Octavia Spencer

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Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer.jpg
Born Octavia Lenora Spencer
(1970-05-25) May 25, 1970 (age 44)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
Alma mater Auburn University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1996–present

Octavia Lenora Spencer[1] (born May 25, 1970)[2][3] is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Minny, the outspoken maid in the 2011 film The Help, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, among other accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, she is the sixth of seven children. Her mother worked as a maid.[4] Spencer graduated from Jefferson Davis High School in 1988,[5][6] spent two years at Auburn Montgomery[7] studying drama (1988–89), and received a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Auburn University.[8]

Career[edit]

At 16, she worked as an intern on the set of The Long Walk Home, a film starring Whoopi Goldberg.[9]

Spencer made her film debut as a nurse in Joel Schumacher's A Time to Kill based on the book by John Grisham. She was originally hired to work on casting, but asked Schumacher if she could audition for a small part.[10] Other film credits include: Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House, Bad Santa, Spider-Man, Coach Carter, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and Pretty Ugly People. She has made a number of guest appearances on television series including Raising the Bar, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Big Bang Theory, Wizards of Waverly Place, Grounded for Life, ER, Titus, Becker and Dharma & Greg. She is best known for her starring roles as Serenity Johnson on Comedy Central's Halfway Home, and Constance Grady, the amorous INS caseworker on Ugly Betty.

In 2003, she made her stage debut in Los Angeles, in Del Shores' play, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, starring opposite veteran actress Beth Grant. It was her first and only play, as she told Back Stage Magazine that she suffers from "stage fright."[11] Later that year, she starred opposite Allison Janney in Tate Taylor's critically lauded short feature, Chicken Party.

In 2008, Spencer's brief appearance in Seven Pounds as Kate, Rosario Dawson's home care nurse, garnered her high praise and media attention.[12]

In April 2009, Entertainment Weekly listed Spencer in its list of 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood.[13]

In August 2009, Spencer appeared in Rob Zombie's Halloween II. She also had a role in the American remake of the Danish classic Love at First Hiccup opposite Scout Taylor-Compton. Spencer starred in the hit web series-turned feature film Herpes Boy alongside Beth Grant, Ahna O'Reilly, and Byron Lane; and, can be heard as the voice of "Minny" on the audio version of The Help, the "New York Times Best Seller" by Kathryn Stockett. Later that year, Spencer's short film The Captain was honored by the CICFF as a finalist for the coveted REEL Poetry Award.

In August 2010, Spencer joined Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard in DreamWorks' production of The Help, in which she played the feisty and unflappable domestic Minny Jackson. The film was directed by Tate Taylor, and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, and Mark Radcliffe. Her role garnered her critical acclaim, and started talk of various awards nominations. She won the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for her work in The Help.[14]

On February 12, 2012, she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her Performance in The Help, and on February 26 she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same performance; making it her first Oscar nomination and first win. Spencer was so thrilled to win that she could hardly speak at the ceremony and was given a standing ovation and was moved to tears during her acceptance speech. In June 2012, Spencer was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[15]

In 2013, she appeared alongside Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station, a film chronicling the last day of Oscar Grant, who was killed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in 2009.[16]

In September 2013 it was announced that she would reunite with The Help director Tate Taylor in a biopic on singer James Brown.[17]

In January 2014, it was announced that plans for Spencer to appear as the lead in a remake of Murder, She Wrote had been cancelled.[18]

In May 2014, it was announced that Spencer would play the supporting role of Johanna Reyes in the second installment of the Divergent series, titled The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which is scheduled to release on 20 March 2015.[19]

Filmography[edit]

Year Project Role Notes
1996 A Time to Kill Roark's Nurse
1997 The 6th Man Nativity Watson
1997 Sparkler Wanda
1999 Lansky Evelyn the Maid TV movie
1999 Never Been Kissed Cynthia
1999 Being John Malkovich Woman in Elevator
1999 Blue Streak Shawna
2000 The Sky Is Falling Nurse No. 2
2000 Malcolm in the Middle Cashier TV series; season 2, episode 09
2000 Everything Put Together Nurse B
2000 Missing Pieces Elegant Guest TV movie
2000 American Virgin Agnes Large
2000 What Planet Are You From? Baby Nurse
2000 Auto Motives Rhonda
2000 Big Momma's House Twila
2000 Four Dogs Playing Poker Waitress
2001 Sol Goode Unemployment Clerk
2001 The Journeyman Black Belly
2001 Follow the Stars Home Hildy TV movie
2002 Spider-Man Check-In Girl
2002 Little John Waitress TV movie
2003 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Security Guard
2003 S.W.A.T. Neighbor in Alley
2003 Chicken Party Laqueta Mills
2003 Bad Santa Opal
2004 Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Janine
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Stylist
2005 Coach Carter Mrs. Battle
2005 Pretty Persuasion Woman
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Ayisha Lebaron
2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Octavia – Bookstore
2005 Beauty Shop Big Customer
2005 Wannabe Lady Chanet Janney Jones
2006 Pulse Landlady
2006–2007 The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman Cheryl / Female Security Guard TV series; 4 episodes
2007 The Nines Streetwalker
2007 Halfway Home Serenity Johnson TV series; 10 episodes
2007 Ugly Betty Constance Grady TV series; 5 episodes
2008 Next of Kin Grace
2008 Pretty Ugly People Mary
2008 The Spleenectomy Nurse
2008 The Big Bang Theory DMV Employee
2008 Seven Pounds Kate (Home Health Care Nurse)
2008 Wizards of Waverly Place Dr. Evilini TV series; 2 episodes
2009 The First Time (Love At First Hiccup) Mrs. Hambrick
2009 Drag Me to Hell Bank Co-Worker No. 1
2009 Jesus People: The Movie Angel Angelique
2009 The Soloist Troubled Woman
2009 Just Peck Detention Room Teacher
2009 Halloween II Nurse Daniels
2009 Dollhouse Professor Jackie TV series; 1 episode
2009 Herpes Boy Rochelle
2009 Small Town Saturday Night Rhonda Dooley
2009 Raising the Bar Arvina Watkins TV series; 5 episodes
2010 Dinner for Schmucks Madame Nora
2011 The Help Minny Jackson Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
African American Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Supporting Actress
Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Cast
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Black Film Critics Circle for Best Supporting Actress
Black Film Critics Circle for Best Ensemble
Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Gold Derby Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
Gold Derby Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
Nevada Film Critics Society for Best Ensemble Cast
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Palm Springs International Film Festival Award for Breakthrough Performance
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Women Film Critics Circle for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Unforgettable Moment
Nominated – Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Houston Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Awards for Best Ensemble Performance
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2011 Peep World Allison
2011 Flypaper Madge Wiggins
2012 Smashed Jenny
2013 30 Rock Herself TV series; 1 episode
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Dr. Nance Lifetime Original Movie
Pending - Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress: Television Movie/Cable
2013 Fruitvale Station Wanda National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Denver Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
2013 Snowpiercer Tanya
2013 Paradise Loray
2013 Mom Regina TV series; 4 episodes
2014 Black and White Rowena Post-production
2014 Get on Up Aunt Honey Post-production
2014 Red Band Society Nurse Jackson TV series; post-production
2014 The Great Gilly Hopkins
2015 B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations Captain Book (voice) In production
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Johanna Reyes Filming

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conner, Tametria. "Octavia Spencer before she was a star". 
  2. ^ Octavia, Spencer (January 24, 12). "Twitter / octaviaspencer: ERM, for some reason I'm being…". Twitter. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Octavia Spencer's Surprising Post-Oscars Splurge". 
  4. ^ Calkin, Jessamy (July 16, 2009). "The maid's tale: Kathryn Stockett examines slavery and racism in America's Deep South". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Greene, Teri (August 14, 2011). "Montgomery native stars in ‘The Help’". Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ Carlton, Bob (August 7, 2011). "Montgomery actress Octavia Spencer may become a star with The Help". The Birmingham News. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Octavia Spencer". comedy central. 
  9. ^ Dreier, Peter (February 27, 2012). "Will The Help's Oscar Revive Interest in The Long Walk Home?". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ Riley, Jenelle (April 5, 2005). "Octavia Spencer: The Quip Queen". allbusiness.com. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  11. ^ Riley, Jenelle (August 8, 2011). "How Octavia Spencer Landed the Role of a Lifetime". backstage.com. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  12. ^ Rosen, Lisa (February 4, 2009). "Big impressions in brief roles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Octavia Spencer – The 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood". ew.com. April 13, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Could Viola Davis, Emma Stone & Octavia Spencer Get Oscar Nods for 'The Help'?" from iVillage website
  15. ^ Thompson, Arienne (June 29, 2012). "McConaughey, Spencer invited to join Academy". USA Today. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (April 17, 2012). "Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer to Star in Movie About Controversial Police Killing (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Tate Taylor Reunites With ‘The Help’s Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer On James Brown Pic". Deadline. September 30, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Dame Angela Lansbury 'relieved' as Murder, She Wrote remake is scrapped". BBC News website. January 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.pagetopremiere.com/2014/05/casting-news-octavia-spencer-to-play-johanna-in-insurgent/

External links[edit]