Early life and education
Coleman was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, the daughter of Roz Coleman. She started her acting career in theatre and television at a very young age in Columbia, South Carolina. She currently lives in Los Angeles. Her training began at the Workshop Theatre School of Dramatic Arts where she performed in over 15 plays. An acting class taught by a guest teacher actually turned out to be an audition, and resulted in her booking her first commercial. Then Coleman began auditioning for anything she could in the Southeast region, landing several local and regional commercials as well as a few supporting roles in films. In addition to acting, Coleman was very involved in her community and school where she did everything from performing in plays to competing in forensic tournaments, volunteering with abused children, running track, and even cheerleading.
Coleman went to Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. Then, she attended The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, earning her BFA in Acting in 2002.
Coleman made her first lead in the independent feature entitled Mother of the River which was shot in the historic Charleston, South Carolina. The film won numerous awards at film festivals in Chicago. Two years later, Coleman appeared as Young Donna in The Family Channel Movie The Ditchdigger's Daughters for which she was nominated for a Young Artists Award of Hollywood. During her sophomore year of high school, Coleman wrote, directed, produced, and starred in her own one-person play entitled "Voices from Within" with standing room only - audience numbering in the hundreds. On stage in Chicago, Coleman starred in productions of Noises Off, Polaroid Stories, The Real Thing and The Colored Museum.
In 2005, Coleman had the honor of working opposite one of her heroes - the legendary James Earl Jones when she played Leesha in the 2005 Hallmark TV Movie The Reading Room. She received a 2006 Camie Award for the role and represented the film at the NAACP Image Awards.
In 2006, Coleman co-starred in High School Musical as Taylor McKessie, best friend of the new brainiac girl Gabriella Montez played by Vanessa Anne Hudgens. Then, she was a recurring guest star in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episodes, Forever Plaid Not So Suite 16, Neither a Borrower Nor a Speller Bee and A Prom Story along with Hudgens. Coleman has had seven other guest appearances on television including, "Boston Public", "Gilmore Girls", "Malcolm in the Middle", "Strong Medicine", "10-8: Officers on Duty", "Married to the Kelly", and "Veronica Mars". Coleman was also in the first ever "Disney Channel Games" in 2006, on the Blue Team (with Corbin Bleu, Brenda Song, Cole Sprouse, Vanessa Hudgens and Jason Earles). In the second Disney Channel Games in 2007 on the Green Team (with Lucas Grabeel, Dylan Sprouse, Miley Cyrus and Brandon Baker). She won with both teams. Coleman also appeared on "Tour with High School Musical: The Concert". She showcased her new ballroom skills in "Dance With Me", while she partnered National Youth Latin Champion Jared Murillo. Andrew Seeley was the soloist. She is the host of "3 Minute Game Show: High School Musical Edition" on Disney Channel. Recently she recorded a song called "Christmas Vacation" for the holiday album entitled "A Disney Channel Holiday." In an interview, Coleman has stated that she will protray Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in a biopic based on the lives of girl group TLC. She will play a depressed femme fatale, Chelsea Park, in a indie film titled "Crush," which takes place in the 1920s. She will have a main role in the 2010 romance-comedy film "Promise Rings". She was also offered a role in another independent flim, entitled "Sleep Away", but turned it down because she was told there would be a nude scene her character would have to take part of. DreamWorks Animation reports Monique Coleman will voice Layla in the live-action/animated version of Tom and Jerry. She plays Stephanie Florian in Wipeout Canada.
Dancing with the Stars
Coleman competed in the Fall 2006 third edition of ABC's Dancing with the Stars reality dance competition. She was paired with professional partner Louis van Amstel throughout the competition. van Amstel and the judges praised her for "taking risks" during the competition. The pair appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show before they were eliminated and performed the same dance they performed in week 2's episode. She was eliminated from Dancing With The Stars on November 1, 2006, finishing fourth in the competition. She was the last female in the contest that year. Coleman was very gracious in defeat, and appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show on the same night as the Results Show to thank her fans for their votes and support. In the beginning of late December 2007, Coleman partook in the Dancing with the Stars tour that took her across America along with other former competitors until early February 2008.
|Week No.||Dance||Score (out of 30)||Music||Singer|
|2||Mambo||9+8+9=26||"Bop to the Top"||Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel|
|3||Jive||9+9+9=27||"The Heat Is On"||Glenn Frey|
|4||Waltz||9+8+8=25||"If I Were a Painting"||Kenny Rogers|
|5||Rumba||9+9+9=27||"So Nice"||Bebel Gilberto|
|7||Quickstep||9+9+9=27||"Luck Be a Lady"||Frank Sinatra|
|7||Doble Paso Doble||9+9+9=27||"The Reflex"||Duran Duran|
|8||Tango||8+8+8=24||"Somebody's Watching Me"||Rockwell|
|9||Cha-cha-cha||9+10+10=29||"Ghostbusters"||Ray Parker, Jr.|
Behind the Scenes
- Monique could not swim prior to the film and had to be taught swimming lessons for the film. There is one scene where her character jumps into a pool, so she asked if Corbin Bleu could jump in the pool with her.
- It was said that Monique cried the most in the last day of filming HSM3. And that she she wouldnt leave her trailer before the shoot.
- ↑ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07004/751062-42.stm
- ↑ Monique Coleman biography
- ↑ Monique Coleman Biography at 
- ↑ The Ditchdigger's Daughter at IMDB
- ↑ High School Musical, Monique Coleman
- ↑ The Reading Room at IMDB.com
- ↑ Awards
- ↑ Monique's luck runs out on 'Dancing' - Dancing With the Stars - MSNBC.com
- ↑ TV Guide, TV Listings, Online Videos, Entertainment News and Celebrity News TVGuide.com