Wayne Alphonso Brady (born June 2, 1972) is an American actor, singer, voice actor, comedian, and television personality, known for his work as a regular on the American version of the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway? He was the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show, the original host of Fox’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, and has hosted Let’s Make a Deal since its 2009 revival. Brady has been performing in the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots on Broadway as Simon and as drag queen Lola since November 2015.
Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia to West Indian parents, and moved to Orlando, Florida as a young child to live with his grandmother and aunt. Brady refers to his grandmother, Valerie Petersen, as his “mom,” since she raised him. Brady is second cousin to professional footballer Jozy Altidore who currently plays for Toronto FC.
At 16, Brady started performing in community theater and at the Orlando improv troupe SAK Comedy Lab, where he first started developing his improv skills. He attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where he graduated in 1989. In 1990, he enrolled at the University of Miami. In 1996, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he continued developing his acting skills.