The lithe and alluring African-American actress Golden Brooks began life in San Francisco in late 1970, and grew up in both the Bay Area and the City of Angels. As a young woman, she attended the University of California at Berkeley as a sociology major, later earning her master's degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Brooks first broke into films in the mid-'90s, with a small role in Spike Lee's phone sex-themed comedy drama Girl 6 (1996); the 2000 series Girlfriends, however, brought Brooks her first recognition in the American press. This rabidly popular sitcom -- which reeled in critical kudos and maintained a broad fan base -- constituted the pet project of Frasier star Kelsey Grammer and producer Mara Brock Akil. It told of four African-American female friends in the Los Angeles -- all white-collar women -- struggling to balance personal and professional demands. Brooks played an assistant at a legal firm and the only woman in the ensemble with a happy marriage and a growing family. After scattered roles in acclaimed features through the first several years of the new millennium, Brooks made the pivotal decision to join the cast of the Queen Latifah-starrer Beauty Shop, about the colorful proprietors and denizens of an Atlanta-based hair salon. The following year, she also starred in Sanaa Hamri's acclaimed dramedy Something New.