. In 1997, Retta made her on-screen debut as a hostess in teen sitcom "Moesha" (UPN 1996-2001) and first started earning money as a stand-up on the college circuit a year later. After winning Comedy Central's Laugh Riots Stand-Up Competition, she performed at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival, and ventured into the film world with minor roles as office manager Bruna in bawdy comedy "Slackers" (2002) and Sad Eyed Sadie in the cameo-filled "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" (2003). Following small parts in TV movie "Complex" (2005) and eponymous sitcoms "Freddie" (ABC 2005-06) and "Rodney" (ABC 2004-06), Retta returned to the big screen as an evidence room cop in twisty legal thriller "Fracture" (2007), became the penultimate notch on Simon Baker's bedpost in the dark sci-fi comedy "Sex and Death 101" (2007) and appeared as a receptionist in South Korean action fantasy "Dragon Wars: D War" (2007). While in 2008, she guested as a hardware store clerk in "It's Always Sunny Philadelphia" (FX, 2005-) and added to her filmography with bit-parts in interconnecting drama "Reservations" (2008), Ice Cube vehicle "First Sunday" (2008) and rom-com "Kissing Cousins" (2008). But she achieved her big break a year later when she was cast as no-nonsense office manager Donna Meagle in the award-winning "Parks and Recreation" (NBC 2009-15), regularly stealing scenes from her more high-profile co-stars with just a single perfectly-delivered one-liner. As Retta's visibility in the show gradually began to increase, she also became an in-demand talk show guest and was invited to host the 3rd Critics TV Choice Awards. While after showing up in an episode of "Kroll Show" (Comedy Central, 2013-15), she appeared as Leah in body image rom-com "Muffin Top: A Love Story" (2014) and Sydney in indie comedy "Sex Ed" (2014).
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