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Chandra Wilson

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Title: Chandra Wilson  
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Subject: List of Grey's Anatomy episodes, Grey's Anatomy, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Accidental Friendship, Death And All His Friends (Grey's Anatomy)
Collection: 1969 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 21St-Century American Actresses, Actresses from Houston, Texas, African-American Actresses, African-American Female Singers, African-American Television Directors, American Film Actresses, American Musical Theatre Actresses, American Stage Actresses, American Television Actresses, Living People, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Screen Actors Guild Award Winners, Tisch School of the Arts Alumni, Women Television Directors
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Chandra Wilson

Chandra Wilson
Wilson at the 2014 Voice Awards, August 2014
Born Chandra Danette Wilson
(1969-08-27) August 27, 1969 [1][2][3]
Houston, Texas
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1989–present
Children 3

Chandra Danette Wilson (born August 27, 1969) is an American actress, known for her role as Dr. Miranda Bailey in the ABC television drama Grey's Anatomy since 2005. She made her New York stage debut in 1991 and began to land guest spots on a variety of prime-time television shows. She made her first film appearance in the 1993 film Philadelphia.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Activism 3.1
  • Credits 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
    • Theatre 4.3
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Wilson was born in Houston, Texas. She started her theater career at the age of five with the Houston-based Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). Wilson attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she earned a BFA in drama. Her mother, a postal worker, wanted to keep her daughter active, so she enrolled Chandra in a litany of after-school activities that would set the course for her show business career. "Starting at age four, my mom decided that she was not going to have an idle child in the house," Wilson recalls. "So I started taking dance lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then I was in acting classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I was also modeling on Saturdays. And that was my childhood."

By the age of five, Wilson was performing in musicals with Houston's Theatre Under the Stars company. She attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and continued on to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a BFA in drama in 1991. For the next four years, from 1991–95, she studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute while at the same time racking up professional theater credits. She made her New York debut in a 1991 production of The Good Times Are Killing Me and won a Theater World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance. Her other early stage credits include off-Broadway productions of Paper Moon: The Musical and Little Shop of Horrors.

While she was making a name for herself on the New York stage, Wilson also began to land guest spots on a variety of prime-time television shows. She appeared on The Cosby Show (1989), Law & Order (1992) and CBS' Schoolbreak Special (1992). She made her big-screen debut alongside Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in the highly acclaimed 1993 film Philadelphia. Despite receiving high praise for nearly all of her performances, however, Wilson struggled for many years to gain more prominent roles. For eight years, while she tried to break into major stardom, Wilson worked part-time as a teller at Deutsche Bank in order to make ends meet.

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Wilson continued to turn in memorable, if brief, performances on popular TV shows. She appeared on Third Watch (2001), Sex and the City (2002), The Sopranos (2004) and in sporadic episodes of Law And Order: SVU. And while struggling to land recurring roles on television, Wilson managed to attain considerable prominence on the Broadway stage in musicals such as On the Town (1998), Avenue Q (2003) and Caroline, or Change (2004).

Then, in 2005, 15 years after she made her television debut on The Cosby Show, Wilson finally landed the breakthrough role she had been waiting for as Dr. Bailey.


Wilson's first regular network TV role was in the short-lived series Bob Patterson (2001), a post-Seinfeld vehicle for Jason Alexander. In a review for USA Today, Robert Bianco called Wilson "the only person in the show you can imagine wanting to see again".[4] Similarly, the Los Angeles Times said, "The only character here that's amusingly written is Bob's new assistant, Claudia (Chandra Wilson)".[5] She also appeared on Law & Order SVU, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos, and had a small role in Lone Star (1996). Wilson also had career in theater, where she played Bonna Willis in The Good Times Are Killing Me, and was featured in the Tony-nominated musical Caroline, or Change. Wilson is an accomplished singer, and has sung in several productions.

Wilson worked as a temp at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown where she made presentations for the investment banking units. She worked at the Banker's Trust location on 130 Liberty Street, right across the street from the South Tower of the World Trade Center through 9-11 when that building was lost to the terrorist attacks. Wilson was still working at a bank when she auditioned for the Grey's Anatomy pilot. She was cast as Miranda Bailey, a role initially envisioned as a blond Caucasian woman[6] The show became a success. Wilson was nominated in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. She was nominated and won the Screen Actors Guild Award in 2007 for Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series; she also won a SAG Award as part of the Grey's Anatomy cast, which won Best Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Wilson made her television directing debut with the episode "Give Peace a Chance", the 7th episode in season 6 of Grey's Anatomy. She also directed episode 17, "Push", of the same season and the fifth episode of season 7, "Almost Grown", the 21st episode of eight season, "Moment of Truth", "Second Opinion", the 6th episode of ninth season and "Transplant Wasteland", the 17th episode of ninth season.[7] The part of Dr. Bailey, supervisor to the hospital interns, had been written for a petite, Caucasian blonde, but Wilson, a full-figured African-American woman, gave such an impressive audition that the show's producers decided to give her the part. "Besides," she later joked, "I knew the casting director." Wilson earned rave reviews for her performance as the tough-as-nails Dr. Bailey. Wilson was nominated for four consecutive Emmy Awards (2006-2009) and won four consecutive NAACP Image Awards (2007-2010) for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She also won the 2008 People's Choice Award for Favorite Scene-Stealing Star. In 2009, while still starring on Grey's Anatomy, Wilson took a brief hiatus from the show to return to Broadway as Mama Morton in a revival of Chicago.

Wilson said the only difference between her acting career now and her acting career a decade ago is that people actually recognize her on the street. "The only difference in my career now is the visibility I have," she insisted. "People say I made it now, but I feel like I made it doing summer stock." She is also clear-headed about the fragility of her new-found fame and fortune. Upon finally leaving her job at Deutsche Bank to focus solely on her role in Grey's Anatomy, Wilson was careful not to burn any bridges. She said, "They told me I could come back if acting doesn't work out. I told them, 'Keep my seat warm.'"

Personal life

Wilson and her husband have three children; their daughter Serena was born in 1992, daughter Joy was born in 1994, and son Michael was born on October 31, 2005.[8]


Wilson is an activist for the cause of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and serves as the spokesperson for the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association, as well as, the celebrity ambassador for CureMito![9] after her teenage daughter, Serena, developed the disease in 2010.[10] For the ninth season of Grey's Anatomy Wilson met with the producers and pitched the idea of featuring Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome in an upcoming episode.[11] The episode, "Second Opinion", aired on November 15, 2012 and was directed by Wilson.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Peer Pressure, Drugs and... You
1993 Mad Dog and Glory
1993 Philadelphia Chandra
1996 Lone Star Athena
2003 Head of State Jaime Uncredited
2005 I Love the 80's 3-D Herself
2008 A Single Woman Coretta Scott King
2008 Accidental Friendship Yvonne Television movie
Prism Award for Performance in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
2010 Frankie and Alice Maxine


Year Title Role Notes
1989 The Cosby Show Dina Episode: "The Lost Weekend"
1992 CBS Schoolbreak Special Gloria Episode: "Sexual Considerations"
1992 Law & Order Serena Price Episode: "Cradle to Grave"
2000 Cosby Unknown Episode: "It's a Wonderful Wife"
2001 Third Watch Volunteer Episode: "Man Enough"
2001 100 Centre Street Unknown Episode: "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"
2001 Bob Patterson Claudia Unknown episodes
2002 Sex and the City Police Officer Episode: "Anchors Away"
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nurse Jenkins Episode: "Waste"
2003 Queens Supreme Dolores Episode: "The House Next Door"
2004 The Sopranos Evelyn Greenwood Episode: "Cold Cuts"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Rachel Sorannis Episode: "911"
2005–present Grey's Anatomy Dr. Miranda Bailey Main Cast (Season 1–present)
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2007–08)
People's Choice Award for Favorite Scene Stealing Star
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—BET Award for Best Actress on Television (2007–08)
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actress – Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2010–14)
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2006–09)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2007–08)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2006, 2008)
2009 Private Practice Dr. Miranda Bailey 2 episodes


Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Chandra Wilson: Biography".  
  2. ^ "Chandra Wilson- Biography".  
  3. ^ "Chandra Wilson biography".  
  4. ^ "Alexander's sitcom lacks character". USA Today. 2001-10-02. 
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (2001-10-02). "'"Comic Timing Can't Save 'Bob Patterson. Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ MacMedan, Dan (2006-03-01). "At TV fest, 'Grey's Anatomy' cast has as much fun as characters". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  7. ^ ^ "Grey's Anatomy : Transplant Wasteland". Zap2It. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  8. ^ Freydkin, Donna (2006-09-20). "Grey's ladies". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Salahi, Lara (2011-04-11). Grey's Anatomy' Chandra Wilson: Real-Life Stomach Migraine Mystery"'". ABC News. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The Good Times Are Killing Me". (McGinn-Cazale) Loretel Archives / The Off-Broadway Database (Lucille Lortel Foundation). Retrieved 24 February 2013. 

External links

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