Lorraine Toussaint

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Lorraine Toussaint
Lorraine Toussaint.jpg
Toussaint in 2012
Born (1960-04-04) April 4, 1960 (age 54)
Trinidad, West Indies Federation
Occupation Actress
Years active 1983 - present

Lorraine Toussaint (born April 4, 1960) is a Trinidadian-American actress and producer, known for playing powerful characters on television and film.

Toussaint began her career in theatre before supporting performances in films such as Breaking In (1989), Hudson Hawk (1991), and Dangerous Minds (1995). As lead actress, she is best known for her role as Rene Jackson in the Lifetime critically acclaimed television drama series Any Day Now from 1998 to 2002. Toussaint later was regular cast member in the NBC police procedural Crossing Jordan (2002-2003), and TNT crime drama Saving Grace (2007-2010). Toussaint also has made over 30 guest appearances on television, starred in the number of made for television movies, and had the recurring roles in Law & Order, Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, Body of Proof, and The Fosters.

Toussaint received critical acclaim and Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in the 2012 drama film Middle of Nowhere written and directed by Ava DuVernay. In 2014 she played the role of Yvonne "Vee" Parker, the main antagonist, in the second season of Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black, for which she received critical acclaim. She played the role of Amelia Boynton Robinson in the upcoming biographical drama film Selma, and in same year is starring as Lt. Joanna Reece in the ABC fantasy-drama series, Forever.

Early life[edit]

Toussaint was born in Trinidad, but moved to Brooklyn with her mother at the age of 10.[1] She graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts in 1978.[2] She then attended the Juilliard School's drama division as a member of Group 11 (1978–1982),[3] where her classmates in 1982 included Megan Gallagher, Penny Johnson Jerald, Jack Kenny, and Jack Stehlin.[4] Toussaint graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree,[2] and later began her career as Shakespearean actress before she tackled screen acting of television and film.[5]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Toussaint made her screen debut in 1983. In 1986 she played the role of widow of a man shot and killed by Boston cops in the television film A Case of Deadly Force based on the book by Lawrence O'Donnell.[6] She later had a recurring role of Vera Williams in the ABC daytime soap opera, One Life to Live, and alongside stage career appeared in guest starring roles in series like 227 and Law & Order (as recurring defense lawyer Shambala Green), and acted in the number of television films in 1990s.

Toussaint has made her film debut in the female lead role opposite Burt Reynolds in the crime comedy Breaking In (1989). The film received positive reviews from critics,[7] but flopped in box office.[8] In 1991 she appeared opposite Bruce Willis in Hudson Hawk, and later co-starred alongside Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds (1995). She also appeared in films Point of No Return (1993), Mother's Boys (1994), and Black Dog (1998). On television, Toussaint had regular roles in short-lived series Bodies of Evidence (CBS, 1992), Where I Live (ABC, 1993), Amazing Grace (NBC, 1995), and Leaving L.A. (ABC, 1997).[9]

1998—2011[edit]

Toussaint had her biggest and leading role alongside Annie Potts in the Lifetime first original television drama series, Any Day Now.[5] She starred in show as Rene Jackson, a successful African-American lawyer. The series has received critical acclaim for Toussaint's and Potts' acting performances and writing,[10][11][12] but never had big ratings.[13] In 2001, Toussaint was a promising contender for an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, though she did not receive a nomination.[14] She also was nominated five times for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role.[5] Any Day Now ended after four-season and 88 episodes.

Toussaint with Emayatzy Corinealdi and Sharon Lawrence at event of Middle of Nowhere in 2012

From 2002 to 2004, Toussaint had regular role of Dr. Elaine Duchamps in the NBC police procedural, Crossing Jordan. In later years she guest-starred on Frasier, Judging Amy, The Closer, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, ER, and NCIS. She also was regular opposite Holly Hunter in the TNT crime drama Saving Grace as Capt. Kate Perry from 2007 to 2010. She also had a recurring roles of Amelia 'Yoga' Bluman in the ABC comedy series Ugly Betty in 2006, and as Bird Merriweather in the NBC drama Friday Night Lights (2009–11). In film, Toussaint appeared as Jamie Foxx' character mother in the 2009 drama The Soloist.[15]

2012–present[edit]

In 2012, Toussaint received critical acclaim and was nominated for a Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her performance as a hardworking mother who struggles to support her daughter's (Emayatzy Corinealdi) decision to put her life on hold to support her incarcerated husband (Omari Hardwick), of Middle of Nowhere, a drama film written and directed by Ava DuVernay.[5][16][17] Toussaint was a promising contender for a Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress category in 2013, but she did not receive a nomination.[18][19][20] In 2012, she also guest-starred in Shonda Rhimes' dramas Grey's Anatomy as doctor, and on Scandal, as a bereaved and betrayed pastor’s wife.[18] In 2013 she had a recurring role in season 3 of Dana Delany's series Body of Proof as Angela Martin, the new police chief and main villain.[21] Later in 2013, she joined the cast of ABC Family drama series, The Fosters, as Sherri Saum's character mother.[22] In show she reunited on-screen with Annie Potts in first time as of Any Day Now finale in 2002.[6]

Toussaint starred in the second season of Netflix's original comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black in 2014.[23][24] Toussaint played the role of Yvonne “Vee” Parker, the main antagonist of season, the described as a street-tough inmate who used to run a drug business, using kids as runners, she returns to jail after a long stint outside. Her powerful performance earned a massive critical acclaim.[6][25][26][27][28][29] In show, Toussaint, in Her 50s, also in first time appeared on-screen nude.[28]

Toussaint played the role of Amelia Boynton Robinson, a leading civil rights activist who played a key role in efforts that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and who was the first African American woman in Alabama to run for Congress, in the Ava DuVernay's historical drama film Selma in 2014.[30][31] Also in 2014 she was cast in the ABC fantasy-drama series, Forever opposite Ioan Gruffudd and Alana de la Garza as Lt. Joanna Reece, a fiftysomething police veteran and de la Garza's character boss.[32][33]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Breaking In Delphine the Hooker
1991 Hudson Hawk Almond Joy
1993 Point of No Return Beth
1994 Mother's Boys Robert's Associate
1994 Bleeding Hearts Enid Sheperd
1995 Dangerous Minds Irene Roberts
1996 Psalms from the Underground Short film
1997 Spittin' Image, TheThe Spittin' Image Short film
1998 Black Dog Avery
1998 Jaded Carol Broker
2001 Sky Is Falling, TheThe Sky Is Falling Janie
2008 Gold Lunch, TheThe Gold Lunch Judge Short film
2009 Soloist, TheThe Soloist Flo Ayers
2012 Middle of Nowhere Ruth Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
2014 Ask Me Anything Dr. Sherman
2014 Selma Amelia Boynton Robinson

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Face of Rage, TheThe Face of Rage Stendah Television film
1986 Case of Deadly Force, AA Case of Deadly Force Pat Bowden Television film
1988 One Life to Live Vera Williams Recurring role
1989 Man Called Hawk, AA Man Called Hawk Emily Howell Episode: "Hear No Evil"
1990 Common Ground Alva Television film
1990 227 Monica Patton Episode: "Nightmare on 227"
1990 Nasty Boys Dr. Chanel Cory Episode: "Kill or Be Killed: Part 1"
1990-1994, 2003 Law & Order Shambala Green Recurring role, 7 episodes
1991 Daddy Judge (uncredited) Television film
1992 Red Dwarf Captain Tau Television film
1992 Tequila and Bonetti Big Marie Episode: "The Rose Cadillac"
1992 Trial: The Price of Passion Nancy Goodpaster Television film
1992 Bodies of Evidence Dr. Mary Rocket Series regular, 16 episodes
1993 Queen Joyce TV miniseries
1993 Love, Lies & Lullabies Florence Crawford Television film
1993 Class of '61 Sarah Television film
1993 Sinbad Show, TheThe Sinbad Show Mrs. Payton Episode: "Pilot"
1993 Where I Live Marie St. Martin Series regular, 21 episodes
1994 Time to Heal, AA Time to Heal Zelda Television film
1994 M.A.N.T.I.S. Denise Copeland Episode: "Fire in the Heart"
1995 Bless This House Lorraine Episode: "A Woman's Work Is Never Done"
1995 Amazing Grace Yvonne Price Series regular, 5 episodes
1995 Murder One Margaret Stratton Episode: "Chapter 6"
Episode: "Chapter 8"
1995 It Was Him or Us Lt. Washington Television film
1996 America's Dream Philomena Television film
1996 Nightjohn Dealey Television film
1996 If These Walls Could Talk Shameeka Webb Television film
1996 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Dr. Cotter Episode: "The Coma Episode"
1996 Dark Skies Eda Mae Tillman Episode: "We Shall Overcome"
1996 Cherokee Kid, TheThe Cherokee Kid Mama Turner Television film
1997 Promised Land Linda Paxton Episode: "Running Scared"
1997 Leaving L.A. Dr. Claudia Chan Series regular, 6 episodes
1998 Blackout Effect Kim Garfield Television film
1998 Nothing Sacred Lorraine Hamilton Episode: "Signs and Words"
1998 Cracker: Mind Over Murder Tisha Watlington Episode: "If: Part 1"
Episode: "If: Part 2"
1998 C-16: FBI Marsha Fontaine Episode: "My Brother's Keeper"
1998-2002 Any Day Now Rene Jackson Series regular, 88 episodes
Nominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (1999-2003)
Nominated - Viewers for Quality Television Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (1999)
2002-2003 Crossing Jordan Dr. Elaine Duchamps Series regular, 12 episodes
2003-2004 Threat Matrix Carina Wright Recurring role, 5 episodes
2004 Frasier Nurse Episode: "Boo!"
2005 Their Eyes Were Watching God Pearl Stone Television film
2005 Judging Amy Eileen Stayman Episode: "The New Normal"
2005 Closer, TheThe Closer Deputy D.A. Powell Episode: "Fatal Retraction"
Episode: "Standards and Practices"
2005 Numb3rs Medical Examiner Episode: "Bones of Contention"
2006 3 lbs Della Episode: "Unaired Pilot"
2006-2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Cynthia James / Marla James Episodes: "Fannysmackin'", "Post Mortem" and "Big Shots"
2006 Ugly Betty Amelia 'Yoga' Bluman Recurring role, 6 episodes
2007-2010 Saving Grace Capt. Kate Perry Series regular, 43 episodes
2008 ER Yolanda Episode: "Believe the Unseen"
2009 Numb3rs Agent Terri Green Episode: "Cover Me"
2009-2011 Friday Night Lights Bird Merriweather Recurring role, 6 episodes
2010 Line, TheThe Line Josephine Johnson TV pilot
2010 Three Rivers Yolanda Moss Episode: "Every Breath You Take"
2010 Glades, TheThe Glades Carol Watkins Episode: "A Perfect Storm"
2011 Doctor, TheThe Doctor Ayanna TV pilot
2011 NCIS Deputy Director Donna Wolfson Episode: "Defiance"
2011 Against the Wall Officer Edie Episode: "Obsessed and Unwanted"
2012 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Fincher Episode: "The Girl with No Name"
2012 Finder, TheThe Finder La Bruja Episode: "Voodoo Undo"
2012 Drop Dead Diva Prof. Ellen Daily Episode: "Road Trip"
2012 Secret Life of the American Teenager, TheThe Secret Life of the American Teenager Episode: "Holy Rollers"
2012 Scandal Nancy Drake Episode: "The Other Woman"
2013 Body of Proof Angela Martin Recurring role, 4 episodes
2013-2014 The Fosters Dana Adams Recurring role, 4 episodes
2014 Orange Is the New Black Yvonne “Vee” Parker Recurring role, 12 episodes
2014–present Forever Lt. Joanna Reece Series regular

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lorraine Toussaint". Gale Contemporary Black Biography. Answers.com. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Lorraine Toussaint biography". All Movie Guide. The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Alumni News". Juilliard School. May 2003. Archived from the original on August 11, 2008. 
  4. ^ Gussow, Mel (April 29, 1982). "Juilliard Theater Students Put On 'Love's Labor's Lost'". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Lorraine Toussaint". Yahoo!. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Joe Reid. "Five Essential Performances by 'Orange Is the New Black' Standout Lorraine Toussaint". The Wire. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Breaking In (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Breaking In". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Lorraine Toussaint Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Ray Richmond (August 18, 1998). "Review: ‘Any Day Now’". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Steve Johnson (September 29, 1998). ""Any Day Now": Lifetime, the cable station equivalent to a...". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Ken Tucker (September 4, 1998). "TV Show Reviews: 'Any Day Now'; 'Maggie'; 'Oh Baby'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Rob Owen (January 23, 1999). "On the Tube: Lifetime renews 'Any Day Now'". Post-Gazette. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Howard Rosenberg (February 2, 2001). "A Bold Look at an Ugly Word on Lifetime's 'Any Day Now'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Caroline Taylor. "Lorraine Toussaint: ‘acting has always been like breathing’". Caribbean Beat. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  16. ^ 'Moonrise Kingdom' and 'Silver Linings Playbook' lead Indie Spirit noms, Entertainment Weekly
  17. ^ "Seven Sistas of 2012: Film". Reelsistas. December 21, 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Allison Samuels (December 15, 2012). "Lorraine Toussaint on ‘Middle of Nowhere,’ ‘Scandal’ & the Oscars". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Best Supporting Actress Hopefuls on Variety". Awards Daily. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  20. ^ Braulio Ramirez (January 29, 2013). "Oscar Coverage: Best Supporting Actress". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 12, 2012). "'Body of Proof' Puts Lorraine Toussaint on the Case (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ ' + data.results.personName + ' (2013-04-24). "‘The Fosters’ casting scoop: Lorraine Toussaint joins upcoming ABC Family series - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  23. ^ "Lorraine Toussaint Joins Cast Of 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 2 | Shadow and Act". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  24. ^ ""V Is For Vicious" In New Poster For Lorraine Toussaint's 'Orange Is The New Black' Character|Shadow and Act". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  25. ^ Chris Harnick (June 9, 2014). "The Five Most Heartbreaking Moments From Orange Is the New Black Season Two". EOnline. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "'Orange Is the New Black' Finale Recap — And Season 2 Awards!". Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Inside Orange Is the New Black’s Terrifying Showdown Between Red and Vee". Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Denise Martin (June 23, 2014). "Orange Is the New Black’s Lorraine Toussaint on Playing Vee and Doing Nudity in Her 50s". Vulture. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  29. ^ Emily Orley (June 14, 2014). "The Breakout Villain of "Orange Is the New Black" Season 2". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "It's A 'Middle of Nowhere' Reunion! Lorraine Toussaint Will Play Amelia Boynton In Ava DuVernay's 'Selma'|Shadow and Act". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  31. ^ wilsonmorales (2014-04-22). "Lorraine Toussaint Reunites With Ava DuVernay In MLK Drama ‘Selma’ | blackfilm.com/read". Blackfilm.com. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  32. ^ Michael Slezak (July 7, 2014). "OITNB Star Joins ABC's Forever as Series Regular". TV Line. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Orange Is the New Black Star Lorraine Toussaint Joins Forever Cast". E! Online. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 

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