Yvonne Orji

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 Orji
Yvonne Orji.jpg
Yvonne Orji in 2017
Born
Yvonne Anuli Orji

(1983-12-02) 2 December 1983 (age 37)
Education
Occupation
Years active2011–present

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.[1] 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.[2] In 2015, she landed the role of Molly on Insecure without an agent or any real acting experience.[3] 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.[4]

Orji is the author of the book Bamboozled by Jesus.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

 
Yvonne Orji in 2017

Raised Catholic, Orji is now a devout Protestant and has stated that she will remain a virgin until marriage.[2]

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.[6]

Charitable effortsEdit

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.[7]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
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"
2018 Night School Maya
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

Year Award Category Work Result
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Insecure Nominated

Further readingEdit

Wilson, H. W. (November 2018). "Yvonne Orji". Current Biography. 79 (11): 51–55. ISBN 9781682176412. OCLC 1005191045.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "YVONNE ORJI". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b Davis, Allison P. (10 October 2016). "Molly From 'Insecure' Is Your New Favorite Single Lady". The Ringer. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (13 January 2021). "Yvonne Orji Autobiographical Comedy Produced By David Oyelowo & Oprah Winfrey In Works At Disney+". Deadline. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Book | Bamboozled By Jesus". Bamboozledbyjesus.
  6. ^ "The wait is sexy". YouTube. TEDx Talks.
  7. ^ UTA, Talent Agency. "Yvonne Orji, UTA Bio Page".

External linksEdit