Washington at the Metropolitan Opera's 2010 opening night of Das Rheingold
January 31, 1977 |
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||George Washington University|
Kerry Washington (born January 31, 1977) is an American actress, director and narrator. She is known for her roles as Ray Charles's wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the film Ray (2004), as Idi Amin's wife Kay in The Last King of Scotland, and as Alicia Masters, love interest of Ben Grimm/The Thing in the live-action Fantastic Four films of 2005 and 2007. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed independent films Our Song and The Dead Girl, and is the lead actress in the 2012 ABC drama Scandal, a Shonda Rhimes series in which Washington plays Olivia Pope, a former crisis management expert to the President. Her most recent role was as Broomhilda von Schaft, Django's wife, in Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained.
Early life 
Washington was born in the The Bronx, New York City, the daughter of Valerie, a professor and educational consultant, and Earl Washington, a real estate broker. Her father's family is African-American, from South Carolina and Brooklyn, and her mother's family is from Jamaica and 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". Washington performed with the Tada theater teen group and attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994. She attended The George Washington University, graduating in 1998 Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in anthropology and sociology. She is considered the most famous graduate of the Department of Theatre and Dance. She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.
Film and television work 
Washington made her screen debut in the ABC telefilm Magical Make-Over (1994). She was in the cast of the 1996 PBS sketch comedy-style educational series Standard Deviants, and she appeared in the short "3D" and the feature film Our Song in 2000. She went on to appear in several movies, including Save the Last Dance (2001), The Human Stain (2003), Spike Lee's She Hate Me (2004), Ray (2004), 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). Washington has also appeared in the recurring role of Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal, and in several episodes of the A&E cable-TV series 100 Centre Street. She is the new 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.
She also 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. 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. 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. 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.
In 2012, Washington was cast in the lead role of Shonda Rimes ABC political series Scandal as Olivia Pope, a crisis manager who runs her own firm called Pope & Associates. Washington became the first African-American female lead in a network drama in almost 40 years. The first was Teresa Graves as an undercover cop in Get Christie Love!, which had its debut in 1974. The series is based on Judy Smith, a former member of President George Bush's administration. Since the show's debut, it has grown a large fan-base and has been called the most talked show on Twitter every Thursday nights. The show has overall received positive reviews from critics.
Washington has received generally positive reviews from critics for her portrayal as Olivia Pope. Tanzina Vega of The New York Times states the shows success is due to the casting of Kerry Washington. The author states:
"Her 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."
Olivia Pope's fashion has also attracted viewers, audiences have been said to be interested in what she wear, Costume designer Lyn Paolo said on Entertainment Weekly, "It's a combination of Kerry Washington being so amazing, so stunning, and this idea of having [her character] wear such soft, feminine colors in a man's world," says Paolo. "That really resonates with women." In 2013, Vanity fair included her on The Top Ten best-dresses TV characters. Scandal also won TV Guide's Magazine Fan Favorite Awards. Washington was named "Favorite Actress" and the show was named "Favorite Drama" of the year. Her role won her Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series at the 44th NAACP Image Awards and she was presented with the NAACP President's Award.
Personal life 
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.
On May 19, 2013, she was the commencement speaker for her alma mater, the George Washington University. Before giving her commencement address she was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts.
Other projects 
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. She is a member of V-Day, a global movement that brings awareness to violence against women and girls.
She is at times referred to as a political activist and was a supporter of Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. Washington has also spent time volunteering through the Adopt-a-Classroom program in New York as well as with Co-Op America, now known as Green America. Washington also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
|2000||Our Song||Lanisha Brown|
|2001||Save the Last Dance||Chenille|
|2002||Take the A Train||Keisha||Short film|
|2003||The United States of Leland||Ayesha|
|The Human Stain||Ellie|
|2004||Against the Ropes||Renee|
|She Hate Me||Fatima Goodrich|
|Ray||Della Bea Robinson|
|Mr. & Mrs. Smith||Jasmine|
|Fantastic Four||Alicia Masters|
|The Last King of Scotland||Kay Amin|
|The Dead Girl||Rosetta|
|2007||I Think I Love My Wife||Nikki Tru|
|Put It in a Book||Sheila||Short film|
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||Alicia Masters|
|2008||Woman in Burka||Kerry||Short film|
|Miracle at St. Anna||Zana Wilder|
|Lakeview Terrace||Lisa Mattson|
|2009||Life Is Hot in Cracktown||Marybeth|
|Mother and Child||Lucy|
|2010||Night Catches Us||Patricia Wilson|
|For Colored Girls||Kelly / Blue|
|2011||The Details||Rebecca Mazzoni|
|2012||A Thousand Words||Caroline McCall|
|Django Unchained||Broomhilda von Schaft|
|2013||Tyler Perry Presents Peeples||Grace Peeples|
|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"|
|Deadline||Tina Johnson||Episode: "The Undesirables"|
|Law & Order||Allie Lawrence||Episode: "3 Dawg Night"|
|100 Centre Street||Recurring role (5 episodes)|
|2002||The Guardian||Drea Westbrook||Episode: "The Next Life"|
|2004||Wonderfalls||Mahandra McGinty||Episode: "Unaired Pilot"|
|Strip Search||TV film|
|2005–2006||Boston Legal||Chelina Hall||Recurring role (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||Main role (29 episodes)|
Awards and nominations 
|Award||Award category||Year||Title of work||Result|
|Teen Choice Awards||Best Actress ||2001||Save the Last Dance||Nominated|
|BET Awards||Best Actress||2007||The Last King of Scotland||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress||2011||For Colored Girls||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress||Night Catches Us||Won|
|Outstanding Ensemble||Night Catches Us||Nominated|
|Outstanding Ensemble||For Colored Girls||Won|
|Outstanding Ensemble||2009||Miracle at St. Anna||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress||2007||The Last King of Scotland||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress, Drama||2005||Ray||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress, Network/Cable||2003||Lift||Nominated|
|Outstanding Independent Actor||2002||Lift||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress Theatrical||Save the Last Dance||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||2011||Night Catches Us||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||2007||The Last King of Scotland||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||2006||Boston Legal||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||2005||Ray||Won|
|Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series||2013||Scandal||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Django Unchained||Won|
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Female Lead||2002||Lift||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical||2005||Ray||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture||Ray||Nominated|
- "Today's Highlights in History: January 31". New York Times. January 31, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- Bricker, Tierney (May 13, 2011). "ABC picks up 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Good Christian Belles' and ten more". Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- Stein, Ruthe (2010-05-09). "Washington's 'Mother' instinct". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Kerry Washington Biography (1977) Film Reference
- Collins, Lauren (October 24, 2004). "Kerry Washington: Politics and Shabu Shabu". New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- "SO Who Knew? Washington Connects The Dots". October 14, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- Powell, Kevin (May 9 2013). "Kerry Washington: Woman on Top". Ebony. Retrieved May 17 2013.
- Curtis, Nick (January 16 2013). "Kerry Washington on making Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained". Evening Standard. Retrieved May 17 2013.
- "About Kerry Washington". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "INSIDE Black Girls Rock! Red Carpet Arrivals & What You Can Expect From The Show". October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- "Kerry Washington". Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Kerry Washington Bio". BuddyTV. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "the people speak". October 1, 2012.
- "Django Unchained". Metacritic. Retrieved May 15 2013.
- "Kerry Washington finally joins django unchained as djangos wife". October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- Vega, Tanzina (January 16 2013). "A Show Makes Friends and History". New York Times. Retrieved May 2 2013.
- Hilton, Shani O (February 28 2013). "Why Twitter Loves “Scandal”". buzzfeed. Retrieved May 2 2013.
- "Scandal – Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 2 2012.
- Gay, Verne (April 3, 2012). "Shonda Rhimes' 'Scandal' premieres on ABC". Newsday. Retrieved May 2 2013.
- Naoreen, Nuzhat (April 4 2013). "'Scandal'-ous Fashion Secrets!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 2 2013.
- Miller, Julie (March 21 2013). "The Top 10 Best-Dressed TV Characters". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 2 2013.
- "'Scandal' Cast Adorably And Excitedly Accepts TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorite Awards (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost. 4/17/2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Clark, Cindy (January 18, 2013). "Kerry Washington to receive NAACP President's Award". USA Today. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- Washington indicated she was dating again during her appearance on the March 16, 2007 episode of The View.
- We Love Kerry Washington Crave Online.
- "Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland Land In PEOPLE 'Most Beautiful Woman' Issue". Huffingtonpost. April 24 2013. Retrieved May 18 2013.
- Alyssa, Newcomb (May 19, 2013). "Kerry Washington: 'Scandal' Star Shares Memories From Her College Years". ABC News. Retrieved May 20 2013.
- "Kerry Washington at GWU commencement: Grads must be ‘heroes of own lives’". washingtonpost. May 19, 2013. Retrieved May 20 2013.
- "Reel Sistas Join the Fight Against Breast Cancer". 5 September 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Kerry Washington". vday.org. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- "Kerry Washington voices support for Senator Obama in Georgia". Organizing for America. January 26, 2008.
- "In Step With: Kerry Washington". Parade Magazine. July 7, 2004.
- "Kerry Washington DNC Speech: Read The Democratic National Convention Remarks". Huffingtonpost. September 6, 2012. Retrieved October 12012.
- "Kerry Washington Speech • 2012 Democratic National Convention (complete speech)". youtube. September 6, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.[dead link]
- "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 153.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kerry Washington|
- Kerry Washington at the Internet Movie Database
- Kerry Washington at the Internet Broadway Database
- Kerry Washington on Twitter