Gugu Mbatha-Raw (born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha; 1983) is an English actress.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in Oxford, England. Her name, "Gugulethu", is a contraction of igugu lethu, means "our pride" (depending on context) in Xhosa, like the township of the same name. Her mother, Anne Raw, is an English nurse, and her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a doctor originally from the Republic of South Africa. Her father is black and her mother is white. Mbatha-Raw grew up in the small town of Witney in Oxfordshire, and attended The Henry Box School, before moving to London to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2001.
Mbatha-Raw played minor roles on television series such as Bad Girls (2006), Doctor Who (2007) and Marple (2007). One of her earliest breakthroughs in drama was in Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 2005. Mbatha-Raw was nominated for best actress in the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards for her portrayal of Juliet and also played Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the same theatre in 2005.
In September 2010, she starred in the J. J. Abrams TV series Undercovers, which was cancelled two months later.
In June 2011, Mbatha-Raw was cast as the female lead in the Fox pilot Touch opposite Kiefer Sutherland.
She had a supporting role in 2011 romantic comedy film Larry Crowne, written and directed by Tom Hanks, who starred in the title role.
She starred in Amma Asante's 2013 film Belle, playing the eponymous historical character, Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race aristocrat in 18th century Britain. The same year, Mbatha-Raw had a supporting role in Jupiter Ascending and played the lead character in Gina Prince-Bythewood's film Blackbird.
- ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916-2005.; at ancestry.com
- ^ Elber, Lynn (22 September 2010). "`Undercovers' colorful mission: bring change to TV". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- ^ a b c Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Dehn, Georgia (28 May 2009). "Hamlet with Jude Law at Wyndham's Theatre: Gugu Mbatha-Raw is mad for it". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- ^ Andreeva, Nellie (13 October 2010). "J.J. Abrams finds 'Undercovers' female lead". The Hollywood Reporter.
- ^ "Gugu Mbatha-Raw — The 50 Hottest Biracial Women". Complexmag.ca. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- ^ Louise Wise, "Hear her roar", The Sunday Times,1 June 2014.
- ^ Gardner, Lyn (15 September 2005). "Romeo and Juliet - Royal Exchange, Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- ^ Dehn, Georgia (28 May 2009). "Hamlet with Jude Law at Wyndham's Theatre: Gugu Mbatha-Raw is mad for it". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- ^ Oldenburg, Ann (4 November 2010). "NBC cancels 'Undercovers' after 13 episodes". USA Today. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- ^ Carter, Bill (4 November 2010). "NBC Cancels ‘Undercovers’". New York Times. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- ^ Andreeva, Nellie (10 June 2011). "'Undercovers' Star Gugu Mbatha-Raw Set As Female Lead In Fox's Pilot 'Touch'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- ^ Mbatha-Raw, Gugu Star Pulse
- ^ Obenson, Tambay A. "Gugu Mbatha-Raw Will Be "Belle" In Slavery Pic Based On Mixed-Race Woman Raised In Aristocratic Family". Shadow and Act. Indiewire. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- ^ Gugu Mbatha-Raw joins Kiefer Sutherland in FOX's 'Touch'