Born in New York City, Troy Byer Bailey spent many years acting before pursuing a screenwriting and directing career. She had a seven-year stint on Sesame Street, starting from the age of four, and later studied acting at City University of New York’s School for the Arts.
After landing a part in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club (1984), she moved to Los Angeles and waitressed in L.A. for months before landing her first job on Knots Landing. She furthered her television acting career as a prime-time regular on Dynasty, appeared on The Cosby Show and A Different World, and landed several screen roles on films like The Five Heartbeats (1991), Disorderlies (1987), and Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993).
Troy Byer Bailey’s screenwriting debut came with B.A.P.S. (1997) starring Halle Berry, a script she sold to New Line Cinema. She later wrote and directed Let’s Talk About Sex (1998) – about three women candidly discussing life, love, and sex on the streets of South Beach – and Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003).
Bailey’s next film Ex-Free – slated for a 2012 release – centers around three women who kidnap their exes and hold them hostage until they get the answers they think they need in order for their hearts to be free.
Starring Leon (Diary of A Single Mom, Get Rich or Die Trying), Shari Headley (All My Children, Coming to America), and Darrin Dewitt Henson (Soul Food, The Last Fall), the movie draws inspiration from her book Ex-Free: 9 Keys to Freedom After Heartbreak. Also a self-help author, Byer regularly appears on The Steve Harvey Morning Show.