Yvette Nicole Brown is an American actress and comedienne best known for her role as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée, in the television sitcom Community.
As a young girl growing up in East Cleveland, Ohio, Brown dreamed of a career on stage and screen.
She began her entertainment career as a vocalist while still in her teens, when after an impromptu audition for Michael Bivins she was signed to Motown Records as a part of the East Coast Family, a group of new talents that included Boyz II Men.
Brown was featured on the Motown album The East Coast Family Vol. 1, which included the Top 20 single, 1-4-All-4-1.
As a part of the East Coast Family, Brown appeared on MTV, Showtime at the Apollo, Vh1 and BET, while simultaneously completing coursework that led to a Bachelor of Fine & Applied Arts degree from the University of Akron.
Following graduation, she packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles.
In just a short time, Brown has emerged as one of the most sought-after character actresses in Hollywood, highlighted by memorable appearances on numerous hit TV shows, including: House, Entourage, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Two and a Half Men, Malcolm in the Middle, 7th Heaven, Fat Actress, Til Death, That's So Raven, Rules of Engagement, Privileged and That '70s Show among others.
In addition, she has had recurring roles on Boston Legal, Girlfriends, Sleeper Cell, Half & Half and Drake & Josh. She also was a series regular on The Big House.
In 2004, Brown made her feature film debut opposite Brittany Murphy, Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates in the hit romantic comedy Little Black Book.
The following year, she returned to the big screen in the Michael Bay action film The Island, co-starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.
Other film credits include roles in the Academy Award-winning adaptation of Dreamgirls; the comedy The Kid & I; and most recently, supporting roles in Meet Dave, opposite Eddie Murphy; Tropic Thunder, directed by Ben Stiller and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey; and Hotel for Dogs, alongside Emma Roberts, Don Cheadle and Lisa Kudrow.
In 2008, Brown reprised her role as Helen in the telefilm Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh, and she can be seen in the upcoming theatrical releases: The Ugly Truth with Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl, and Cheryl Hines; Repossession Mambo, opposite Jude Law and Forest Whitaker; and 500 Days of Summer with Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Brown lives in Los Angeles and in her free time loves to read, knit, write music and watch TV.