Danielle Brooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Danielle Brooks
Danielle Brooks 2014.jpg
Brooks at the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards
Born (1989-09-17) September 17, 1989 (age 25)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2011–present

Danielle Brooks (born September 17, 1989) is an American actress best known for her role as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black.

Early life and education[edit]

Brooks was born in Augusta, Georgia and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina in a Christian family; her father was a deacon and her mother a minister.[1] She began acting at the age of 6 in a nativity play put on by her church.[2] For her final two years of high school, she attended South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, a performing arts school.[1] She studied drama at the Juilliard School and graduated in 2011.[3]


After graduating from Juilliard, Brooks won roles in two theater productions: the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Servant of Two Masters, and Blacken the Bubble. She left both productions in 2013 to join the cast of the Netflix-produced television series Orange Is the New Black, a show about a women's prison based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name, as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson.[3] Her character Taystee was originally intended to be featured in the show for only two episodes, but ended up being written into the rest of the first season.[3] Taystee's on-screen best friend is played by Samira Wiley, with whom Brooks has been friends since they met while studying together at Juilliard.[4] Brooks' performance in Orange Is the New Black has been praised by critics,[5] with one writer from The Daily Beast calling her "the breakout actress of the show and one of the most refreshing and exciting new talents of 2013".[1] Brooks was upgraded from a recurring cast member to a series regular for the show's second season.[6]

In September 2013, Brooks was cast in an upcoming episode of the HBO series Girls, where she will play the first black woman on the show.[6]


At the 2014 Young Hollywood Awards, Brooks won the Breakthrough Actress award.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
2014 I Dream Too Much TBA Filming
2016 Angry Birds (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Modern Love Raimy TV Movie
2013 Black Girls Rock! 2013 Herself TV Movie
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson 23 episodes
2014 Girls Laura 1 episode


  1. ^ a b c Fallon, Kevin (December 11, 2013). "Danielle Brooks, Taystee on ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ Is the Breakout Star of the Year". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ Soloski, Alexis (July 10, 2013). "Quick Route From Juilliard to Jail". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Abdulhamid, Yassmeen (September 2013). "Fame Is the New Reality for 'Orange' Actress". The Juilliard School. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ Andrews, Helena (September 9, 2013). "Danielle Brooks on Being 'Tasytee' and Staying Grounded". Ebony. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ Henderson, Samantha (August 29, 2013). "Danielle Brooks of 'Orange Is The New Black': 'We Weren't Going To Sugarcoat Things'". Out. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Danielle Brooks Will Be 'The First Black Woman' On 'Girls'". The Huffington Post. September 15, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Leanne Bayley. "Young Hollywood Awards 2014: The FULL winners list". Glamour. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 

External links[edit]