Aisha Tyler

Active - 1991 - 2017  |   Born - Sep 18, 1970 in San Francisco, California, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Born September 18th, 1970, actress, comedian, author, reality-show host, and occasional scriptwriter Aisha Tyler came of age in San Francisco and studied poly sci at Dartmouth College before mounting a (brief) career as an advertising executive in her hometown. Dissatisfied by this pursuit, and pining to launch herself as a full-time entertainer, Tyler "dropped out" of the corporate world and hit the road with a solo standup comedy act in the mid-'90s.

Around 2001 -- after five years in Los Angeles with occasional standup bookings and concomitantly limited acclaim and recognition -- Tyler landed two huge breaks, first as the host of the irreverent Talk Soup during that program's final year (a position she inherited from Greg Kinnear, John Henson, and others), and then as the primary host of the dating series The 5th Wheel. Riding the crest of popularity generated by reality television during the first several years of the millennium, Wheel coupled the unscripted spontaneity of The Real World and Survivor with the format of the dating series Blind Date. Its premise involved setting two couples up on blind dates, having them "swap" partners, and adding an unforeseen fifth member (the "wheel" of the title) to stir things up and add provocation. The program placed a greater emphasis on erotic and suggestive content than Blind and -- perhaps as a result -- it unsurprisingly became a massive, runaway hit.

The ever-ambitious Tyler, however, continued to expand her horizons. She maintained a short tenure with Wheel and quickly moved on to other endeavors, placing a particularly strong emphasis on television work. This included a stint as Charlie (the only recurring African-American cast member) in the final two seasons of the popular sitcom Friends, and a recurring role as covert terrorist Marianne Taylor on the weekly suspenser 24. Tyler also portrayed attorney Andrea Moreno (who dies in a car crash but is then "ushered" over to the other side by Jennifer Love Hewitt's psychic) in the first season (2005-2006) of the supernatural drama The Ghost Whisperer. After that, Tyler segued into feature-film work, with bit roles in such pictures as The Santa Clause 3 and .45.

Six feet tall and one of the most physically breathtaking young actresses of her generation, Tyler frequently provides beauty tips in such magazines as Ebony and Glamour; she is also an outspoken proponent of physical fitness and a strenuous exerciser who pushes herself to an almost unimaginable degree. A February 2007 issue of In Style magazine reported, "In addition to scaling walls, Tyler runs, uses a rowing machine, lifts weights, snowboards and scuba dives. But for her, nothing beats the mental rush of rock climbing." In 2004, Tyler also authored and published the best-seller Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl, a free-form, witty expostulation on such "hot" topics as men, bikini waxing, reality television, dating wars, sex, and body image.

After filming several unremarkable movies throughout the mid-2000s, the actress found success on Archer, a television series that features Tyler as a dedicated but deadly agent for ISIS, a secret intelligence unit in New York City. While she continued work on Archer, she landed the job of co-host on The Talk, and later, host of the revamped Whose Line Is It Anyway? As if that weren't enough, Tyler also landed a recurring role on Criminal Minds in 2015.

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Factsheet

  • Favorite authors include Ray Bradbury and J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Studied political science in college and planned on being an environmental lawyer until she attended a live comedy show.
  • Was the first woman to regularly host Talk Soup.
  • Won a 2001 NAACP Theater Image Award for her performance in the play Moose Mating.
  • Won a celebrity edition of The Weakest Link in 2001.
  • Penned a collection of humorous essays titled Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl (2004).
  • Simultaneously played recurring characters on 24 and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
  • Lent her voice to the 2010 video game Halo: Reach, and is an avid gamer.