Photo of Wanda Sykes Wanda Sykes

Stand-up comic Wanda Sykes, born March 7, 1964, in Portsmouth, Va., grew up the daughter of an Army colonel father and a banker mother. After graduating with a marketing degree from Hampton University, Sykes took a job with the National Security Agency. But an appearance at a Washington, D.C., talent showcase convinced Sykes that comedy was her true calling.

After working D.C. clubs for five years, Sykes quit her NSA job and moved to New York. There, she got a break opening for Chris Rock and was soon hired to write for "The Chris Rock Show," a gig that won her a writing Emmy.

In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for Outstanding Female Stand-Up Comic. The next year, she parlayed an unlikely stint as commentator on "Inside the NFL" into another Emmy win. Sykes has appeared on "The Drew Carey Show" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," as well as such films as Monster-in-Law and Pootie Tang.

Wanda Sykes in Rio

Rio

2011 G

When a cooped-up macaw named Blu leaves the confines of his birdcage behind for the tropical climes of Rio de Janeiro, he's forced to wing it and re-examine everything he knows about life -- and being a bird.

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