Kimberly Elise Trammel (born April 17, 1967) is an American actress. Elise studied film and acting at the University of Minnesota and earned a BA in Mass Communications. She made her feature film debut in Set It Off, and later received critical acclaim for her performance in Beloved. During her career, Elise has appeared in films such as John Q (2002), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), The Great Debaters (2007), For Colored Girls (2010), Dope (2015), Almost Christmas (2016), Death Wish (2018), and Ad Astra (2019). She received a nomination for Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in the 2004 drama film, Woman Thou Art Loosed, and played the leading roles in a number of made for television movies. Elise also starred in the CBS crime drama series Close to Home (2005–07), and in 2013 starred in the VH1 comedy-drama series, Hit the Floor.