Niecy Nash

Niecy Nash may be one of the hardest-working women in show business with three TV shows on the air — The Soul Man, Getting On and The Mindy Project — but getting to where she is hasn’t been easy.

“In 1985, I found my mother after she was shot by her boyfriend. In 1993, I buried my brother, and in 2006 I got divorced after 16 years,” Niecy tells Closer in an exclusive interview.

Her mother survived, but after the shooting death of Niecy’s younger brother, she went into a deep depression. “When my brother was killed, my mother was in a severe depression, and one day before my 23rd birthday, I was at a loss and didn’t know what to do,” Niecy recalls to Closer. “What I did know was I had the ability to make my mother laugh.”

And it worked. “She went from lying in the bed to sitting up in the bed. Then one day I came in to do my act and she wasn’t in bed,” she explains. “Turns out she was in the living room and invited the neighbors to see me do stand-up. That is when I knew I had a gift to do comedy. I decided I was going to go out and spread this around as a means to help the other people who are suffering.”

Now, the remarried mother-of-three explains, “All of this rough road I have traveled I may not be able to change, but I can decide how I am going to get up and face today. I choose happiness.”