She got Ella from her great-grandmother, Joyce from her mother.
She appeared on The Newlywed Game (1988) before the made her acting debut as Ella Joyce.
Graduated from Detroit's Cass Technical High School (Class of 1972).
She was awarded the 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play for "Crumbs from the Table of Joy", at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Ovation Award for August Wilson's "King Hedley II" from Lo Angeles Stage Alliance.