From Haiti to Hollywood: Actress Garcelle Beauvais

Garcelle Beauvais was born on November 26, 1966. From St. Marc, in Haiti, she got her start as a fashion model. Her family lived in Massachusetts while her mother was in nursing school after her parents divorced. She also lived in Miami during her early years. She spoke very little English when she arrived in the United States, and watched Sesame Street, a popular children's educational television show, to learn English. She first attended boarding schools and later attended public schools.

She began pursuing a career as a model when she was 17. While in her teens, she became a member of Ford Models and later became a member of Marie Models. She was often seen in print ads for products, including Clairol. She was also pictured in the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom catalogues, modeling clothing. Beauvais was pictured in both Ebony and Essence magazines, as well. Her parents are Axel, an attorney and Maria Claire, a school teacher. She is the youngest of eight children. She has five brothers and two sisters.

While in school, she found that she loved acting, participating in several school plays. She went to North Miami Beach High School and Norland High School in Miami. While she had a love for acting, she actually started out her career as a model and eventually moved on to become a well known actress. Beauvais has appeared in Playboy and was a catwalk model for Calvin Klein. She also modeled on the catwalk for Isaac Mizrahi. After the birth of her twins, she went to work marketing her own jewelry line for children, called Petit Bijou. Her jewelry line includes ballerinas, bears, crowns, and cars in pendants, necklaces, and bracelets. The line has diamond lady bugs, peace signs, guitars, stars and hearts. The line also includes cotton cord and chain necklaces. Beauvais developed the line with partner and jewelry designer, Mallory Eisenstein.

Garcelle has been married twice, to Daniel Saunders and Mike Nilon. Her life changed when she had twins with Nilon. Her twins are Jax Joseph and Jaid Thomas, who were born on October 18, 2007 at four pounds and seven ounces. It took her five years to conceive the twins. According to People Magazine, she had several miscarriages and tried in vitro fertilization twice, to try to become pregnant. After her pregnancy, happy friends and family members bought her twins the latest in fashion and accessories. They ended up having closets full of clothes. One twin, Beauvais has said, is more boisterous and braver than the other twin. She was married to Saunders for six years, and had one son, Oliver, who was born in 1991. Her twins appear on the website for her jewelry line Petit Bijou with partner Mallory Eisenstein.

Garcelle Beauvais

Beauvais is best known for her character Francesca Monroe on the Jamie Foxx Show, in which she played a co-worker in a hotel with Foxx. Jamie Foxx's character, Jamie King, tries to pursue the beautiful Francesca Monroe in antic after antic. Foxx performs as a musician who works in his aunt and uncle's hotel. In the first seasons of the show, audiences watched as Beauvais' character ignored the advances. They later began dating in the series and eventually they become engaged. The series aired on the WB network from 1996 to 2001. The show won several NAACP image awards in 1999. The show was also nominated for Kids Choice Awards in 2000 and 2001. She also played the character Valerie Haywood from 2001 to 2004 in the police drama, NYPD Blue. In this police drama, she is an assistant district attorney who is smart and direct.

Beauvais is also known for her role on Models Inc., which was produced by Aaron Spelling and aired from 1994-1995. It is said that Garcelle had a dream about working with Aaron Spelling after which she decided to write him a letter. As it turned out, Spelling was looking for an actress to join his show, and Beauvais landed the role of Cynthia Nichols.

She performed as the character, Nora Gage in Eyes in an hour-long crime drama in 2005. She was Maya Bradley in the show Opposite Sex (2000). She has also appeared in the movie Second String in which she plays Larissa Fullerton. Second String is a movie about a coach who believes that he is going to coach his team to a Super Bowl win, only to find out that the team has been poisoned by bad oysters. Some rookies and older players have to take their place. The movie was released in 2002 and stars Van Miller, Doug Flutie, Donovan Greer and Chris Berman. This 100-minute long comedy was directed by Robert Lieberman.

Beauvais-Nilon is a familiar face in television sitcoms. She has appeared as a guest on Family Matters, the Fresh Prince of Bell Air, Miami Vice, Dream On, Hanging Mr. Cooper, the Wayans Bros., Opposite Sex, the Bernie Mac Show, CSI Miami, the Cure, Human Target, Franklin and Bash, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Life with Bonnie, and Arli$$. She has appeared in situation comedies, dramas, and movies. Beauvais was also written about in Contemporary Black Biography, by the Gale Group, in 2001.

She has acted in comedies as well as dramas. The movie Manhunter, in which she appears, is a thriller feature in which police try to investigate a killer. In the movie, the FBI tracks down the killer and looks at how the investigation impacts the investigator. In Manhunter, Will Hunter tries to find the killer who fits a profile, based on the crime scenes that he visits. The killer is nicknamed the Tooth Fairy, and he kills his victims in the evenings. The movie made $8.6 million, but it cost $15 million to make the movie. The main character visits Hannibal Lector to get information. He had caught Lector earlier, but nearly died in the process. Beauvais plays a woman buying a home in the movie, which is also called Red Dragon, the Pursuit of Hannibal Lector. The movie was filmed in Atlanta.

Beauvais was also a rose bearer in Coming to America. In this movie, a young prince visits America to find the perfect wife. The prince is played by Eddie Murphy. He travels to Queens, New York, and in this humorous tale, he falls in love with a woman whose father owns a fast food restaurant. At the conclusion of the movie, the 21-year-old prince is married in an elaborate ceremony in which Beauvais plays her scene.

She appeared in the movie, Every Breath, in 1993. In Every Breath, she performed as an unnamed woman. The movie is about an actor who ends up in commercial work and is hired to flirt with a wealthy man's wife. It turns out that she is part of the game, and he finds out that they are in on a game in which people can die. He also begins to fall in love with the man's wife. Of course, the wealthy man with the beautiful wife is also a weapon's dealer. The movie was directed by Steve Bing and was written by Andrew Fleming. Judd Nelson and Joanna Starred.

Beauvais was also Belle, the girl in a water tower in the movie Wild, Wild West, with Will Smith. In this action-packed movie, Jim West tries to capture a Confederate Arliss Loveless. He works with partner, Artemus Gordon, who is a disguise expert. The movie was filmed in Los Angeles and was released in 1999.

She performed in Double Take, alongside Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones. In this movie, she plays model, Chloe Kitt and girlfriend to the main character. Darryl Chase (Orlando Jones) sees his life unravels and Freddy Tiffany (Eddie Griffin) is a con man who plays a major role in some of the comedic moments. Beauvais’ appearance in the movie sets the main character's identity as a man of style who is the epitome of success with a beautiful girlfriend and a successful career on Wall Street. Unfortunately, he sees his life as it comes apart, and he is surrounded by rotten cops, and drug dealers, in the movie's twists and turns.

Beauvais was Nicole in Bad Company, a 2002 movie starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. Chris Rock plays a man who learns that he has a brother who was a CIA agent. His brother was killed and Rock takes his place. In addition to Beauvais, Kerry Washington, Matthew Marsh, and Gabriel Macht are co-stars.

In the movie I Know Who Killed Me, she plays agent Julie Bascome. The movie is about a girl who disappears and is deemed missing. She is searched for while her parents are questioned by the police. She reappears, but claims a new identity. Doctors think that she has created an alter ego to reveal information about her case. Meanwhile the person who has kidnapped her may be after her. The movie stars Lindsay Lohan and Julia Ormond. Beauvais plays a hard nose detective who is trying to solve the case, of Aubrey Flemming who says that she is Dakota Moss, and viewers are left wondering if it really is a case of mistaken identity and what does the victim know about the case. The 105-minute movie was a mystery thriller.

She played the character, Loretta, in the comedy Barbershop 2, featuring Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ely, and Leonard Earl Howze as barbers in the funniest shop ever. In the movie, a neighboring shop tries to take some of the business from Calvin's (Ice Cube's) shop.

She has a role in 10.5 Apocalypse, a movie that portrays the end of the world. Viewers watch the earthquake and flooding that rips the Earth apart in this science fiction film. The 169-minute movie is written by John Lafia. Beauvais plays Natalie Warner, a FEMA commander, in the movie. She tries to help save people from the catastrophes as volcanoes erupt and cities disappear into the earth. The movie stars Kim Delaney and Beau Bridges.

Beauvais appeared at the Radio Music Awards. She hosted the 2001 edition of the Haitian Music Awards. The awards program has categories in production, best new group, best male artist of the year, and best female vocalist of the year.

She has made guest appearances on the Cosby Show as well. Due to her stunning beauty, she has appeared in music videos by R.Kelly, “Down Low”, and “Come With Me”, by Sean Puffy Combs. Beauvais was also featured in a music video by Luther Vandross, called “Take You Out” in which she was Vandross' love interest.

Beuavais had been married to Nilon for nine years before filing for divorce. She had accused him of cheating and sent an e-mail to several of his co-workers at his agency, blasting him for having a five-year relationship with another woman. She said that didn't regret sending the e-mail out. She says that her children are her main focus and she was seeking joint custody of the twins. She filed for divorce in 2010, and the divorce was finalized in early April 2011.

Beauvais commented about the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010, stating that she could barely watch the devastating aftermath and it caused her to question her faith. She had trouble finding some members of her family after the tragedy, and gave her voice to the cause, asking people to make donations of food, toiletries, and clothes to help others who were impacted by the earthquake. Beauvais, who is still called Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon in some credits, was listed as one of The 10 Sexiest Women" in Black Men Magazine in 2001. Readers selected her for the honor. She is also known for her style, and has often appeared on best-dressed lists.