Jay Ellis is a former model turned actor, best known for his role as Lawrence Walker in the HBO Series ‘Insecure’, which he won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
The Suma Cum Laude graduate of Portland’s Concordia University, who was student body president while in school, is also a philanthropist and an entrepreneur. Read to find out more about his marital status, sexual orientation, and net worth.
Jay Ellis was born Wendell Ramone Ellis Jr. on December 27, 1981, in Sumter, South Carolina, as the only child of his parents. His father, Wendell Ellis Sr., a United States Air Force veteran and mother, Paula Ellis, a finance executive who also worked with the Federal Consumer Advisory Council.
Due to his father’s work and frequent relocation, Ellis attended 12 schools in 13 years. He spent the majority of his childhood traveling within and outside the United States, living in countries like the Philippines and Germany, before attending Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.
While growing up, Ellis had hoped to become a professional basketball player. In college, he played for his school’s varsity team and was a very popular figure among his peers. He was also very smart as he maintained very high grades, making it no surprise when he got elected student body president.
Ellis had a brief internship with the Portland Trailblazers basketball team. He worked in their public relations department. He also joined the AmeriCorps to provide care and resources to disadvantaged students of Portland.
After graduating Suma Cum Laude, Ellis started modeling. He worked for companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Columbia Sportswear and featured in ad campaigns for Air Jordan, The Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
In 2004, he decided to pursue an acting career and moved to Los Angeles. He made his professional acting debut a year later and continued to appear in a number of series, including ‘Invasion’, ‘Grace and Frankie,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘NCIS’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. His big break, however, came in 2013 when he starred in the BET series titled ‘The Game’.
In 2015, he was cast to play the role of Lawrence Walker on ‘Insecure’ which turned out to be his breakthrough role alongside main character Issa Rae. The polarizing role has been a hit all across the United States, however, not quite so in his household. It is reported that Ellis’ mother does not watch the show anymore because she can’t bear to see her son’s butt.
Jay Ellis Wife, Girlfriend
Jay Ellis is currently dating Serbian model, Nina Senicar. The couple, who reportedly began dating in 2015, have been seen together flaunting their love for each other on the red carpet and at other industry events on multiple occasions.
It is not clear if Ellis and Senicar have exchanged vows, as they like to keep the details of their relationship to themselves. Ellis has publicly said he values privacy and respect for himself and his girlfriend, hence, his wanting to keep personal things personal.
Gay Or Straight?
Jay Ellis has in the past had to face questions about his sexual orientation with unfounded rumors suggesting that the hot-looking actor might be gay. This is definitely false.
Before dating model Nina Senicar, Ellis was in a relationship with Brittany Daniel. If a history of relationships with women is not convincing enough, Ellis himself has publicly denied being gay. His on-screen activities on ‘Insecure’ should also go some length to prove otherwise even though one might argue that he is just a good actor.
Another possible misconception to him being gay is that he has once said his favorite drink is the Mount Gay XO.
Jay Ellis is estimated to have a net worth of $3 million. This was calculated from the salary he has received, from the first ‘The Game’ TV series and then from playing the award-winning role of Lawrence Walker, a leading character on the hit HBO series ‘Insecure’. Add that to his other work as a model which is also very much lucrative.
Ellis’ net worth is very much on the rise, thanks to his polarizing character on the show which has had a couple of steamy scenes that tend to go viral. He is sure to be one of the most sort-out actors in Hollywood in the coming years.
How Tall Is He? Other Facts
Birth Name: Wendell Ramone Ellis Jr.
Date of Birth: Sumter, South Carolina
Place of Birth: December 27, 1981
Height: 6 feet 2 inches (1.89 m)
Occupation: Actor, Model
Net Worth: $3 million