Actress and comedian Retta, NACA’s 2016 Hall of Fame Award honoree, has delighted audiences for years with her performance aptitude and comedy precision and has established herself as a consistent first pick for Hollywood.
Retta currently stars as website editor Barbara on Bravo’s hit series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, a drama exploring post-divorce ups and downs. Previously, Retta spent seven seasons playing the uber-beloved office mate Donna Meagle on NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy Parks and Recreation.
Retta can also be seen in the fan-favorite Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, and the independent drama Other People, which made its premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In 2016 she appeared in the comedy flick Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life opposite Andy Daly, as well as Bastards with Ed Helms and Owen Wilson. Other film credits include Fracture with Anthony Hopkins, First Sunday with Ice Cube and Katt Williams, Sex & Death 101 with Simon Baker, and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star with David Spade.
Born Marietta Sirleaf to immigrant parents from Liberia, Retta grew up in New Jersey. Upon graduating pre-med from Duke University with a degree in sociology, she decided to take a year off before medical school to
work as a contract chemist. She quickly decided drugs and medicine were not her calling and began to pursue her dream of having her own show. Realizing there were several sitcom stars that started as comedians (Roseanne, Drew Carrey, Tim Allen, Brett Butler), she began doing stand-up in Raleigh, NC, and soon decided to make the move to the West Coast.
Retta started performing in Los Angeles and eventually began showcasing for the National Association for Campus Activities. She became a must-see act on the college circuit and soon was nominated for female comedian of the year by Campus Activities Magazine. She was the first winner of Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots Stand-Up Competition, which led to an appearance on the New Faces Showcase at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. This performance led to a development deal with ABC/Disney.
Retta’s television appearances include: The Kroll Show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Key and Peele, Premium Blend and Comedy Central Presents ... Retta. She has also created her own starring role as “Twitter Queen,” thrilling her fans with her live interpretations of the television shows she loves.
Retta’s endlessly entertaining prowess and comedic vigor keep both her devoted following and Hollywood captivated. She currently resides in Los Angeles.