(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
When celebrities live their lives in the public eye, it’s natural for their fans to be curious about the star’s personal life. It also goes without saying that the celebrity would like to keep some things private — just to herself. This can be a delicate balancing act and a fun lady Wanda Syke is no stranger. The actress, comedian, and author has created a meaningful family life that she leverages in her comedic routines, but still manages to maintain a private intimate life as well. Before we delve into what we know about Sykes’ personal life and marriage, let’s take a look at Sykes’ early life and career.
Sykes’ early life
Wanda Sykes was born on March 7, 1964 in Portsmouth, Virginia. She was raised in Anne Arundel County, Maryland near DC with her brother Harry by their mother, Marion Louise, a banker, and their father, Harry Ellsworth Sykes, an Army Colonel. She attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and graduated with a degree in marketing. After college, she got a job at the National Security Agency, but this funny woman wasn’t destined to become a government bureaucrat. She entered a local radio station’s talent show and became hooked on comedy fever.
After years of working in the comedy circles, her big break came after opening for Chris Rock. Rock was so impressed with Sykes that he offered her a job The Chris Rock Show. Sykes and the writing team won an Emmy for outstanding work in 1999. This would open Sykes doors to a remarkable career.
Highlights of Sykes’ career
Sykes has an extensive number of credits on her impressive resume. Sykes has appeared in many television series such as Curb your enthusiasm, Old Christine’s new adventures, and blackness. She voiced characters Over the hedge, barnyard, and brother bear 2 She has acted in films such as Pootie Tang and Evan Almighty. She had her own sitcom Wanda in general and comedy stand-up specials such as HBO’s Wanda Sykes: Sick and tired.
Syke’s previous marriage
Sykes was previously married to Dave Hall, a music producer, for seven years from 1991 to 1998. Hall has worked with well-known musical stars such as Mary J. Blige, Madonna and Usher. Sykes only came out publicly in 2008 at a Proposition 8 protest rally in Las Vegas, Nevada. A month before he came out, Sykes married Alex Niedbalski, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What we know about Alex (Niedbalski) Sykes
In an interview with The Guardian. Wanda revealed that she first noticed Alex on a ferry ride to Fire Island in New York. She was immediately attracted to her, but they didn’t bond that day. Wanda complained to her friend about her love life and she told her to stop talking about her cooking and say pick up lines instead. Wanda didn’t listen and continued talking about her cooking. This would make another friend introduce her to someone to help her remodel her countertops. In a moment fit for romantic comedy, that woman ended up being the same woman Wanda had seen on the ferry: Alex Niedbalski. Handsome Frenchman Alex Niedbalski sold granite countertops and happened to be single.
Wanda and Alex exchanged vows on October 25, 2008. They wore matching dresses and Alex took Wanda’s surname Sykes. They kept the marriage a secret until Wanda came out publicly. Wanda’s conservative Christian parents did not attend the ceremony. It took them some time to accept their daughter’s homosexuality. There was a period of estrangement, but Wanda now enjoys a relationship with her parents.
First comes love, then marriage, then twins…
In 2009, Alex gave birth to fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. Due to Alex’s nationality, they are raising the twins bilingually speaking both French and English. This is comedy gold because Wanda can’t speak French although she tries, as seen on her Instagram account. She told Seth Myers that the three French-speaking members of her family sometimes act against her. “I pick up little words, but I can tell when they’re about to hurt me because they speak fast and in a lower tone.” At one point, Wanda thought they were going to brunch, but somehow ended up on a boat instead. “And they say ‘well,’ and the next thing I do is I’m sitting in a canoe in the middle of a lake.”
Wanda and Alex seem to love being parents. Wanda told NPR’s Terry Gross last year that what she loves most about motherhood is taking care of someone other than herself.
I think it takes you out of you, you know, just to be able to love something so much and just want to be there and take care of it and not worry about yourself. It’s just good to know that I have this ability. You know it’s like, oh I could do that. I thought I was so self-centered, but this is – wow. Look at me. Look at me being a parent and taking care of something, you know, other than myself. Yeah, it’s just beautiful. And she – yes. I just learned a lot about myself.
Fans can rest assured that while Wanda and Alex keep some things private, their love for one another and their family is strong and a great resource for Wanda’s ongoing comedy career.