Born: 6 May 1983
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: The newcomer star of the 2009 film Precious
Gabourey Sidibe was Oscar-nominated as best actress for her astonishing debut performance in the 2009 film Precious. Sidibe played Claireece "Precious" Jones, an obese Harlem teenager who is pregnant by her own father, abused by her mother, and yet still struggles to overcome it all. Sidibe was far from a typical movie star when she was cast by director Lee Daniels: a young black woman from Harlem who weighed over 200 pounds and had never been in a film before. But her affecting performance won her raves at the movie's premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and continued right through her Oscar nomination. New York magazine called it "one of the most moving and primal performances in recent memory." In 2010 Sidibe filmed her second movie, 'Yelling to the Sky.'
Extra credit: Sidibe's nickname is Gabby... She was born in Brooklyn but raised in Harlem, according to the film's official site, which also notes that while Sidibe never studied theater, "she has spent time on stage, participating in plays put on by the theater department at Lehman College in the Bronx"... Sidibe is pronounced SIH-dih-bay. It's a Senegalese name; her father, Ibnou Sidibe, was born in Senegal... The movie Precious is based on the 1996 novel Push by the author Sapphire (the pen name of Ramona Lofton)... Precious is described in the original novel as weighing 350 pounds; this number is sometimes given as Sidibe's own weight, but that doesn't seem to be correct.
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