Ariana DeBose Biography:
Ariana DeBose was born on January 25, 1991 in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she studied dance and theater.
After a brief stint on reality television, she moved to Broadway, where she starred in the original production of Hamilton and received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
DeBose then took her talents to the big and small screens, appearing in Netflix’s Prom, AppleTV+’s Schmigadoon!, and playing Anita in the 2021 film remake of West Side Story.
DeBose, the award-winning actress won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita on March 27, 2022.
She is the first Afro-Latina, openly queer actor of color, and openly queer woman to win an Oscar, as well as the first openly queer woman of color to be nominated for acting.
|Real Name:||Ariana DeBoss|
|Date of Birth||January 25, 1991|
|Place of Birth:||Wilmington, North Carolina|
|Net Worth||$4 million|
Early Life and Education
DeBose had no contact with her Afro-Puerto Rican father. Gina DeBose, her white mother, raised her as a single parent in Raleigh and Wake Forest, North Carolina.
DeBose began taking dance lessons at the age of three. Her talent was quickly apparent. In an interview, DeBose’s mother stated, “I always like to say, she came out dancing.”
When DeBose, then 13, came out as gay, her mother was accepting. DeBose attended Western Carolina University after graduating from Wake Forest-Rolesville High School.
When DeBose was about to start sixth grade, her mother, a teacher, relocated to Wake Forest to provide her daughter with more arts opportunities.
DeBose continued her dance lessons there. She won a dance contest organized by Cold Stone Creamery when she was 15 years old.
DeBose’s original career goal was to be a backup dancer, but she fell in love with theater when she was about 10 or 11 years old.
She appeared in North Carolina productions of Aida, Les Misérables, and A Chorus Line. DeBose met the show’s star, Charlotte d’Amboise, while working on A Chorus Line, and she later became her mentor.
In 2009, an 18-year-old DeBose appeared on the reality show So You Think You Can Dance. She reached the top 20 before being eliminated.
Though she didn’t win, the show helped inspire her move to New York. “I left the show knowing I wanted to do more than just dance,” DeBose told Latina magazine;
“I missed the challenge of singing, dancing and acting at the same time.”
DeBose was cast in Bring It On: The Musical in 2011, an adaptation of Gabrielle Union and Kirsten Dunst’s film about rival cheerleading squads.
DeBose performed in the show’s national tour before making her Broadway debut in 2012.
DeBose played Mary Wilson in Motown: The Musical in 2013. For that show, she also understudied the role of Diana Ross. Her next appearance was in Pippin.
In 2016, DeBose appeared on the show Blue Bloods. A recorded performance of Hamilton, featuring DeBose in the ensemble, was released on Disney+ in 2020. That same year, DeBose starred as popular cheerleader Alyssa Greene in the Netflix musical Prom.
DeBose brought her talents to Schmigadoon! on Apple TV+ in 2021. She co-starred in this musical parody with Keegan-Michael Key and Kristin Chenoweth. In January 2022, DeBose will also host Saturday Night Live.
DeBose was previously involved with Broadway props master Jill Johnson. She is currently dating and living in a country cottage in New York with Broadway costume designer Sue Makkoo.