Tracy Morgan Biography
Claim to Fame: Comedian and actor (Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock)
DOB: November 10, 1968
Diabetes Type: 2
"Superman ran into a little kryptonite," comedian Tracy Morgan joked after being hospitalized following the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. According to publicist Lewis Kay, the Saturday Night Live veteran and star of NBC's 30 Rock collapsed due to a combination of exhaustion and altitude sickness. Tracy‘s accident sparked a frenzy of speculation and concern over his condition. Talk of past alcohol abuse and a kidney transplant in 2010 due to diabetes complications prompted many to fear the worst. However, Tracy's safety was confirmed when he posted to Twitter from the set of 30 Rock.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tracy is the second of five children to Alicia Warden and James Morgan, Sr. At age six, his father, a Vietnam veteran and heroine addict, abandoned the family, putting pressure on Tracy to help care for his siblings, including an older brother with cerebral palsy. Tracy was bullied often, learning to deflect insults and diffuse tension with humor. He attended De Witt Clinton High School until conflict with his mother lead to estrangement. Still struggling with drug addiction, Tracy's father contracted AIDS and Tracy was forced to care for him until his death in 1987.
After his father's death, Tracy began dealing crack cocaine. Caught up in a world of drugs and violence, it took the death of a close friend for Tracy to consider comedy a valid career path. Married with two children and on welfare, Tracy began his stand-up career. He performed throughout the city, developing a loyal following, but was not entirely recognized until he appeared on stage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
In 1994, Tracy was offered a regular role on Martin Lawrence's television series Martin. The show won Tracy considerable recognition and brought him to the attention of Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. In 1996, Tracy joined the cast of SNL where he remained for seven years, working alongside Will Farrell, Tina Fey, and Jimmy Fallon. That same year, the comedian was diagnosed with diabetes. Stress from the show and his illness made Tracy agitated and quick-tempered, giving him a reputation for being difficult or something of a "bad boy." Tracy left the show in 2003 to star in his own sitcom The Tracy Morgan Show. However, the show failed to impress viewers and was cancelled after its first season.
In 2006, friend and fellow SNL veteran Tina Fey approached Tracy about 30 Rock, writing a character based heavily on his personality and behaviors. The show remains popular and Tracy received an Emmy Award nomination in 2009 for his performance.
Tracy has also begun to take better care of his diabetes health through a combination of diet and exercise. In a 2010 interview with That's Fit.com, Tracy credited Nutrisystem for his weight loss, stating, "…it's about being healthy, trying to come down off the weight. Not too much, I'm not obese or anything. I just want to be at a comfortable weight. It's better for my blood pressure and I'm diabetic, so it's great for that."
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Reviewed by dLife staff 12/13.
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