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Who is Paula Jai ​​Parker? Husband, net worth

Known from movies

Paula Jai ​​Parker is an American comedian, actress, director, singer and composer, whose fame was her role in Disney Channel’s ‘Friday’, ‘Hustle & Flow’ and ‘The Proud Family’.

Early life and family

Paula Jai ​​Parker was born on August 19, 1969 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Her father died when she was three years old – his last words to her as she sat on his lap before falling into a coma were to take care of her mother, which she tries to do. Her mother remarried a wealthy realtor and they lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where Paula’s life became more interesting. Her stepfather was arrested for double selling property, and she was nearly kidnapped by those her stepfather had conned, but luckily her school thwarted the plot and she called her parents.

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The would-be kidnappers lost interest in her and turned their attention to the couple; they beat them with a gun and took valuables from their house.

From the age of five, Paula was harassed by her junkie stepbrother, and when she told her mom about it, they decided to leave. They had to sneak out of the house because apparently her mother was also abused by his stepfather. Instead of reporting it to the authorities, her mother sought help from big gang players, who were friends of Paula’s father, and solved it their way.

Later, her stepfather was charged with double selling and sentenced to federal prison. Instead of being defeated, her mother bought another company that sold plastic covers, and was successful, making them wealthy in Cleveland.


Paula first attended an all-white local high school, but in 12e class, she transferred to a more diverse public school and enrolled from there. Paula then graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington DC


First steps

After college, she moved to New York to pursue an acting career, but ended up performing in comedy at various nightclubs. She had the opportunity to perform live for a year in “The Apollo Comedy Hour” at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

In 1994, her first dramatic role in an HBO anthology series, ‘Cosmic Slop’, earned her an acting award from Cable ACE Award for the episode ‘Tang’.

Paula Jai ​​Parker

A year later, she was offered the iconic minor role of Joi, the prankster girlfriend in the hit comedy movie ‘Friday’ starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. A series of small roles followed in several films, including ‘Tales from the Hood’ produced by Spike Lee in 1995, ‘Get on the Bus’ in 1996 directed by Spike Lee and ‘Why Do Fools in Love’ in 1998, starring Halle Berry and Vivica A. Vos.

On television, she appeared as a guest on several TV shows, before being cast in the regular cast of “The Wayans Bros” where she took on the role of Monique which she played for 13 episodes from 1995 to 1996. Paula was also a regular series. in the comedy show produced by Dirk Clark, “The Weird Al Show”, as Val Brentwood with popular comedian Weird Al Yankovic for 13 episodes in 1997, and in 1999 she starred in the comedy series “Snoops” as Roberta Young for one season.

Further success

Paula proved to be exemplary in her craft and became a quintessential supporting actress performing in supporting roles both on television and in movies. However, she landed a starring role in Disney Channel’s animated series ‘The Proud Family’, portraying the role of Trudy Parker Proud – Mama Bear of the Proud Family. She was part of the show from 2001 to 2005.

She had recurring roles in some TV shows, the most notable being in ‘Side Order of Life’, a drama series broadcast on the Lifetime Channel in which she played Stargell Grant for seven episodes in 2007; “True Blood”, a horror fantasy series that aired on HBO in 2013 as Karen in five episodes; and “Ray Donovan,” a crime drama series airing on Showtime in which she played Sylvia Starr for five episodes in 2016.

Paula also appeared in several movies, and some of her notable ones were “Phone Booth” with Colin Farell in 2003 which grossed almost $100 million worldwide, “Ray” with Jamie Foxx in 2004 which grossed $125 million worldwide, and “Hustle & Flow” with Terence Howard in 2005, playing the role of Lexus, which earned her a nomination of the Women Film Critics Circles Award for Best Comedic Performance and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

From 2015 to 2016 she participated in the reality TV series‘Hollywood Divas’, which followed the lives of five African-American celebrities, and her lives were chronicled for three seasons.

It aired on the cable channel TV One, also featured in the reality show were Golden Brooks, Countess Vaughn, Elise Neal and Lisa Wu.

Paula was last seen in two ongoing web series beginning in 2019: “Crown Lake” in which she plays a recurring character, and “A House Divided” as a series regular.

Private life

She married Forrest Martin, an actor-writer, in December 2004, just months after filming the movie “Hustle & Flow”, which her husband worked on as an intern after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. The couple has a son whom they gave the very long name Onederful Vanglorious Jaxon N’Krumah Martin.

Interesting facts

  • In one of the episodes of “Hollywood Divas”, it was revealed that Paula and her family were homeless during the filming of the reality TV show; she lived in an extended stay hotel with her son and husband. She sold her house in 2007 with the intention of buying another, but the writers’ strike halted most of the filming in Tinseltown.
  • She relied on state food stamps when she was broke. Paula said it was a humbling experience, and some people were shocked when they recognized her.
  • Paula had a split with Golden Brooks, one of the other actresses on the show, ‘Hollywood Divas’, accusing Golden of flirting with her husband. When they argued, Golden laughed at Paula’s accusation and told her she wanted a man who works. Apparently, Paula is the breadwinner of the family and her husband is constantly dependent on her financially.
  • In 2008, she launched an after-school boot camp and workshop for kids in California. She planned it when she wasn’t busy filming.


She is 1.59 m tall and weighs 58 kg. She is of African American descent and has black hair and black eyes.

Net value

Authoritative sources estimate that of Paula net value around $150,000, as of June 2020.

General information

First and last name Paula Jai ​​Parker
Height 1.58 meters
Profession Voice actor, comedian, film director, film producer, screenwriter
Education Howard University
Nationality American


Husband Forest Martin
Children Onederful Vanglorious Jaxon N’Krumah Martin


Nominations Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Movies Friday, Hustle & Flow, Phone Booth, She Hate Me, My Baby’s Daddy, Idlewild, High Crimes, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Sprung, Tales from the Hood, The Proud Family Movie , 30 Years to Life, The Genius Club, The Breaks, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Woo, Get o…
TV shows The Proud Family, Snoops, The Weird Al Show, Townsend Television

Links to social profiles



Title Year Status Character
Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful dreamer 1984 Ten (English version, voice)
Au nom de tous les miens 1983 English version, voice, uncredited
Sekai meisaku dowa: Mori wa ikiteiru 1980 English version, voice

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia


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