Luenell Starred In Her First Film In 1993
Luenell was born Luenell Campbell in March 1952. She made her big-screen acting debut in 1993 in the film So I Married an Axe Murderer, where she played a Police Records Officer. From there, it would be 13 years until her breakout role in Borat, having only featured in two films (1996’s The Rock and 2004’s Never Die Alone) in between that time. Luenell really cut her teeth on the local Oakland television program Soul Beat. She did a series of commercials and sketches and starred in Love Talk with Luenell.
In 2001 she got married and is still with her husband. In a since-deleted post, Lunelle said, “20 years ago, I became Mrs. Rarely.” She goes on to explain that she never posts his full name because social media can be a bit crazy when trying to look up people’s spouses. Lunelle says that it was a small wedding with only select people and that her husband is a “real one,” so she keeps him to herself. The wedding did feature members of her Soul Beat family. She already had a five-year-old at the time, daughter Da’Nelle. Da’Nelle is now a dancer who tours with rapper Coi Leray.
In 2006 The Comedian Starred In Breakthrough Role On Borat
Luenell became a household name in 2006 following her appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat as the “hooker with a heart of gold.” The film debuted at number 1 in it’s opening week and grossed $26.4 million. While Sacha scored a handful of nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and more, Luenell’s performance helped her launch her comedy career as she immediately went on the road with Katt Williams. She followed this up with successful performances in Think Like a Man, Hotel Transylvania, Taken 2, and A Star is Born. Her current net worth is estimated to be around $250k.
Luenell Robbed A Bank For $50,000
Despite all her success, Luenell struggled for years. There were times that she opened for DL Hughley and only took home $50 a night. While she hustled to make it as a comic, Luenell worked at a bank to keep the lights on at home. In an IG post from 2018, Luenell opened up about how she embezzled money from the bank because she knew it was going to go under and she needed it for her family.
“FOR THOSE WHO NEED A RAY OF HOPE…..✍🏽20 yrs ago, I was convicted and sentenced to months on End n county Jail at Twin Towers Correctional Facility on an embezzlement charge.” Luenell says her daughter was only 19 months old at the time. She remembers feeling like a disappointment to her family and thinking she would never get out.
Luenell goes on to thank the people who helped her get through those times, including her family and comic friends in the Oakland area. Following her release, she says fellow comic Guy Torry took her directly to the Comedy Store’s Phat Tuesday, and she got on stage and vented. “I got a standing ovation🙌🏾 I took a deep breath and I made it my Biz to NEVER get locked up again!”
She then turned it around and told fans that if she could make it, so could they. Luenell believes that jail sentence was a turning point for her that led her into the right direction. “I feel great about my life now, and old habits don’t die easy. I know. It takes Work to do the right thing but just chk out my NEXT Post to c what I mean!”
In the post, she shared several images, including her inmate vending card and wrist bracelet, the rules and information brochure she kept from Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, letters she got from family and friends, and documentation from her sentencing. In other interviews, Luenell discussed what happened and said that she pocketed over 50 racks from the failing bank. Looking back, she wishes she had used the money in better ways but was also struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and got sloppy, which led to her getting caught.
Fans under her post thank her for her transparency and testimony. “Thank you for sharing! We are definitely not slaves to our former selves🤗, said one. Another chimed in with, “It’s life, you survived. We all can when we strive. Your reveal was courageous, thanks for being you.”