Welcome to the Girl Chat table, Garcelle Beauvais!
Last month, Variety broke the news that the talented actress, reality television personality, and model is joining “The Real” for its upcoming seventh season.
From “The Jamie Foxx Show” to the pages of Essence and Ebony, Garcelle has had a four-decade-long career… and isn’t stopping anytime soon!
Real fam, here are five things you need to know about our newest co-host!
1. Garcelle Learned English from Watching ‘Sesame Street’
Born in Saint-Marc, Haiti, Garcelle and her family moved to the United States when she was 7, and eventually settled in Peabody, Massachusetts. Though she only spoke French and Creole at the time, she learned English from watching “Sesame Street” on television.
“That’s how I learned English when I came to the United States, as I spoke French and Creole, but didn’t go to school here in the U.S. right away,” she told Tokyo Journal in March 2015 about her early experiences in the States. “There definitely was culture shock. It was the dead of winter, I didn’t speak a word of English, and I hadn’t seen many white people before.”
Garcelle also told the New York Post in 2001 that she was the only Black student in her elementary school.
Despite these challenges, Garcelle persevered to become the strong woman she is today.
2. Garcelle Knows How to Strike a Pose!
Garcelle moved to Florida at age 16 to pursue modeling.
While en route to Fort Lauderdale to seek representation from an agency, Garcelle had a chance encounter with the very owner of said agency.
“As I was driving, I stopped at a red light and put on lipstick while looking out the window at the mirror. Then this hand came in the car and startled me. It was the person who had stopped behind me, and by chance she was the owner of the agency that I was on my way to see without an appointment. So, it was sort of kismet,” she told Tokyo Journal.
Garcelle later moved to New York City and lived with modeling exec Eileen Ford after signing with her agency. She would then go on to sign with Irene Marie Models.
Throughout her career, Garcelle has appeared in print ads for brands such as Avon, Mary Kay, and Clairol, and has walked the runway for designers including Calvin Klein and Isaac Mizrahi.
Our girl has also graced the pages of Essence, Ebony, and Playboy.
3. Garcelle Is a Published Author!
Is there anything she can’t do?
In addition to acting, hosting, and modeling, Garcelle is also an accomplished author who, along with co-writer Sebastian A. Jones, published three children’s books — “I Am Mixed,” “I Am Living in 2 Homes,” and “I Am Awesome” — as part of the “I Am” series.
“The books were inspired by my kids, as I would always read to them, but I didn’t really find books that addressed a kid’s standpoint on diversity that would help them celebrate what they are and help them not to have to choose between their mom and their dad in terms of culture,” Garcelle told Tokyo Journal.
In particular, “I Am Mixed” tells the story of siblings Jay and Nia as they explore the thoughts and emotions of being of mixed ethnicities.
“I didn’t want them to be asked why is your mommy brown and daddy white and not have them understand it themselves,” she said in an interview with Lifetime’s celebrity parents blog. “I wanted them to know that they’re the best parts of us put together. What I wanted most of all is for them to be proud of who they are and celebrate themselves.”
Garcelle shares son Oliver with ex-husband Daniel Saunders, and twin boys, Jax Joseph and Jaid Thomas, with second husband Mike Nilon.
4. Garcelle Is a Grandma!
Speaking of Oliver, in February of this year, Garcelle became a grandmother when Oliver and now-wife Sam welcomed their son, Oliver-Lucas Groves Saunders Jr.
“I received an amazing gift,” Garcelle wrote on Instagram at time.
Months later, in May, Garcelle revealed that Oliver and Sam tied the knot at what appears to be the A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
5. Garcelle Is the First Black Cast Member of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’!
Last August, Garcelle made history when she became the first Black Housewife on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
“I am excited and proud to be joining the cast of such a wildly popular and beloved show like ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,’ Garcelle told The Daily Dish at the time. “As the first African-American Housewife in the Beverly Hills franchise, I am honored and humbled by this awesome opportunity to exemplify the fact that Black Girl Magic lives and thrives in every zip code!”
In a March episode of “The Real,” Garcelle opened up about this groundbreaking accomplishment.
“It’s great. I also feel it’s about time because we are in every zip code,” she said. “It’s exciting.”
You can watch Garcelle — as well as Loni, Jeannie, and Adrienne — on Season 7 of “The Real” beginning September 21.