“For the future, I love acting and just seeing where it takes me I would love to do films, I don't mind doing television and ultimately I would like to just give back to the community.” Rochelle Aytes (in a 2004 interview)
Actress Rochelle Aytes first gained notice for playing magazine reporter Denise Porter in the hit comedy film “White Chicks” (2004), opposite Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans. After her promising debut, Aytes appeared in the films “Madea's Family Reunion” (2006), “Swap Meet” (2006) and “Trick 'r Treat” (2007). On the small screen, she portrayed roles on the short lived series “Drive” (Fox, 2007) and the ABC dramatic series “The Forgotten” (2009-2010), opposite Christian Slater. She also had recurring roles on “Dirt” (2008), “Dark Blue” (2010), “Detroit 1-8-7” (2010-2011) and “Desperate Housewives” (2011).
Aytes lives in Los Angeles, California.
Childhood and Family:
Rochelle Aytes was born on May 17, 1976, in New York City, New York. She graduated from LaGuardia High School and later received a BA in Fine Arts from the State University of New York Purchase College. She is trained in ballet and accomplished in hip hop, jazz and modern dance.
After college, Rochelle Aytes began dancing in theater. In addition to performing with Ballet Hispanicos, she was a cast member of national tours and Broadway productions of Elton John and Tim Rice's hit musical “Aida.” Aytes wanted to pursue acting full time and began taking commercial work. Advertising campaigns she appeared in include L'Oreal, Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, McDonald's, Gillette, Dasani, Tylenol, Burger King, Johnson & Johnson, and Heineken.
In 2003, Aytes made her television debut as a hostess in an episode of the HBO popular series “Sex and the City” called “Great Sexpectations,” which aired on June 29, 2003. The following year, she branched out to the big screen with the role of Denise Porter, Shawn Wayans' love interest, in “White Chicks” (2004), a film directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans that was written and produced by Keenen, Shawn and Marlon Wayans.
2005 saw Aytes guest star in the Fox short lived series “Jonny Zero” (as Keisha) and the Damon Wayans starring sitcom “My Wife and Kids” (as a nurse). She went o to appear in episodes of “ER” (2006), “CSI: NY” (2006), “Half & Half” (2006), “Day Break” (2007), “Las Vegas” (2007) and the hit Fox series “Bones” (2007). She was also cast in the starring role of Karen in a TV series pilot called “13 Graves” (2006) opposite Yazmily Beato and Dean Chekvala.
Back to the big screen, Aytes portrayed Lisa Breaux, one of Madea's nieces, in the motion picture “Madea's Family Reunion,” which was based on the stage play of the same name by Tyler Perry. Released on February 24, 2006, the film opened at No. 1 at the American box office. Despite its commercial success, “Madea's Family Reunion” received mixed reviews from critics. The actress also costarred with Lily Alejandra and DeRay Davis in the comedy film “Swap Meet,” which received a limited release in the U.S.
Aytes landed her first regular role on the television series “Drive,” where she played Leigh Barnthouse. Created by Tim Minear and Ben Queen, the show premiered on Fox on April 15, 2007, but was canceled after four episodes. Later that same year, Aytes portrayed Maria in the independent film “Trick 'r Treat,” which was written and directed by Michael Dougherty and starred Anna Paquin, Brian Cox and Dylan Baker. The film premiered at various film festivals throughout 2008 to 2009, including the Sitges International Festival of Fantastic and Horror Cinema, Screamfest LA International Horror Film Festival, the Fantasia International Film Festival, and the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, to name a few.
In 2008, Aytes played Jasmine Ford in two episodes of the Courteney Cox series “Dirt” called “Ties That (Don't) Bind” and “And the Winner Is” and appeared as Karla Ballantine in an episode of “Shark” titled “Leaving Las Vegas.” She then portrayed Ava in the Lifetime television film “Mistresses” (2009), opposite Benjamin Ayres and Jason Bryden, and worked with Hugh Dillon, Chad Coleman and Eric Ladin in the direct to video action adventure “Left 4 Dead 2” (2009). She also appeared as Tara Kole in “Knock Out” (2009), an episode of “NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.”
Aytes received her next regular role on the ABC drama “The Forgotten,” where she played Detective Grace Russell. The show ran from September 22, 2009, to July 3, 2010. Costars of the series included Christian Slater, Michelle Borth, Heather Stephens, Anthony Carrigan and Bob Stephenson.
After “The Forgotten,” Aytes portrayed Eva on two episodes of the hit TNT series “Dark Blue” (2010) and prosecutor Alice Williams in the ABC series “Detroit 1-8-7” (5 episodes, 2010-2011). In January 2011, she appeared as Amber James, the ex-girlfriend of Keith Watson, in three episodes of the hit ABC series “Desperate Housewives.”
Aytes will portray Lily in the Robert O'Hara thriller “The Inheritance” (2011), opposite Keith David and D.B. Woodside, and star as Diana Lee in the romantic comedy “Butterfly Chasers” (2011), by Princeton Holt. In addition, she is set to portray Vanessa in the ABC television film “Work It” (2011), opposite Rebecca Mader and Amaury Nolasco.