February 21, 1969 |
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Ellis was born in San Francisco, California, and raised on her grandmother's farm in Mississippi. She attended Tougaloo College before transferring to Brown University, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in African-American studies, while also studying acting with Jim Barnhill and John Emigh. She went on to study acting in the Graduate Acting Program at New York University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
In the Spring, 2012 Hampton University semester, she was going to be teaching entertainment industry courses. She will also be featured in a Hampton Players and Company production, "Through the Crack."
Awards and nominations
- 2001 - Nominated for an Image Award at the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Men of Honor (2000).
- 2003 - Nominated for a Black Reel at the Black Reel Awards/Black Reel Awards of 2003 for Theatrical - Best Actress for Undercover Brother (2002).
- 2005 - Nominated for an Actor award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards/11th Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for Ray (2004) shared with Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Regina King, Harry Lennix, Clifton Powell, Larenz Tate and Kerry Washington.
- 2010 - Nominated for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
- New York Undercover
- Girls Town
- Ed's Next Move
- High Incident
- Side Streets
- Desert Blue
- In Too Deep
- A Map of the World
- The Practice (4 episodes)
- Third Watch (2 episodes)
- Men of Honor
- HBO First Look (1 episode)
- The Opponent
- Disappearing Acts
- The Caveman's Valentine
- Access Granted (1 episode)
- 100 Centre Street (3 episodes)
- Lovely & Amazing
- Undercover Brother
- MDs (10 episodes)
- Brother to Brother (as Zora Neale Hurston)
- Jonny Zero (6 episodes)
- E-Ring (11 episodes)
- Justice (8 episodes)
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent (1 episode)
- Cover (2007)
- Numb3rs (1 episode)
- True Blood
- Racing for Time
- The Border (1 episode)
- The Hungry Ghosts
- The Tested
- Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
- The Taking of Pelham 123
- The Mentalist (2010–; recurring role) as Special Agent Madeleine Hightower
- Game of Death 2010
- The Resident 2011
- The Help 2011
- Money Matters 2011
- Missing 2012
- "Abducted: The Carlina White Story 2012
- NCIS: Los Angeles 2012 & 2013 as Michelle Hanna
- Up and Coming: Aunjanue Ellis and Carrie Preston; Two Young Performers Ride 'The Tempest' - New York Times
- "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- Robert Brauchle (January 13, 2012). "Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters to meet this month". Daily Press. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Ben Brantley (February 20, 2004). "THEATER REVIEW; Chekhov Shows He Can Rap". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- "'The Help' actress to teach courses at HU". WAVY-TV. January 17, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2012.