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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Gabrielle Union attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Gabrielle Union has been a mainstay in the culture for over 20 years. She has continuously brought a sense of fresh, classy, and sophisticated vibe to every character she has played. The actress was born in Nebraska, but her family relocated to California when she was in elementary school.

She began acting in small roles in sitcoms such as Saved by the Bell, Moesha, Sister, Sister and 7th Heaven, until she landed her breakout role as Isis in Bring It On. Bring It On opened up a lot of doors for Union as she then was cast in Bad Boys II, and her first shot at a leading role in Deliver Us From Eva. She also proved her acting ability in the ensemble cast for Think Like A Man and the sequel, Think Like A Man Too.

Gabrielle Union: Beyond Acting

While one of biggest accomplishments in her career is acting, she has used her platform for much more. She has written four books. Two of the books are memoirs: We’re Going to Need More Wine (2017) and You Got Anything Stronger? (2021). She also wrote two children’s books, titled Welcome to the Party (2020) and Shady Baby (2021).

Her high-profile relationship with NBA star Dwyane Wade has also made headlines throughout the years, and as a couple they stand on some important societal issues. Women’s rights and LGBTQI+ rights are huge in the Union-Wade household. Wade’s daughter, Zaya Wade, who he shares with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, came out as transgender in 2020. Wade and Union have been nothing but supportive, and as a couple, they won the President’s Award from the NAACP Image Awards, for their humanitarian efforts. The couple also has The Wade Family Foundation which “provides relief to marginalized communities in need, helping to advance racial justice and LGBTQ equality.”

Take a look at eight of her best acting roles ranked below:

  • 8. Cradle 2 The Grave (2003)

    In Cradle 2 The Grave, Union plays the role of Daria who helps Tony Fait (DMX) and Tommy (Anthony Anderson) with a jewelry heist. The film also stars Jet Li, Mark Dacascos, and Paige Hurd. You can watch Cradle 2 The Grave on YouTube, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 7. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

    Who hasn’t;t watched this film at least once during a sleepover? In the romantic teen comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You, Union plays the role of Chastity Church, best friend to Bianca Straford (Larisa Oleynik). Church is also a cheerleader where we will see Union dominate her role as cheer captain in the future of her film career. The film is loosely based off of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. 10 Things I Hate About You also stars the late Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Andrew Keegan. You can dust off that VHS… — jk it’s 2023 — but you can stream 10 Things I Hate About You on Disney+, AppleTV, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 6. Deliver Us From Eva (2003)

    Union plays health inspector Evangeline “Eva” Dandrige in Deliver Us From Eva which was the actress’s first leading role. Eva is always in her siblings’ business, so they decide to take matters into their own hands. Eva’s siblings end up asking Ray Adams (LL Cool J) to keep her busy so she can stop meddling in their lives but no one — not even Eva — is prepared for what happens next. The film also stars Meagan Good, Essence Atkins, Mel Jackson, and more. You can watch Deliver Us From Eva on Apple TV, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 5. Bad Boys II (2003)

    In Bad Boys II, Union’s character Syd is keeping secrets. One, it’s that she is an undercover DEA agent laundering money, and the other is that she is dating her brother’s (Martin Lawerence) best friend and partner Mike Lowrey (Will Smith). Bad Boys II came eight years after Lawrence and Smith hit the road for the first time in Bad Boys. You can watch Bad Boys II on YouTube, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 4. Daddy's Little Girls (2007)

    Union’s character Julia is an attorney who means business. However, she didn’t see it coming when she met a single father of three little girls and fell for him. Monty (Idris Elba), a mechanic, is trying to gain custody of his daughters, Julia ends up helping the struggling father win big in court. When Julia lets her guard down she is able to fall for Monty (which we don’t think is too hard to do: it’s Idris Elba). You can watch Daddy’s Little Girls on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV.

  • 3. Think Like A Man (2012)

    Think Like A Man is based off of Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. In Union’s role as Kristen, she began reading the book to figure out how to convince her boyfriend to take the next step in their relationship. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Meagan Good, Jerry Ferrara, Regina Hall, Romany Malco, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Jenkins, Jenifer Lewis, and Lala Anthony. After the success of Think Like A Man, a sequel was created called Think Like A Man Too. You can watch Think Like A Man on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV.

  • 2. Bring It On (2000)

    In Bring It On, Union plays Isis, the cheerleading captain of the East Compton Clovers. Isis finds out that the rival high school team, which is made up of white cheerleaders, are stealing their cheer routines so she ends up taking matters into her own hands. The film also stars Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, and more. You can watch Bring It On on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV.

  • 1. Being Mary Jane (2013-2019)

    What started out as a TV movie became one of Union’s most notable roles. In Being Mary Jane, Union portrays Mary Jane Paul, a broadcaster who is trying to balance familial relationships, her career, and finding love. The series ran for four seasons and as each one progressed, you could see the growth in Mary Jane and how Union mastered a lead role. You can watch Being Mary Jane on BET, Paramount+, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

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