If you have watched Little Women: LA reality show, then Tonya Banks' name should not be new to you. She has carved a place for herself in the heart of many entertainment fans, especially because of her feature on the popular television series. Tonya also has it on record as the first little person and female lead in The Internship Games.
Banks has been in the industry for more than three decades and has acted in several television series and movies. Her wealth of experience in the entertainment industry contributes to the respect and affection she enjoys from people.
Tonya's profile summary
- Full name: Tonya Renee Banks
- Popularly known as: Lil Boss
- Date of birth: 7th of July, 1964
- Place of birth: Carson, California
- Age: 56 years old
- Nationality: American
- Profession: Reality TV star, actress, stuntwoman, author, and entrepreneur
- Horoscope: Cancer
- Height: 4 feet
- Weight: 50 kilograms
- Daughter: Angelique Johnson
- Relationship: Kerwin Johnson (ex)
Early life and career
Not much is known about Tonya's background and family, but she is an amazing woman. She was born and bred in California. At birth, she was named Tonya Renee Banks, even though her nickname, Lil Boss, has overshadowed the name.
So, how old is Tonya Banks? The multifaceted woman is 56 years old. Tonya Renee Banks birthday falls on the 7th of July every year because she was born on the 7th of July, 1964, in Carson, California.
Banks joined the entertainment industry in 1984 as an actress and stuntwoman. She had minor roles in television shows and movies before appearing on the Little Woman: LA. She appeared in Death to Smoochy and Bad Santa before she took part in The Internship Games, where she got everyone's attention. This was the movie that brought her to stardom.
Moreover, she appeared in an episode of Martin in 1994 and Ally McBeal's episode in 1999. As a celebrity, Renee has always nursed the ambition of becoming the first black person to win an Academy Award, which she accomplished. She diversified her portfolio and explored other fields.
As an entrepreneur, she runs a production company of her own known as One Bossey Productions LLC. Also, she has a wine line called L'Tonya Renee Red Blend Wine. She runs an activewear line named Lil Boss Body Activewear, based on a passion for providing clothing for small-statured and average women.
Who is Tonya Banks dating?
Other than her resilience, strength, and achievements, everyone has wondered about Tonya Banks's relationship. Tonya from Little Women LA is presently not dating anyone. However, she once had a partner named Kerwin Johnson. They were in an inconsistent relationship for over three decades.
Renee met her ex-boyfriend in Little Women: LA series. They got engaged in season 6 of the show. Nonetheless, it was disclosed that the lovebirds called off the engagement during the seventh season's premiere show. Eventually, they broke up. This came as a shock to the ladies and viewers. She even returned the engagement ring with which Johnson proposed to her.
Based on her response to her castmates, she felt conflicted calling off the engagement. She was torn between her emotions after she called things off with her long term partner. After returning the ring, she was seen telling Kerwin that she does not want to leave him.
However, she got her emotions together in the long run and said her final goodbye to the relationship. The duo called it quits, and Tonya went on to date Jaa. Regrettably, her relationship with Jaa did not last for long because Jaa was in a relationship with another woman despite dating Tonya.
Renee did not back down and was willing to love Jaa regardless of the situation and her friends' disapproval. Unfortunately, the relationship went sour after Jaa made up his mind to be with the other woman.
Tonya Banks daughter
Although Renee called off her over 30 years of relationship with Kerwin, they have something beautiful to show for it. Tonya and Kerwin have a daughter named Angelique Johnson.
Angelique was born in 1992, and presently, she is 28 years old. Angelique earned a Master's degree from Cal State University, Fullerton, in 2017. Surprisingly, she is not a little person.
What happened to Tonya Banks and Terra?
Tonya and Terra's dispute was an explosive one. It got the attention of everyone. Both have been best friends for over ten years, but their relationship almost crashed when Terra decided to launch her wine line. That would not have been an issue, ordinarily, but because Terra started hers a few months after she launched hers was what got her thinking that there was more to Terra's action.
To Tonya, it was wholly a copycat. What further annoyed her was the name, Black Girl Moscato, her white friend gave her wine line while expecting Renee to be the face of the newly launched wine line.
Tonya expressed her displeasure in an interview. She disclosed that she was not expecting that kind of name. In her words, "it kind of put a wedge in our relationship and friendship." However, she stressed that she believes they could go back to being friends as they have faced many turbulent seasons in their friendship.
Everyone would have assumed that the relationship would hit rock bottom, but towards the end of season 8 of Little Women LA, they were spotted together in a cordial atmosphere. So, it is safe to assume that they are still friends.
Nevertheless, the premiere of the show's season 9 will reveal what the little ladies have been up to. It will be clearer then if they are still friends or not.
What happened to Tonya Banks eye?
Little Women LA TV series is one filled with drama, suspense, and excitement. The little ladies are not opinionated but also fierce. The most prominent and fan-favorite Tonya stands out as she brings her share of drama, ambition, struggles, and even relationship matters.
When she appeared on the show in season six with an eye patch, fans began to wonder what happened to her eyes. Also, did Tonya from Little Women LA have a stroke became another issue of concern. This is because Tonya is known for her advocacy for staying fit and healthy.
It turns out that Tonya has a condition known as Bell's palsy. It is said to be caused by extreme stress. It forms a paralysis that affects the face, resulting in the deterioration of facial muscles on one side. Bell's palsy makes it hard to close the eyes, and it has symptoms that include sound sensitivity and lessened taste abilities.
Running an activewear company, wine business, and filming for the reality show could have been the cause of the stress. Nevertheless, she revealed that the condition made her feel separated.
She joined one of the cast members, Elena Grant, to try her hand in cold therapy to see whether it would help reduce her face's paralysis. She had not revealed the outcome, but she didn't wear the patch in subsequent episodes. This seems to be a good sign that she had recovered.
As for the rumor on stroke, one of the little women, Christy McGinity Gibel, and not her had a mini-stroke during neck surgery. As Christy later confessed, “I am not the same, and may never be. Every day is an uphill battle to do things in my life that I took for granted, like speaking.”
Net worth and updates
According to Information Cradle, the lifetime star's net worth is estimated at one million dollars as of 2020, although SucessTitan reports that she is worth two million dollars. She made this much from her television career and other entrepreneurial activities she is engaged in.
As a respected personality in the entertainment industry, Tonya is reputed as the first black little person to win an Academy Award. In 2020, she released an autobiography book titled It's Not What You're Called, It's What You Answer To.
Life may come with its challenges, but people like Tonya Banks have proven that anyone can still overcome, no matter what happens. She has revealed that anyone can become whatever they wish to be if they are resilient, dogged, and determined to get it done.
Actress Kyeiwaa is another fantastic Ghanaian-born actress worth reading about. In a post published by Yen.com.gh, Kyeiwaa wows many with her acting prowess even though she has had a tough marriage life.
She first married Daniel Osei. They dated for about a year before they had their traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony in Brofoyeduru. Unfortunately, their wedding canceled after rumors that the man was earlier married.