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Anthony Anderson Biography

Saw Mother Perform In Play, Television Career Grew, Pay Phone Resurfaced As GagSelected works



Anderson, Anthony, photograph. Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

One of the fastest-rising African-American comic actors of the early 2000s was Anthony Anderson, who broke through to fame in 2000 with roles in the hit films Big Momma's House and Me, Myself & Irene. Following in the footsteps of other modern comedians such as Bernie Mac, he created comic situations modeled closely on his own life and experiences; his television series All About the Andersons (2003) drew on his relationship to his family. With his friendly, quick-witted image and his strong feel for the comedy inherent in family relationships, Anderson became a familiar face even to casual film and television fans.

Born in Los Angeles on August 15, 1970, Anderson grew up in the tough but culturally fertile suburb of Compton, California. He was born into the acting life; his mother Doris was a telephone operator and an aspiring actress who had roles as an extra in such films as Uptown Saturday Night, and she put her son on stage in a play while he was still a baby. The strong male figure in Anderson's life was his stepfather Sterling Bowman, the owner of a chain of stores with clothes for plus-sized women. "For my sixth birthday my biological father said he was going to bring me a bike but never did," Anderson recalled to Jeannine Amber of Essence. "So my real daddy went out and got me one. That's my dad."


Life, 1999.

Liberty Heights, 1999.

Romeo Must Die, 1999.

Big Momma's House, 2000.

Me, Myself & Irene, 2000.

Kingdom Come, 2001.

Two Can Play That Game, 2001.

Exit Wounds, 2001.

Barbershop, 2002.

Kangaroo Jack, 2002.

Scary Movie 3, 2003.

Malibu's Most Wanted, 2003.

Cradle 2 the Grave, 2003.

My Baby's Daddy, 2003.

Hustle & Flow, 2004.

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, 2004.

King's Ransom, 2005.


Hang Time, 1996-98.

All About the Andersons, 2003.

The Shield, 2005.



Chicago Sun-Times, January 22, 2003, p. 50.

Daily News (Los Angeles), September 12, 2003, p. U30.

Essence, March 2004, p. 128.

Jet, February 3, 2003, p. 54; October 25, 2004, p.35.

People, October 27, 2003, p. 36; November 17, 2003, p. 120.

TelevisionWeek, April 28, 2003, p. 10.

Toronto Sun, October 23, 2003, p. 78.

Variety, January 12, 2005, p. 14.


"Anthony Anderson," All Movie Guide, http://www.allmovie.com (March 1, 2005).


The Tavis Smiley Show, National Public Radio, October 24, 2003, transcript.

—James M. Manheim

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