An impressively talented African-American actress, Gabrielle Union has carved out a niche after landing plum roles in a fiercely competitive field thanks to her consistent yet versatile performances. While studying sociology at UCLA, this Omaha native interned at a modeling agency in her senior year in a bid to fit the most into her school schedule. When agents noted that clients often asked after her and were disappointed that she was a behind-the-scenes employee only, Union decided to take the plunge, and following graduation, she began modeling, seeing the high-paying job as a great way to pay off her sizable student loans. Before long, Union's look would migrate from the page to the screen, and in 1996, she was featured in episodes of "Moesha" (UPN) and "Malibu Shores" (NBC). A natural talent, Union landed parts in quick succession, including a recurring turn on The WB's family drama series "7th Heaven." Here she essayed the role of Keesha Hamilton, eldest daughter of African Methodist Episcopal Reverend Hamilton (Dorian Harewood), a close friend of the central Camden family. Carrying on the role occasionally from 1996-1998, Union was impressive in her infrequent guest shots. A 1997 two-episode recurring role on the syndicated sci-fi spin-off "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" also helped launch the ingénue's career.