It may come as little surprise to those who have seen beautiful model-turned-actress Garcelle Beauvais (also credited as Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon) that she was voted one of "The Ten Sexiest Women of 2001" by readers of Black Men Magazine, but take a look beyond the surface and you'll see that Beauvais has the talents to back up her beauty. Born in Haiti, the youngest of seven children, Beauvais moved to Massachusetts with her mother and siblings following her parents' divorce. Beauvais' first years in the U.S. were spent in boarding school while her mother supported the family by attending nursing school. With little knowledge of the English language, the French- and Creole-speaking youngster slowly began the process of educating herself by taking in episodes of Sesame Street. Though going from being a member of the social majority in Haiti to being a minority in America was a difficult transition, it was the change of climate that proved most jarring to young Beauvais. Roles in numerous school plays fueled a love for performing, and it wasn't long before the family opted for a more familiar climate in Miami when Beauvais was 16. The following year, the emerging model moved to New York and gained an increasing presence on the catwalk and numerous Essence and Ebony layouts.
Early television appearances on such popular shows as Miami Vice, Family Matters, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air found Beauvais refining her skills in front of the camera, and it wasn't long before she was appearing in such high-profile films as Manhunter (1986) and Coming to America (1988). An ideal role in the Aaron Spelling-produced television series Models, Inc. found Beauvais combining both her modeling and acting experience, and after settling into a role on The Jamie Foxx Show in 1996 (playing Francesca "Fancy" Monroe), she would once again hit the big screen with Wild Wild West (1999) and Double Take (2001).
Having previously appeared as ADA Valerie Heywood in the popular television police drama NYPD Blue, Beauvais expanded her role by joining the series full-time in 2001. A feature role in Bad Company (2002) opposite Chris Rock found Beauvais' feature career taking off, and hinted for great things to come. She subsequently moved into scripted dramatic roles with a heightened emphasis on big-screen features, including plum roles in the 2004 Ice Cube comedy Barbershop 2: Back in Business and the Lindsay Lohan shocker I Know Who Killed Me (2007), in addition to prominent billing in the sci-fi telemovie 10.5: Apocalypse (2006). In 2007, Beauvais also took some time out from filmdom to give birth to twins, and made headlines for appearing nude, while pregnant, in the August 2007 issue of Playboy magazine. She had a role in the 2009 sex comedy Women in Trouble. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi