Danielle Brooks - Biography

Last Modified: Sep 23, 2022

Danielle Brooks
Profession: Actress
Best Known For: Orange Is the New Black (TV series)
Salary: Under Review
Net Worth: $3 million

Personal Details

Born on : September 17, 1989 (age 34)
Birth Name /
Full Name:
Danielle Brooks
Birth Place: Augusta, Georgia, USA
Horoscope: Virgo
Father's Name: Tunnel Brooks
Mother's Name: Larita Brooks
Siblings: 1

Donnie "
Brooks (younger brother)

High School: South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities
University: Juilliard School
Ethnicity: African-American
Nationality: American


Sexual Orientation: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Married Date: January 13, 2022
Husband's Name: Dennis Gelin
Children: 1

Freeya Carel Gellin (daughter)

Body Measurements

Height: 1.63 meter (5 feet 4 inch)
Weight: 75 kg (165.35 lb)
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Shoe Size: 9 US
Dress Size: 14 US
Breast Size: 42 inch
Waist Size: 33 inch
Hip Size: 44 inch
Bra Size: 36
Cup Size: D

Table of contents [Hide]

Who is Danielle Brooks? 

Danielle Brooks is an actress by profession and American by nationality. She is well known for starring in Orange Is the New Black.

Danielle Brooks – Age, Parents, Siblings

Danielle Brooks was born on September 17, 1989, in Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A. to a Christian family. Her father Tunnel Brooks was a deacon while her mother Larita Brooks was a minister. She has a younger brother named Donnie "D.J." Brooks with whom she was raised in a closely knitted family.

Danielle Brooks with her mother (Image: Instagram)

Education, Ethnicity

For education, Brooks attended South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, studying there for the final two years of high school. After graduation from the selective arts high school, Danielle Brooks applied for the renowned Juilliard School. She was accepted into the school where she studied drama, graduating in 2011.

Her ethnicity is African-American.

Danielle Brooks Boyfriend, Husband, Children, Divorce

In a 2017 interview, Danielle Brooks said that her dating life is not as good as her career is and that she is still single. Soon after, it seems that she has found love.

In February 2018, she introduced her boyfriend, a handsome mystery man via Instagram. In one of the pictures, Brooke was smiling ear to ear as she leaned in for a kiss! Then followed a series of pictures of them out jet skiing.

Her boyfriend was later revealed to be Dennis Gelin. In July 2019 she announced via Instagram that she was pregnant with the couple's first child and gave birth to their daughter Freeya Carel Gellin on November 16, 2019. The couple got engaged on December 31, 2019, and the couple married on January 13, 2022.

There are no rumors of divorce surrounding the pair.

Also read: Alexxis Lemire - Actress of The Half of It 

Source: Instagram (Danielle Brooks, Dennis Gelin)

Danielle Brooks Career

Early Days

Danielle Brooks was introduced to acting from a young age. When she was just 6 years old, she began to play in the nativity play put on by her church. This hobby of hers gradually became her passion.

After graduating from the Juilliard School, Brooks soon landed roles in two theater productions, namely, Shakespeare Theatre Company's Servant of Two Masters, and Blacken the Bubble. She worked with the theatre until 2013.

Films, Series

In the year 2013, she got the role of Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson in the Netflix series Orange Is the New BlackThe series is about a women's prison and is based on  Piper Kerman's memoir named Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison. 

Initially, the character was intended to be a star in only two episodes. The writers decided to include Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson throughout the whole season. Danielle Brooks’ character was then written into the following seasons of the series as well. On the set, Danielle Brooks’ character Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson is best friends with Poussey, who is played by Samira Wiley. Wiley is in fact Brook’s real-life friend and has been since they met while students at Juilliard.

Also read: Scott Bakula - Singer, Voice actor, Producer, Actor 

After her breakout role in Orange Is the New Blackshe has starred in films such as I Dream Too Much (2015)The Angry Birds Movie (2016)The Day Shall Come (2019). Moreover, she has portrayed characters in Girls (2014), Master of None (2015–2017), Project Runway All Stars 5 (2018), High Maintenance (2018), Elena of Avalor  2018).

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Danielle Brooks on the set of Orange Is the New Black)


On the set of Orange Is the New Black, Danielle Brooks has worked with Yael StoneNatasha LyonneKimiko GlennCatherine Curtin.

Also read: Christopher Meyer - Actor of All Day and a Night 

Danielle Brooks – Awards, Nominations

Danielle Brooks has engraved her name into several prestigious awards. She won three titles of Breakthrough Actress in Young Hollywood Award in 2013. Similarly, Brooks has won Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2015 and 2016, while winning the Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album for her role as Sofia in The Color Purple.

The talented actress has also had a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.

Danielle Brooks – Clothing store

Since Brooks is considered plus size, she always struggled with finding the right clothes to wear. Reflecting on an incident, Brooks recalled,

“I remember being in a store by myself one time, and I was looking at a piece of clothing. Suddenly, a woman who I didn't know came up to me and said, ‘You know you can't fit into that.’ I couldn't believe it. The real problem, though, is that plus-size women are so used to being isolated into a certain section of a store, and those are the only sections of clothes that you can wear. But that's unfair.”

So, when size-10-and-up brand Universal Standard approached Brooks to design clothes, she did not think twice. Danielle Brooks just took a step ahead.

“I’m always talking about fashion, so this was a logical next step. When will you make quality clothes [in my size]?’ it felt like it was only right to say, ‘Well, then I’ll do it.' It made sense to be a part of the change that I wanted to see.”

Also read: Issa Rae - Actress, Producer, Director, Writer of Awkward Black Girl 

Source: instyle (Danielle Brooks)

Danielle Brooks Net worth, Salary

Her net worth has been estimated at $3 Million while the figure on her annual salary has not been shared with the public.

Danielle Brooks Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

On social media handles including Instagram, and Twitter, Danielle Brooks is active with millions of followers but is absent from Facebook.

Also read: Kodak Black - Rapper, Songwriter, Singer 

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Tags : Orange Is the New Black The Color Purple Julliard School Elena of Avalor Girls I Dream Too Much