Danai Gurira

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Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Born Danai Jekesai Gurira
(1978-02-14) February 14, 1978 (age 36)
Grinnell, Iowa
Occupation Actress, playwright
Years active 2004–present
Website
www.danaigurira.com

Danai Jekesai Gurira (born February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She is best known for her role as Michonne on the AMC drama series The Walking Dead.

Early life[edit]

Gurira was born in Grinnell, Iowa and was raised there until December 1983, when she moved with her family to Harare, Zimbabwe.[1] She has an older brother who is a chiropractor and two older sisters, while her mother is a university librarian and her father is a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.[2] She returned to the United States at age 19 to study at Macalester College. She earned her MFA at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[3]

Career[edit]

In 2006, Gurira won an Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for writing, and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress[3] for off-Broadway play In the Continuum.[4] She starred in the 2007 film The Visitor, for which she won Method Fest Film Festival for Best Supporting Actress. She appeared in Ghost Town, 3 Backyards, My Soul to Take, and Restless City. She has guest starred in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Life on Mars, and Law & Order.

In 2009, Gurira debuted on Broadway in August Wilson's play Joe Turner's Come and Gone.[5] From 2010 to 2011, she appeared in the HBO drama series Treme. Gurira's play, In the Continuum, commemorated World AIDS Day in December 2011.[6]

In March 2012, it was announced that she would join the cast of AMC's drama series The Walking Dead in the third season as Michonne.[7][8][9] The same year, she received the Whiting Writers' Award.

Gurira played a lead role in the independent drama film Mother of George, which premiered at 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Gurira received critical acclaim for her performance in the movie.[10][11] In June 2013, Gurira won the Jean-Claude Gahd Dam award at the 2013 Guys Choice Awards.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Gurira is a Christian.[13] In 2008, she appeared at the Global Green Sustainable Design Awards to read a letter written by a New Orleans native displaced by Hurricane Katrina.[14] Gurira co-founded Almasi in 2011, an organization dedicated to continuing arts education in Zimbabwe.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Visitor Zainab Method Fest Film Festival for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
2008 Ghost Town Assorted ghost
2010 3 Backyards Woman in Blue Dress
My Soul to Take Jeanne-Baptiste
2011 Restless City Sisi
2013 Mother of George Adenike Olumide Balogen Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated - American Black Film Festival - Best Actress

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Marei Rosa Rumbidzai Episode: "Inert Dwarf"
2009 Life on Mars Angela Episode: "The Simple Secret of the Note in Us All"
Law & Order Courtney Owens Episode: "Fed"
2010 American Experience Sarah Steward Episode: "Dolley Madison"
Lie to Me Michelle Russo Episode: "Exposed"
2010–2011 Treme Jill 6 episodes
2012–present The Walking Dead Michonne 26 episodes
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 In the Continuum Unknown Writer
Obie Award
Outer Critics Circle Award
Helen Hayes Award
John Gassner Award
2009 Joe Turner's Come and Gone Martha Pentecost
2011 Measure for Measure Isabella
2012 The Convert Unknown Writer[15]
Nominated – Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Writing[16]

References[edit]

External links[edit]