Gabourey Sidibe was born in Brooklyn in New York City, USA. She studied psychology before being cast in the titular role in the 2009 film Precious. Her debut performance earned critical acclaim, winning her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead and a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. For this role, she was also nominated for Academy, British Film and Television and Golden Globe Awards. Sidibe has since appeared in roles on film and television, including American Horror Story, Empire and The Big C. Her memoir This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare was released in 2017.