Oscar Actors: Mo’Nique–Background, Career, Awards, Cumulative Advantage

Mo’Nique Career Summary:

Occup. Inheritance: No

Social Class: middle; mother engineer; father drug counsellor

Formal Education:

College: Broadcasting Institute of Maryland, 1987; age 20


Stage Debut:

Film Debut: Phat Girls, 2006; age 29

TV Debut:

Oscar Award: 1, Supporting Actress, Precious, 2009; age 42

Oscar Nominations: N0

Other Awards and Nominations: Emmy, Grammy noms

Marriage: Yes



Monique Angela Hicks (née Imes; born December 11, 1967), known as Mo’Nique, first gained fame as member of The Queens of Comedy, and as her role as Nicole “Nikki” Parker in the UPN series “The Parkers,” while making a name as a stand-up comedian hosting a variety of venues, including Showtime at the Apollo.

Film Debut:

Mo’Nique transitioned to film with roles in “Phat Girlz” (2006) and “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” (2008).

Grammy Nomination

In 2002, she, along with several other female comedians, earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Comedy Album.

Oscar Award

In 2009, she garnered critical acclaim for her performance as the abusive Mary Lee Johnston in the film Precious and won awards, including the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

She hosted The Mo’Nique Show, a late-night talk show that premiered in 2009 on BET; it was cancelled in 2011.

Emmy Nomination

In 2015, she drew rave reviews for her performance as Ma Rainey in the HBO biopic Bessie and earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

Mo’Nique was born on December 11, 1967, in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of engineer Alice Imes and drug counselor Steven Imes, Jr. She is the youngest of four children.

Mo’Nique graduated from Milford Mill High School in Baltimore County in 1985, and attended Morgan State University. She is a 1987 graduate of the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland.

Before she was an actress, Monique worked as customer service rep at the phone company MCI in Hunt Valley, Maryland. She got her start in comedy at the downtown Baltimore Comedy Factory Outlet when her brother Steve dared her to perform at an open mic night.

Sexually Abused by Brother

In 2008, Mo’Nique revealed that she was sexually abused by her brother Gerald from ages 7–11; he went on to sexually abuse another girl and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.  After her twin boys were born in 2005, Mo’Nique cut off all contact with Gerald. On April 19, 2010, he admitted on Oprah to sexually abusing her over several years.

TV Roles

Mo’Nique portrayed Nicole “Nikki” Parker on the UPN television series “The Parkers” from 1999 to 2004. She was featured on many leading stand-up venues such as Showtime at the Apollo, Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, and Thank God You’re Here.

Monique tackles race issues in her stand up routines, at the Montreal Just For Laugh Festival in 2000: white and black people, we’re just mad at each other, we don’t know why we’re mad at each other. We’re not each other’s enemy. We’re not the enemy. It’s the Chinese people we need to watch out for.”

She was named hostess of Showtime at the Apollo. She was the hostess and executive producer of “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance,” a beauty pageant for plus-sized women, on the Oxygen network.

She hosted the first season of Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School on VH1 where she crowned Saaphyri as the winner.