September 7, 1967
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
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Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Leslie Jones moved to Southern California with her family when she was a child. Her basketball talents earned her a scholarship to Chapman University in California, and when the coach accepted a job at Colorado State University, she followed. It was at Colorado State that she got her first taste of performing, first as a writer for the school newspaper, then as a stand-up comedian. After setbacks on stage led Jones to reconsider her path, she eventually recommitted to comedy and began to see some success. Appearances at the Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival and a supporting role in "National Security" (2003), starring Martin Lawrence, made her realize that she didn't want to do anything else. While maintaining a stand-up career, Jones continued to make appearances in movies like "Lottery Ticket" and "House Arrest", as well as guest appearances in series such as "Sullivan and Son" (TBS, 2012-2014), "The League" (FX, 2009-2012; FXX, 2013-2015), and "Workaholics" (Comedy Central, 2011-17). Her breakout year didn't come until 2014 when she earned a spot as a writer and performer on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). Originally hired just as a writer, Jones was added to the cast after a handful of appearances during the Weekend Update segment (during which she flirted aggressively with co-host Colin Jost) became viral. Along with supporting roles in her friend and mentor Chris Rock's "Top Five" (2014) and Judd Apatow's "Trainwreck" (2015), Jones' high-energy style soon gained her a leading role in Paul Feig's "Ghostbusters" (2016).