Tiffany Sarac Haddish (born December 3, 1979) is an American comedian and actress. After guest starring on several television series, Haddish gained prominence as Jackie on the first season of the OWN television drama If Loving You Is Wrong from 2014 to 2015. From 2015 to 2017, she starred as Nekeisha Williams on the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. After appearing in the 2016 comedy film Keanu, Haddish made her film breakthrough as Dina in the 2017 film Girls Trip, for which she received critical acclaim.
Early life and education
Haddish was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her father was a refugee from Eritrea. Her mother is African-American and was a small business owner who was part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. After Haddish’s father left when she was three years old, her mother remarried and went on to have more children; Haddish has two half-sisters and two half-brothers.
In 1988, when Haddish was eight years old, her mother was in a car accident and went through the windshield of her car. Haddish was supposed to babysit her younger siblings while her mother worked night shifts at the post office. The family at the time lived in Colton, California. The accident caused Haddish’s mother to have brain damage, as well as causing or triggering schizophrenia. The family moved back to South Central. After a period of time, Haddish began taking care of her siblings while her mother was having severe problems functioning. Haddish was twelve when the family was split up and the children were put into foster care, before her grandmother was awarded custody. In foster care, Haddish used comedy as a way to cope with being in situations with new people. At one point she was hospitalized with toxic shock syndrome.
Haddish attended George Ellery Hale Middle School in Woodland Hills. She graduated from El Camino Real High School, also in Woodland Hills, where she was the school mascot.Haddish said that until high school she could not read very well, but improved when she received tutoring from a teacher. Haddish also got in a lot of trouble at school, although she won a drama competition that featured Shakespearean monologues. After her social worker gave her an ultimatum to either attend psychiatric therapy or go to the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp, the 17-year-old Haddish attended the Comedy Camp in mid-1997 as an outlet for her pain, and discovered her passion. Haddish has said that the mentorship from many notable comedians literally saved her life.Haddish has explained that she incorporates her past real life experiences in her sets, finding that doing so functions as a sort of “safe space” for her.