Yvonne Anuli Orji (born 2 December 1983) is a Nigerian-American actress and comedian. She is best known for her role in the television series Insecure (2016–present), for which she has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and three NAACP Image Awards.
Yvonne Anuli Orji
2 December 1983
Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
Life and careerEdit
Orji was born on 2 December 1983, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, and grew up in Laurel, Maryland in the United States. She spent her high school career in the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania where she attended Linden Hall (school), the oldest all-girls boarding school in the country. She earned her BA in liberal arts from George Washington University and then went on to receive a master's degree in public health at George Washington University as well. Orji's parents expected her to become a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, or engineer. However, she was inspired to do comedy as a graduate student when she performed stand-up in the talent portion of a beauty pageant.
After graduate school, in 2009, Orji moved to New York City to pursue a career in comedy. In 2015, she landed the role of Molly on Insecure without an agent or any real acting experience. In 2021, began development on a series for Disney+ titled First Gen. The series is based on her personal life and is produced by Oprah Winfrey and David Oyelowo.
Orji is the author of the book Bamboozled by Jesus.
She performed at TEDxWilmingtonSalon in 2017, titled "The wait is sexy" on YouTube. In the talk, she explains her reasons for abstaining from sex before marriage.
Outside of her creative work, she is dedicated to philanthropy. In 2008 and 2009 she spent six months working in post-conflict Liberia, with Population Services International (PSI), an NGO that utilizes social marketing in the adoption of healthy behaviors. While in Liberia, she worked with a group of talented youth to help build a mentoring program as well as a weekly talk show that helped educate and prevent the spread of teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. She currently lends her time and voice as a R(ED) Ambassador, a Literacy Champion for Jumpstart and working with JetBlue for Good.
|2011||Love That Girl!||Njideka||Episode: "Head Shrunk"|
|2013||Sex (Therapy) with the Jones||Moshinda||Short film|
|2016–present||Insecure||Molly Carter||34 episodes|
|2017||Jane the Virgin||Stacy||2 episodes|
|Flip the Script||Ad Exec 1||Episode: "Mad Woman"|
|2019||A Black Lady Sketch Show||Flight attendant||Episode: "Why Are Her Pies Wet, Lord?"|
|2020||Momma, I Made It!||Herself||HBO comedy special|
|Spontaneous||Agent Carla Rosetti|
|2021||Vacation Friends||Emily Conway-Parker|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2020||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Insecure||Nominated|
- "YVONNE ORJI". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Davis, Allison P. (10 October 2016). "Molly From 'Insecure' Is Your New Favorite Single Lady". The Ringer. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- Connley, Courtney (17 November 2018). "Yvonne Orji landed her role on HBO's 'Insecure' with no agent, no manager and zero acting experience". CNBC. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (13 January 2021). "Yvonne Orji Autobiographical Comedy Produced By David Oyelowo & Oprah Winfrey In Works At Disney+". Deadline. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
- "Book | Bamboozled By Jesus". Bamboozledbyjesus.
- "The wait is sexy". YouTube. TEDx Talks.
- UTA, Talent Agency. "Yvonne Orji, UTA Bio Page".