NeNe Leakes shot to stardom as a fan favorite on Bravo’s highly-rated reality show, Real Housewives of Atlanta. She is also the star of the upcoming special “I Dream of Nene: The Wedding,” set to premiere this fall on the Bravo network. She has parlayed her success into a breakthrough reoccurring guest star performance on Fox’s hit show Glee. Leakes is continuing her acting pursuits starring opposite Ellen Barkin and Justin Bartha on NBC’s hit show The New Normal. With her brassy, no-nonsense demeanor and “tell-it-like-it-is” attitude, the New York native has quickly become reality TV’s breakout star and media darling.
Nene has been voted as one of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year, Diva of the Season by People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch blog as one of fall’s TV: 15 Stars to Watch (2008), “Most Relatable Housewife” by Bravo audience, winner of Bravo A-List Award for Reality’s Guiltiest Pleasure (2009) and winner of Bravo’s A-list Award for Fan Favorite, just to name a few.
Leakes is the author of Never Make the Same Mistake Twice, discussing her fractured childhood, abusive relationship, struggles with being a single mother, road to landing Mr. Right and other messy lessons she’s learned along the way to her celebrity prominence. The memoir is an unapologetic, yet honest look at Leakes, as she spills the dirt about her life, addressing rumors and dishing on other housewives. Still, she manages to share some hard-earned and inspiring life lessons in her fierce, straightforward style. In this forthright and provocative memoir, Leakes is outrageous, captivating and unafraid to tell it like it is as she shares her wild journey from a scandalous past to current high society Atlanta reality television fame.
Leakes faced Donald Trump in the boardroom as a contestant on the fourth season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, in March 2011. Leakes ‘s charity of choice for the competition was the Atlanta Union Mission in Support of My Sister's House. The organization is primarily a shelter for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, and it assists them with home placement, job placement and education. Leakes suffered through an abusive relationship for five years and knows firsthand the importance of this kind of support. She is proud to represent her hometown and hopes to be a voice for women who have also agonized from domestic abuse.
Leakes has also served as one of the guest panelists for the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine, The Insider, produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. She also joined Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic for the E! network’s “Live from the Red Carpet” coverage at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009. She was positioned above the action in the E! Skybox alongside style expert Jay Manuel from America’s Next Top Model. Leakes has appeared and guest hosted on shows such as Ellen, The Talk, Anderson Cooper, The Wendy Williams Show, The Rosie Show, The Joy Behar Show, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Recently, Leakes has transitioned from reality to roles on scripted television. She made her acting debut in the re-occurring role of “Coach Roz Washington,” on Fox’s hit comedy Glee. She guest-starred on BET’s comedies, The Game and Let’s Stay Together. This fall she will debut as “Rocky” on Ryan Murphy’s comedy series The New Normal. Because of Leakes versatility as a reality star, talk show host and correspondent as well as an actress, at one point, Leakes appeared on four different networks, showcasing her skills as a well-rounded talent.
When Leakes is away from the cameras, she lends her time and energy, supporting various charity efforts. She is the founder of Twisted Hearts, a charity that brings awareness to the plight of domestic violence against women of all races. As a victim of domestic abuse, her mission is to offer a voice and support to assist those in need of help.
Currently, Leakes resides in Duluth, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, along with her two children.