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Sea­son 2 e.tv (*194) 21:30

She could eas­ily have been helping you check into a ho­tel or stamp­ing your de­posit slip at a bank in the Caribbean, but aren’t we all glad that Grace Gealey went into act­ing in­stead? The 31-yearold’s back on our screens in sea­son 2 of hip-hop-in­spired drama show Em­pire (2015-cur­rent) in her break­out role as Anika Cal­houn, ex lover of Lu­cious Lyon (Ter­rence Howard) who’s slept with his son Ha­keem (Bryshere Y Gray) too.

She was born in Penn­syl­va­nia but 1

moved to her mom’s na­tive Cay­man Is­lands at the age of two. Grace is bi-racial with a white dad and an AfroCaribbean mom.

Her dad was born with hear­ing 2

loss and her mom lost her hear­ing when she was two af­ter bat­tling pneu­mo­nia. Grace could use sign lan­guage be­fore she could speak and has been us­ing her celeb sta­tus to ad­vo­cate for the deaf com­mu­nity.

Don’t be fooled by Anika’s red lips 3

and pearls – Grace grew up a tomboy and would still swap her char­ac­ter’s sky-high heels for run­ning around bare­foot. And she ad­mits that she’s noth­ing like Lu­cious’s ex, de­scrib­ing her per­son­al­ity as be­ing much more bub­bly, pos­i­tive and lov­ing in com­par­i­son to the sneaky, cold and cal­cu­lated Anika.

Anika’s prissy de­meanour is pull4

ed off so well be­cause of Grace’s Masters in act­ing that she earned at the Univer­sity Of Cal­i­for­nia Irvine fol­low­ing her Bach­e­lors in theatre arts from the Univer­sity Of South Florida.

Be­sides a job, Em­pire’s also given 5

her love – she mar­ried her co-star Trai By­ers in April this year af­ter get­ting en­gaged in Oc­to­ber. Trai plays Lu­cious’s bi-po­lar el­dest son An­dre Lyon. NB! See more on p30.

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