Nina Nicole is an American film, television, voice and theatre actress. She was born in Joliet, Illinois but spent the majority of her early childhood growing up on the east side of Chicago, Illinois. The name, “Nina Nicole,” came from her mother’s love of television’s soap operas. “Nina” comes from the character named Nina on “All My Children,” and “Nicole” from the character off of “The Edge of Night.” Nina, her mother, and brother lived around 79th and Exchange Street in Chicago, right next to the location where the movie “Barbershop” was filmed. Nina attended W.K. Sullivan Elementary School, which is now known as South Chicago Elementary School. Years later Nina and her family relocated to Atlanta Georgia. It was here that she attended both Norcross High School, and eventually transferred to, and graduated from Dunwoody High School.
Her childhood years favored a career as a Registered Nurse, following in the footsteps of her aunt. That would change as she developed a passion for acting out different characters in books that she had read. As her interest in modeling and acting increased, she decided to major in Theatre at Georgia Perimeter College. In addition to acting and modeling she spends time playing the viola. Nina also favors the work of her grandmother, Flo Hawkins, a muralist who worked on Chicago’s famous Wall of Respect.
Acting and performing was deep within Nina’s heart, and manifested regularly as she began to reach adulthood. At the age of 18 she signed her first non-exclusive contract with a local modeling agency but that did not stop her from seeking additional work. She quickly caught the eye of the Bronner Brothers, landing a spot as one of their main models for Nu-Expressions. Nina also appeared in music videos, graced the pages of national magazines, and transitioned into acting as a feature in Rainforest Films, “Pandora’s Box”. Nina’s acting and performing was inspired and influenced by Hilary Swank and Denzel Washington (actors), as well as Henrik Ibsen and August Wilson (playwrights).
Nina has worked with critically acclaimed directors such as Emmy Award Winner Bill Pruitt (ABC’s Holidate), Tyler Perry (What’s Done In The Dark) and Robert Townsend (Playhouse 22); under their tutelage she has grown more confident in her ability to perform. Nina has also had the honor of working next to some of Hollywood’s most talented stars such as Allen Payne, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Bernadette Stanis and Demond Wilson. In 2005, Nina Nicole was cast as rapper Lil’ Zane’s love interest in Rahiem Shabazz’s “The Sun Will Rise” (Winner of Atlanta’s Hip Hop film Festival), where she received her first nomination for best actress. Nina starred in “The Kissing Bandit” (2007) a comedy in which she shows off her quirky sense of humor. In the same year, Nina voiced a character named Nina on the Video Game “Def Jam: Icon.”
- Aaron Baldwin