Mbatha-Raw at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
|Born||Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha
June 30, 1983
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in Oxford, England. Her surname is made up of both her parents’ and her first name is the shortened version of ‘Gugulethu’, a contraction of igugu lethu that means ‘Our Pride’ in Zulu. 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.
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 film debuted at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight. It was eventually given a release in 2014. Mbatha-Raw was nominated for two British Independent Film Awards for her work on the film: Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film and Most Promising Newcomer.
In 2014, Mbatha-Raw also starred in Beyond the Lights. The film debuted at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. For her work in Beyond the Lights Mbatha-Raw was nominated for Best Actress at the 2014 Gotham Awards.
Mbatha-Raw is set to star in the upcoming biopic Concussion, starring Will Smith, the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who first discovered extensive brain damage in NFL players and tried to put a stop to it.
|2004||Holby City||Collette Hill|
|Walk Away and I Stumble||nurse|
|Doctor Who||Tish Jones||4 episodes|
|Doctor Who Confidential||Herself||Interviewee|
|Marple||Tina Argyle||In Ordeal by Innocence|
|2008||Lost in Austen||Piranha|
|Trial & Retribution||Jenny Miller|
|2009||Fallout||Shanice Roberts||Part of Channel 4's Disarming Britain series|
|2013||Belle||Dido Elizabeth Belle||Nominated—BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film
Nominated—BIFA Award for Most Promising Newcomer
|2014||Beyond the Lights||Noni Jean||Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress|
|The Whole Truth|
|2005||Antony and Cleopatra||Royal Exchange in Manchester||Cleopatra|
|Romeo and Juliet||Juliet Capulet|
|2009–2010||Hamlet||Donmar West End and Broadway||Ophelia||Opposite Jude Law|
|Year||Title||Role||Station / Notes|
|2006||Living with the Enemy||Sophie/Various||BBC Radio 4, broadcast 14 November – 19 December 2006|
|2009||Choice of Straws||Michelle||BBC Radio 4, Saturday Play, broadcast on 19 September 2009|
- 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.
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Internet Movie Database
- <As told by Gugu Mbatha-Raw in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, 11/12/14/>
- Taylor, Ben (23 April 2014). "5 things about ‘Belle’ Gugu Mbatha-Raw". Swide.
- "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.
- "2014 Gotham Award Nominations Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in Beyond the Light, premiering at TIFF".
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw joins Kiefer Sutherland in FOX's 'Touch'
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Internet Movie Database
- Profile of Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Wayback Machine (archived 13 February 2008), originally from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art website