Grace Gealey

Born:     July 26, 1984
Birthplace:    Butler, PA
Zodiac Sign:  Leo

Career and Life

Grace Byers (née Gealey) is an American actress, known for her role as Anika Calhoun in the Fox music-industry drama, Empire.

Grace Gealey was born in Butler, Pennsylvania July 26, 1984, and raised in the Cayman Islands from infancy She knows sign language due to having deaf parents. After moving to the United States, she received her bachelor's degree in Theater Arts at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Gealey later attended the University of California, Irvine, where she received her Master’s of Fine Arts in acting.

Gealey then moved to New York City, where she performed Off-Broadway, including in Venus Flytrap: A Femme Noir Mystery, and Rent. In 2013, she performed in the Chicago productions of The Misanthrope and Tartuffe. In 2014, Gealey was cast as Anika Calhoun in the Fox musical prime time drama, Empire opposite Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The series debuted on January 7, 2015.

In 2017 Gealey was cast as Kate, a jazz singer and lounge owner, in the indie thriller Bent.

In 2018 Gealey published a children's book titled I Am Enough, it's based on her experiences being bullied as a child for having deaf parents. She wrote it to empower children to love and accept themselves.

Gealey became engaged to her Empire costar Trai Byers in 2015. She and Byers married on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands on April 14, 2016.

 

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