|Issa Rae Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 9.5 in|
|Date of Birth||January 12, 1985|
Issa Rae is an American actress, producer, director, writer, and web series creator, best known for her YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (2011-2013) that she created, wrote, directed, and starred in as the character named J. She is also known for creating, co-writing, and playing a character of Issa Dee in the HBO TV series Insecure between 2016-2018, as well as her guest roles of Lisa in The Number (2012-2013), Mama Moth in True Friendship Society (2013), and Dr. Indira in BoJack Horseman (2018). Issa produced TV series Little Horribles (2013), 6 episodes of Inside Web Series TV documentary (2013), Roomieloverfriends (2013-2014), The Choir (2013-2015), First (2014-2015), and Insecure (2016-2018). She is also an accomplished writer, known for her book titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl that became a New York Times best-seller when it was released in 2015. Issa amassed a large social media following with more than 1 million followers on Twitter and more than 2 million followers on her Instagram account.
Jo-Issa Rae Diop
Los Angeles, California, United States
Los Angeles, California, United States
Issa Rae attended a predominantly black middle school in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. While there, she was berated for not acting “black” and found her time there difficult.
She graduated from King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science in Willowbrook, Los Angeles, California, United States. After high school, Issa enrolled in Standford University in Stanford, California, United States, and majored in African and African-American Studies in 2007.
After she graduated from college, Issa received a theater fellowship in New York City, New York, United States, at the renowned The Public Theater arts organization. She also began taking classes at the New York Film Academy in New York, United States and was in doubt on whether to go to law or business school, but ultimately decided to follow her producing and acting inclinations.
Actress, Director, Producer, Writer, Web Series Creator
- Father – Abdoulaye Diop (Pediatrician, Neonatologist)
- Mother – Delyna Hayward (Teacher)
- Siblings – She has 4 siblings.
- Others – Ralph Hayward (Maternal Grandfather), Joyce Hayward (Maternal Grandmother), Isseu (Paternal Grandmother), Rae Louise Hayward (Aunt) (Artist)
Issa Rae is represented by –
- ColorCreative (Company) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Issa Rae Productions (Company) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- United Talent Agency (UTA) (Talent Agent, Appearance, Voice, Literary) in Beverly Hills, California, United States
- 3 Arts Entertainment (Manager) in Beverly Hills, California, United States
- AM PR Group (Publicist) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller (Legal Representative) in Beverly Hills, California, United States
5 ft 9.5 in or 176.5 cm
63 kg or 139 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Issa Rae has dated –
- Louis Diame (2019-Present) – Issa has kept her long-term relationship tightly under wraps, but Louis, a businessman, has accompanied her on the red carpet a few times. The reason she was so secretive was that she simply didn’t want others to give her input on who she should be dating. In March 2019, fans noticed that she was wearing an engagement ring in her cover photo for the Essence magazine. This resulted in her friends and co-workers congratulating her on the engagement, even though she has not commented on the matter, nor has Louis.
Race / Ethnicity
She is of Senegalese descent on her paternal side and African-American descent on her maternal side.
- Tall, slim physique
- Fuller Lips
- Afro or long dreads haircut
- Bright white teeth
Issa Rae has endorsed brands such as –
- Samsung Mobile USA (2018)
- Customs By Tai Etsy Store (2018)
Issa Rae has appeared in the TV commercials for –
- Samsung Galaxy Note9 (2018)
- Samsung Mobile – Make It Yours (2018)
- Comedy Central (2019)
- HBO – Make A Little Trouble (2019)
Issa Rae has also promoted Sterling Family Trust charity cause and raised $700,000 for the family of Alton Sterling, who was killed by police officers in 2016.
Best Known For
- Starring as J in her own web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (2011-2013), as well as Lisa in The Number (2012-2013), and Issa Dee in Insecure (2016-2018)
- Being a producer for TV series How Men Become Dogs (2013), The Choir (2013-2015), First (2014-2015), and Insecure (2016-2018)
As a Singer
Issa Rae had an uncredited musical performance of a song Freestyle in the episode The Decision of her YouTube web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl in 2012.
Issa Rae made her first feature film appearance as Jane Johnson in a drama film titled A Bitter Lime in 2015.
First Web Show
Issa Rae made her first web show appearance as J in an episode titled The Stop Sign of the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl on February 3, 2011.
Issa openly admitted that exercising doesn’t come naturally to her, and was far from her favorite activity. However, once she saw herself on TV, Issa realized that she needs to make time for herself and that working out was an important way to nurture her body, both physically and psychologically. Issa worked hard to break her habit of making excuses and New Year’s resolutions that always failed to come through.
She began incorporating a simple way to get her workout in – waking up early, at about 4:55 A.M., and starting to walk and jog without thinking too much. Even though Issa still feels like it was a chore to do so every day, she claimed it helped her with creativity, mental health, and assisted greatly in her efforts get to know herself better.
Issa Rae Favorite Things
- Personal Quote – “I thrive on obstacles. If I’m told that it can’t be done, then I push harder.”
- Person – Michelle Obama
Issa Rae Facts
- She was born in Los Angeles, California, United States, but lived in Dakar, Senegal for a short period of time, and grew up in Potomac, Maryland, United States.
- In the 6th grade, she moved to the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
- Her dad had a medical practice in Inglewood, California, while her mother taught students in Louisiana. Issa’s parents divorced when she was in high school.
- Her birth name, Jo-Issa, comes from a combination of her grandmothers’ names – Joyce and Isseu. Her middle name was taken in honor of her aunt’s name – Rae, who was an artist but untimely passed away.
- While in college, she wrote and directed plays and made music videos.
- Issa met one of her best friends, Tracy Oliver, at college. Tracy played Nina in The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (2011-2013) and helped her produce the web show.
- Issa began working on her comedy series pilot in 2013. It wasn’t until early 2015 that the project was titled Insecure, and then picked up and greenlit by HBO.
- TV series Insecure was released in 2016 and was named one of “Top 10 Television Programs of the Year” in 2017 by the American Film Institute.
- Insecure also received 2 Golden Globe Award nominations in 2017 and 2018, and 1 Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2018.
- In 2012, the magazine Forbes put Issa Rae on their annual “30 Under 30” list in the Entertainment category.
- It wasn’t until college that she learned to embrace her long, natural, curly afro hair. Issa said that she was ridiculed for it, which forced her to wear hoods, scarves, and simply hide it in any way possible.
- When asked of her go-to products to keep her afro hair curly and long, at about 22-inches, she said that she used 3 brands – Hair Rules, SheaMoisture, and Natural Splendor. However, she emphasized that every hair is different and that it takes a while to find what works for every individual.
- The best advice someone gave her was to not be afraid to be a b*tch. Issa claimed that she realized that her fear of upsetting people wouldn’t get her far in the industry, and simply wouldn’t get the job done as efficiently.
- Issa appeared in the music videos for Pharrell Williams‘s song Happy in 2013, Jay-Z‘s Moonlight in 2017, and Drake‘s Nice for What song in 2018.
- She was awarded the Vanguard Award in February 2017 at the 10th Essence Black Women In Hollywood event.
- She appeared on the magazine covers of Women’s Health (2019), Essence (2015, 2019), Glamour (2018), Ebony (2018), Marie Claire (2018), and AdWeek (2017).
- In April 2018, she was named one of ”The 100 Most Influential People” by the TIME magazine, and the actress Mindy Kaling wrote her homage.
- In April 2019, it was announced that her TV series, Insecure, won’t air in 2019. Issa said that it would likely return in 2020, which caused outrage by the loyal fans who were anxiously waiting for the new episodes.
- On October 17, 2020, Issa Rae hosted the hit sketch show, Saturday Night Live for the first time ever.
Featured Image by Issa Rae / Instagram