Tracee Ellis Ross could have stuck with simply being a legacy kid. As the daughter of music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein and the legendary Diana Ross, she didn’t really have to do much to make a name for herself in the industry. Yet, despite this privilege, Tracee Ellis Ross was more than content with standing on her own two feet.

After attending the Dalton School in the Bronx, she went on to boarding school at the Institute Le Rosey in Switzerland, before embarking on an entertainment journey that put her in a class by herself. She starred in a handful of music videos for a variety of artists (including someone who would go on to become a music industry legend in his own right). Plus, of course we can’t forget her breakthrough role in “Girlfriends,” where she helped pave the way for a new Black renaissance in entertainment. She even won two NAACP Image Awards for her performance as “Joan Clayton” on that now-classic show, and just when you thought she’d finished, she re-emerged in 2014 as “Dr. Rainbow Johnson” on the super-smash ABC hit, “Black-ish.”

Tracee Ellis Ross, then, wasn’t handed her $16 million empire, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She worked for every penny of it, and we’re all-too-proud of her. Let’s take a look back at her legendary career.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.


Tracee Ellis Ross got her start in the industry with such films and television shows as “Far Harbor,” “The Dish” and MTV’s “The Lyricist’s Lounge Show.” Ross then broke through into the mainstream as one-fourth of the original “Girlfriends,” alongside Golden Brooks, Jill Marie Jones and Persia White in 2000. While appearing on the show, she starred in notable music videos like Kanye West’s “The New Workout Plan” and “Touch the Sky.” After a successful appearance on HBO’s “Life Support,” she was later cast in “Black-ish” alongside Anthony Anderson.

As AfroTech previously reported, “Ross has been a champion for pay equality for Black actresses for years. When news broke that the “Black-ish” actress was paid significantly less than her male co-star, she publicly took a stand and was able to negotiate a higher salary setting the tone for her peers to do the same.”

According to Cheatsheet, Ross made $60,000/episode during the first season of “Black-ish.” After she negotiated for a higher salary, she got bumped up to $200,000/episode, making her one of the highest-paid women — and highest-paid Black actresses.

Directing & Producing

In 2019, Tracee Ellis Ross expanded her influence from the world of acting to the world of directing and producing. She co-created, alongside Kenya Barris, the spin-off to “Black-ish” called “Mixed-ish.” She also announced that she will be starring in, and executive producing, an adult animated show called “Jodie,” which follows the life of the “Daria” character of the same name. Ross said she would be voicing “Jodie,” as well.

Pattern Beauty

In 2018, Ross created the Pattern Beauty brand, which caters specifically to Black hair. The company, which is based in El Segundo, CA, not only is safe for curls but aims to promote an environment that provides opportunities to Black women and other women of color. As she told CNBC, her goal was to be “more proactive about committing to having more diverse suppliers and vendors, and what impact that has on inclusion in the complete business ecosystem.”