Kerry Washington

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Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington Django avp.jpg
Washington in 2013
Born Kerry Marisa Washington
(1977-01-31) January 31, 1977 (age 37)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Education Spence School
Alma mater George Washington University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Nnamdi Asomugha (m. 2013)
Children 1

Kerry Marisa Washington[1] (born January 31, 1977)[2] is an American actress. Since 2012, Washington has starred in the ABC drama Scandal, a Shonda Rhimes series in which Washington plays Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert to the President.[3] In 2013, she gained wide public recognition for her role and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television series.

Washington is also known for her roles as Ray Charles' wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the film Ray (2004), as Idi Amin's wife Kay in The Last King of Scotland (2006), as Alicia Masters, love interest of Ben Grimm/The Thing in the live-action Fantastic Four films of 2005 and 2007, and as Broomhilda von Schaft, Django's wife, in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012). She has also starred in the critically acclaimed independent films Our Song (2000), The Dead Girl (2006), Mother and Child (2009) and Night Catches Us (2010).

In April 2014, Time magazine included Washington in its annual TIME 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World."[4]

Early life[edit]

Washington was born in The Bronx, New York City, the daughter of Valerie, a professor and educational consultant, and Earl Washington, a real estate broker.[5][6][7] Her father's family is African American, from South Carolina and Brooklyn, and her mother's family is Jamaican American, from Manhattan; Washington has said that her mother is from a "mixed-race background but from Jamaica, so she is partly English and Scottish and Native American, but also descended from African slaves in the Caribbean".[8][9][10] She is related to former secretary of state Colin Powell through her mother.[11]

Washington performed with the TADA! Youth Theater teen group and attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994.[12] She attended George Washington University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1998 with a double major in anthropology and sociology.[12][13] She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.[12]

Career[edit]

1994–2008[edit]

Washington got her Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card as a requirement for a commercial that she starred in.[14] Washington made her screen debut in the ABC telefilm Magical Make-Over (1994).[12] She was in the cast of the 1996 PBS sketch comedy-style educational series Standard Deviants,[12] and she appeared in the short "3D" and the feature film Our Song in 2000.[12] She went on to appear in several movies, including Save the Last Dance (2001) and The Human Stain (2003). In 2002 she played Chris Rock's love interest in the spy thriller Bad Company, a film that represented a turning point for her, in that it was the first time in her career that she had made enough money annually to qualify for health insurance under SAG.[14]

In 2004 she played the female lead in Spike Lee's She Hate Me, for which she received strong reviews for her performance. After 2004, she held parts in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Man (2006), I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and as a wife of 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the UK historical drama The Last King of Scotland (2006).[12] Washington has also appeared in the recurring role of Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal,[12] and in several episodes of the A&E cable-TV series 100 Centre Street.[12] In 2007, she co-directed and appeared in the music video for hip-hop artist Common's song, "I Want You", the fourth single from his album Finding Forever[15] and became a spokesperson for L'Oréal, appearing in commercials and ads alongside fellow actresses, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Dian Sastrowardoyo, Aishwarya Rai, Maya Karin and model Doutzen Kroes.[16]

2009–present[edit]

Washington at the premiere of Mother and Child at TIFF in 2009

Washington narrated the critically acclaimed documentary about the New Orleans-based teenage TBC Brass Band, From the Mouthpiece on Back. She also appears in Maxwell's "Bad Habits" video. In 2009 Washington performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[17]

In 2010, she made her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Race, alongside James Spader, David Alan Grier, and Richard Thomas. She also appeared in Tyler Perry's 2010 film For Colored Girls.[12] In October 2011, it was confirmed that she would star in Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained, which was released in 2012 and received universal critical acclaim.[18][19] She was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other individuals.[20]

In 2013, Washington ranked No. 2 in People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful people[21] and was named Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine.[22] The same year, she ranked No. 20 on Forbes magazine's annual list of the highest-paid actors in television and was announced as the new face of Neutrogena skin care.[23] Washington hosted Saturday Night Live on November 2, 2013, where she impersonated Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Beyoncé in a cold opening sketch that mentioned and satirized critics panning Saturday Night Live's current cast for not hiring a black female cast member at the time.[24]

Scandal[edit]

Since April 2012, Washington has starred in the ABC drama series Scandal, created by Shonda Rimes as Olivia Pope, a crisis manager who runs her own crisis management firm called Pope & Associates in Washington, D.C., working for high-profile figures, most notably the President of the United States. The show has been a commercial and critical success, and has been called one of the most talked about drama series on Facebook, Twitter by Buzzfeed.[25][26][27] Its success has also drawn attention to racial questions in television, as Washington is the first African-American actress to lead an American network drama series since 1974, when Teresa Graves starred in the crime drama Get Christie Love! on ABC.[28] Tanzina Vega of The New York Times has written that Washington's casting "has prompted discussion among academics and fans of the show about whether Scandal represents a new era of post-racial television, in which cast members are ethnically diverse but are not defined by their race or ethnicity."[29]

Washington's performance has earned positive reviews, and in 2013, she won the award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series at the 44th NAACP Image Awards and was also presented with the NAACP President's Award.[30] The same year, she was named "Favorite actress" and Scandal "Favorite Drama" of the year at TV Guide's Magazine Fan Favorite Awards [31] and was also crowned 2013's "TV Star of the Year" by the editors of the magazine.[32] For her work in the second season of Scandal, Washington was nominated for an Emmy at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards[33] and 66th Primetime Emmy Awards,[34] becoming the first African-American woman to be nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 18 years.[33] She was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.[35][36]

In addition to Washington's acting, her costumes as Olivia Pope have attracted positive attention, prompting Vanity Fair to name the character one of The Top Ten Best-Dressed TV Characters in 2013.[37] According to the show's costume designer, Lyn Paolo, the success of Olivia Pope's wardrobe is based on "this idea of having [her character] wear such soft, feminine colors in a man's world".[38] In 2014, Washington and Paolo won the Influencer Award at the 2014 Ace Fashion Awards for Olivia Pope's stylish clothes on the show.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Washington at George Washington University, where she addressed the graduates in 2013

Washington was engaged to actor David Moscow from October 2004 to March 2007.[40] Washington married NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha on June 24, 2013 in Hailey, Idaho.[41][42][43] They have one daughter, Isabelle Amarachi (born April 21, 2014).[44]

As a sort of souvenir or memento, she usually tries to keep something from every character that she plays, such as an item of wardrobe or a piece of furniture from the house the character lived in.[45]

On May 19, 2013, she was the commencement speaker for her alma mater, George Washington University. Before giving her commencement address she was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts.[46][47]

Activism[edit]

In 2007, Washington and other celebrities joined for the 2007 Lee National Denim Day, supporting the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.[48] She is a member of the Creative Coalition; which is a board of actors, writers, musicians, and producers that explore issues that are forefront of national discourse. She is also a member of V-Day, a global movement that brings awareness to violence against women and girls.[49] In September 2012, Washington spoke at the Democratic National Convention in favor of re-electing Barack Obama with her speech focusing on addressing voter apathy.[50]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Washington at the Metropolitan Opera in 2010
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Our Song Lanisha Brown
2000 3D Angie Short film
2001 Save the Last Dance Chenille
2001 Lift Niecy
2002 Take the A Train Keisha Short film
2002 Bad Company Julie
2003 United States of Leland, TheThe United States of Leland Ayesha
2003 Human Stain, TheThe Human Stain Ellie
2003 Sin Kassie
2004 Against the Ropes Renee
2004 She Hate Me Fatima Goodrich
2004 Ray Della Bea Robinson
2005 Sexual Life Rosalie
2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Jasmine
2005 Fantastic Four Alicia Masters
2005 Wait Maggie Short film
2006 Little Man Vanessa
2006 Last King of Scotland, TheThe Last King of Scotland Kay Amin
2006 Dead Girl, TheThe Dead Girl Rosetta
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Nikki Tru
2007 Put It in a Book Sheila Short film
2007 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea Medical Officer Marissa Brau
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Alicia Masters
2008 Woman in Burka Kerry Short film
2008 Miracle at St. Anna Zana Wilder
2008 Lakeview Terrace Lisa Mattson
2009 Life Is Hot in Cracktown Marybeth
2009 Mother and Child Lucy
2010 Night Catches Us Patricia Wilson
2010 For Colored Girls Kelly / Blue
2011 Details, TheThe Details Rebecca Mazzoni
2012 Thousand Words, AA Thousand Words Caroline McCall
2012 Django Unchained Broomhilda von Schaft
2013 Peeples Grace Peeples

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 ABC Afterschool Special Heather Episode: "Magical Make-Over"
1996 Standard Deviants Kerry TV series
2001 NYPD Blue Maya Young Episode: "Franco, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn"
2001 Deadline Tina Johnson Episode: "The Undesirables"
2001 Law & Order Allie Lawrence Episode: "3 Dawg Night"
2001 100 Centre Street 5 episodes
2002 Guardian, TheThe Guardian Drea Westbrook Episode: "The Next Life"
2004 Wonderfalls Mahandra McGinty Episode: "Unaired Pilot"
2004 Strip Search TV film
2005–2006 Boston Legal Chelina Hall 5 episodes
2008 Psych Mira Gaffney Episode: "There's Something About Mira"
2010 Black Panther Princess Shuri / Baker Woman (voice) TV miniseries
2012–present Scandal Olivia Pope Lead role
2013 Jimmy Kimmel Live Nerdy Girl Episode: "After The Oscars"
2013 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Kerry Washington/Eminem"
2013 Project Runway (Season 12) Herself Guest judge on Season Finale

Broadway[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
2009 Race Susan Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kerry Washington wedding certificate". E! Online. July 3, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Today's Highlights in History: January 31". New York Times. January 31, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ Bricker, Tierney (May 13, 2011). "ABC picks up 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Good Christian Belles' and ten more". Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Kerry Washington 2014 Time". Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ Stein, Ruthe (2010-05-09). "Washington's 'Mother' instinct". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  6. ^ Kerry Washington Biography (1977) Film Reference
  7. ^ Collins, Lauren (October 24, 2004). "Kerry Washington: Politics and Shabu Shabu". New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ "SO Who Knew? Washington Connects The Dots". October 14, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ Powell, Kevin (May 9, 2013). "Kerry Washington: Woman on Top". Ebony. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ Curtis, Nick (January 16, 2013). "Kerry Washington on making Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained". Evening Standard. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ Leive, Cindi (September 3, 2013). "Kerry Washington Talks Her New Marriage, Scandal Style, and Her Real-Life Gladiators in Glamour's October Issue". Glamour. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "About Kerry Washington". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "INSIDE Black Girls Rock! Red Carpet Arrivals & What You Can Expect From The Show". October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "How Did You Get Your SAG-AFTRA Card?" TV Guide. January 13, 2014. p. 10.
  15. ^ "Kerry Washington Bio". BuddyTV. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Kerry Washington". Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "the people speak". October 1, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Django Unchained". Metacritic. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Kerry Washington finally joins django unchained as djangos wife". October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Academy Invites 176 to Membership". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 29, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland Land In PEOPLE 'Most Beautiful Woman' Issue". Huffingtonpost. April 24, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Kerry Washington: The Gladiator". glamour.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Kerry Washington is the New Face of Neutrogena". ETonline. October 18, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ "‘Saturday Night Live’: ‘Scandal’s’ Kerry Washington signs on to host; Eminem to perform". October 16, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ Hilton, Shani O (February 28, 2013). "Why Twitter Loves "Scandal"". buzzfeed. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Scandal – Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  27. ^ Gay, Verne (April 3, 2012). "Shonda Rhimes' 'Scandal' premieres on ABC". Newsday. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  28. ^ Hughes, Sarah (22 October 2012). "American television's real Scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  29. ^ Vega, Tanzina (January 16, 2013). "A Show Makes Friends and History". New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  30. ^ Clark, Cindy (January 18, 2013). "Kerry Washington to receive NAACP President's Award". USA Today. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  31. ^ "'Scandal' Cast Adorably And Excitedly Accepts TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorite Awards (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  32. ^ Schneider, Michael (December 19, 2013). "TV Guide Magazine Names Kerry Washington TV Star of the Year". tvguide.com. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Obenson, Tambay A. (18 July 2013). "Kerry Washington Is 1st Black Actress Since Cicely Tyson In 1995 To Earn Drama Lead Actress Primetime Emmy Nomination". Indiewire. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  34. ^ Freydkin, Donna (July 10, 2014). "Kerry Washington is 'speechless' for once". USA Today. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Nominations Announced for the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". sagawards.com. January 18, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  36. ^ "2014 Golden Globes Awards". goldenglobes.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  37. ^ Miller, Julie (March 21, 2013). "The Top 10 Best-Dressed TV Characters". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  38. ^ Naoreen, Nuzhat (April 4, 2013). "'Scandal'-ous Fashion Secrets!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Kerry Washington Wants Olivia Pope to Redefine Power Dressing". elle.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Kerry Washington: Dating Scared Me". People. July 7, 2007. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Kerry Washington Weds Nnamdi Asomugha". People. July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Kerry Washington weds pro athlete Nnamdi Asomugha". CBS News. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  43. ^ Lee, Caroline (2013). "Nnamdi Asomugha secretly weds 'Scandal' star Kerry Washington - UPI.com". upi.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  44. ^ Blumm, K.C. "Kerry Washington Welcomes Daughter Isabelle Amarachi". People. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  45. ^ We Love Kerry Washington Crave Online.
  46. ^ Alyssa, Newcomb (May 19, 2013). "Kerry Washington: 'Scandal' Star Shares Memories From Her College Years". ABC News. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Kerry Washington at GWU commencement: Grads must be ‘heroes of own lives’". washingtonpost. May 19, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Reel Sistas Join the Fight Against Breast Cancer". 5 September 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  49. ^ "Kerry Washington". vday.org. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Kerry Washington DNC Speech: Read The Democratic National Convention Remarks". Huffington Post. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 

External links[edit]