She is a native of Tennessee, born in the jazz rich city of Memphis, and hails from humble roots. Her mom was a nurse, her dad a blue-collar construction worker. She attended the historic University of the Arts College in Philadelphia for two years prior to moving to New York City where she began her acting career. Neal climbed her way up steadily and carefully, landing her first role on the soap opera Loving. She then moved to into prime time on SeaQuest2032 on which she played Lt. JJ Fredricks. In 1997, Elise made her major motion picture debut in John Singleton’s controversial film Rosewood starring as Scrappy.
Fast forward to 2012. Neal has a new TV One sitcom Belles, and is unveiling a new hair weave line in conjunction with California Lace Wigs & Weaves. She also has a starring role in the award-winning, forthcoming film The Undershepard starring Isaiah Washington and Malinda Williams.
We had a chance to speak with her about the controversial film, which was produced by radio personality Russ Parr, and her role in it as a church “bad girl” — a switch for her because she always plays the good one.
Here is a candid look into the mind and heart of one of Hollywood’s brightest shinning sister stars: