Tracee Ellis Ross appears to be a true mama’s girl. The daughter of Motown legend Diana Ross, the Black-ish actor is always gushing about her mother and the ways that she impacted her career trajectory and success. But what about her father? Is Tracee Ellis Ross close to her dad? Learn more about her family life, here.
Tracee Ellis Ross’s early life
Ross was born on Oct. 29, 1972, to the ex-Supreme member and music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein.
According to People, Diana met Silberstein in 1970, when she was dating Motown boss Berry Gordy, who’s also the father of her eldest daughter, Rhonda. She had been out shopping for Gordy when she came across Silberstein, whom she described as “a rare thing, a gentleman who is young, alive and very handsome—all the fantasy things you think of in a husband.”
By 1971, she and Silberstein were married. They raised their family in the Los Angeles area in a “sleekly modern mansion” with a cook, yardman, housekeeper, and nanny, among other things. But despite the help, Ross has said that her mother was very hands-on, building her schedule to allow for a sufficient amount of time at home.
“I felt like I grew up in her [Diana Ross’] embrace, not her shadow. And that is a testament to her. [Her children] were always more important than fame,” she once told Elle Canada.
Diana and Silberstein welcomed one more child together, daughter Chudney, in 1975 before divorcing two years later. After their split, Diana married and divorced Norwegian businessman Arne Naess Jr. (1985 to 2000), with whom she shares sons Ross Naess and Evan Ross.
Tracee Ellis Ross’s teenage and adult years
Growing up, Ross found herself interested in the arts. With help from her mom, she started modeling as a teenager, working with fashion powerhouses like Mugler and Alaïa.
At 18, Ross began studying theater arts at Brown University. She told W Magazine that even though she was still working in fashion and modeling at the time, she fell and love with acting and knew it was something she wanted to do long-term.
Eventually, she picked up roles in productions such as 1996’s Far Harbor and 1999’s A Fare to Remember. Then came Girlfriends. A ratings hit, Girlfriends served as a springboard for Ross’s career, helping her secure more roles like the primetime comedy Black-ish.
In terms of her success, Ross has credited her mom for giving her freedom to explore things she was interested in. “She really gave us space and the courage to live the lives that we want to be living and to have time to dream and conjure up the life that I wanted to be living. I could really curate or design the world I wanted to be living in,” she told W Magazine.
What Tracee Ellis Ross’s relationship with her dad is like
Though you might not see much of her and Silberstein publicly, Ross previously told Larry King that he’s a “very special” person to her.
“My dad is hilarious,” she added to Refinery29 in 2017. “I don’t know if I got it genetically, but his perspective and point of view on life and ability to laugh at himself and laugh at life and see the humor in life is something that I love about him. And that I’m very grateful I got that.”
Ross sometimes posts her father on her social media pages, documenting their journeys and life experiences together. It’s clear from the clips alone that they have a good time whenever they’re together and honestly do share a special bond.
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