Alexander in 2014
Harriet Rene Alexander
September 4, 1957
|Occupation||Actress, dancer, choreographer|
Khandi Alexander (born September 4, 1957) is an American dancer, choreographer, and actress. She began her career as a dancer in the 1980s and was a choreographer for Whitney Houston's world tour from 1988 to 1992.
During the 1990s, Alexander appeared in a number of films, include CB4 (1993), What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Sugar Hill (1994), and There's Something About Mary (1998). She starred as Catherine Duke in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio from 1995 to 1998. She also had a major recurring role in the NBC medical drama ER (1995-2001) as Jackie Robbins, sister to Dr. Peter Benton. Alexander also received critical acclaim for her leading performance in the HBO miniseries The Corner in 2000.
From 2002 to 2009, Alexander starred as Dr. Alexx Woods in the CBS police procedural series CSI: Miami. From 2010 to 2013 she starred as LaDonna Batiste-Williams in the HBO drama Treme. Later in 2013, she joined the cast of the ABC drama Scandal as Maya Lewis, Olivia Pope's mother, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2015. Alexander also received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for playing Bessie Smith's sister in the 2015 HBO film Bessie.
Khandi Alexander was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the daughter of Alverina Yavonna (Masters), an opera and jazz singer, and Henry Roland Alexander, who owned a construction company. She was raised in Queens, New York, and was educated at Queensborough Community College. She appeared on Broadway, starring in Chicago, Bob Fosse's Dancin, and Dreamgirls. She was a choreographer for Whitney Houston's world tour from 1988–1992, and also appeared as a dancer in Natalie Cole's video for "Pink Cadillac" in 1988.
Alexander began her acting career in the late 1980s. She made her television debut on the 1985 sketch-comedy show FTV. Since the early 1990s, Alexander has concentrated on film and TV, playing supporting roles in several movies, including CB4, Joshua Tree, What's Love Got to Do with It, Poetic Justice, and Sugar Hill.
In 1995, Alexander was cast as Catherine Duke on the NBC comedy series NewsRadio. She stayed with the show until season 4 episode 7, "Catherine Moves On". She made one final appearance as Catherine in the season 5 premiere episode, "Bill Moves On". She played the recurring character of Jackie Robbins in medical drama series ER. Alexander has made a number of guest appearances on other television shows, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NYPD Blue, Third Watch, Cosby, Better off Ted, La Femme Nikita, and Body of Proof.
In 2000, Alexander won critical acclaim for her performance as Fran Boyd, a mother addicted to drugs in the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries The Corner. She later appeared in the films Emmett's Mark and Dark Blue, and starred opposite Rob Lowe in the Lifetime television movie Perfect Strangers. In 2002 through 2008, she portrayed the character of Alexx Woods, a medical examiner in the CBS police drama CSI: Miami. Alexander left CSI: Miami shortly before the end of the 2007-2008 season. Her final appearance aired on May 5, 2008. On February 2, 2009, she returned to the role of Alexx Woods for a guest appearance in the episode "Smoke Gets In Your CSI's". She returned again as Alexx Woods in guest appearances in the episodes "Out of Time" on September 21, 2009 and "Bad Seed" on October 19, 2009.
In fall 2008, Alexander was cast as a lead character in the HBO drama pilot, Treme, that premiered on April 11, 2010. She played a bar owner in a neighborhood of New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina. She received critical acclaim for her performance in the show. Alexander starred in the award-winning HBO television series by David Simon from 2010 to 2013. The series ended after four seasons. She later was cast in Shonda Rhimes's drama series Scandal as Kerry Washington's character's evil mother. In 2015, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance.
In 2014, Alexander was cast as older sister of Queen Latifah's title character in the HBO Film Bessie about iconic blues singer Bessie Smith. She was nominated for a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries.
|1985||A Chorus Line||Dancer|
|1987||Maid to Order||Hooker in Jail|
|1993||Joshua Tree||Maralena Turner|
|1993||Menace II Society||Karen Lawson|
|1993||What's Love Got to Do with It||Darlene|
|1994||Sugar Hill||Ella Skuggs|
|1994||House Party 3||Janelle|
|1994||Greedy||Laura Densmore, P.I.|
|1996||No Easy Way||Diana Campbell|
|1998||There's Something About Mary||Joanie|
|1999||Thick as Thieves||Janet|
|1999||Spawn 3: Ultimate Battle||Lakesha / Nurse||Voice|
|2002||Emmett's Mark||Det. Middlestat|
|2002||Dark Blue||Janelle Holland|
|2004||Perfect Strangers||Christie Kaplan|
|2013||The-N-word||Ms. Greene||Short film|
|2014||The Assault||Detective Jodi Miller|
|2016||A Woman, a Part||Leslie|
|2016||Patriots Day||Veronica (under the name The Interrogator)|
|2018||Fahrenheit 451||Toni Morrison|
|1987||Rags to Riches||The Delights||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1988||Duet||Nurse||Episode: "Special Delivery"|
|1989||A Different World||Theressa Stone||Episode: "Citizen Wayne"|
|1993||Shameful Secrets||Rosalie||Television film|
|1994||To My Daughter with Love||Harriet||Television film|
|1995–1998||NewsRadio||Catherine Duke||Series regular, 58 episodes|
|1995–2001||ER||Jackie Robbins||Recurring role, 29 episodes|
|1996||Terminal||Dr. Deborah Levy||Television film|
|1998||La Femme Nikita||Terry||Episode: "Soul Sacrifice"|
|1999||Cosby||Karen||Episode: "The Awful Truth"|
|1999||NYPD Blue||Sonya||Episode: "What's Up, Chuck?"|
|2000||Rude Awakening||Juanita Wilson||Episode: "Star 80 Proof"|
|2000||The Corner||Denise Francine 'Fran' Boyd||TV miniseries|
|2000||Third Watch||Beverly Saunders||Episode: "History"|
|2001||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sgt. Karen Smythe||Episode: "Paranoia"|
|2002||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Dr. Alexx Woods||Episode: "Cross Jurisdictions"|
|2002–2009||CSI: Miami||Dr. Alexx Woods||Series regular, 145 episodes|
|2009||Better Off Ted||Stella Clifton||Episode: "Battle of the Bulbs"|
|2010–2013||Treme||LaDonna Batiste-Williams||Series regular, 36 episodes|
|2012||Body of Proof||Beverly Travers||Episodes: "Occupational Hazards" and "Identity"|
|2013–2018||Scandal||Marie Wallace AKA Maya Pope||Recurring role, 20 episodes|
|2015||Bessie||Viola Smith||Television film|
Awards and nominations
|1998||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||NewsRadio||Nominated|
|2000||Online Film & Television Association||Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||The Corner||Nominated|
|2001||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|2002||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Nominated|
|2003||DVD Exclusive Awards||Best Actress||Emmett's Mark||Nominated|
|2005||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||CSI: Miami||Won|
|2006||Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2011||Vision Award||Best Performance - Drama||Treme||Won|
|2012||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|Vision Award||Best Performance - Drama||Nominated|
|2015||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Scandal||Won|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries||Bessie||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Scandal||Nominated|
- "Khandi Alexander Biography (1957-)". Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, October 14, 2014
- "Khandi Alexander's Interactive Family Tree - Finding Your Roots - PBS". Finding Your Roots. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "Khandi Alexander Biography". Tvguide.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- "Khandi Alexander". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- Fretts, Bruce (2000-12-22). "Khandi Alexander". EW.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- Als, Hilton. "The Talk of the Town: The Small Screen Making "The Corner" Real". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- "Exclusive: Khandi Alexander Pays CSI: Miami a Visit - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- "Cheers & Jeers: Treme's Khandi (Alexander) is Dandy - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- "'Treme': Khandi Alexander, as LaDonna Batiste-Williams, has no time for your problems - latimes.com". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- Michael O'Connell, Khandi Alexander on the End of 'Treme' and Rebuilding LaDonna, The Hollywood Reporter, September 23, 2012
- "'Treme' Season 4: Final episodes bring hope and struggle to New Orleans - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- "'Scandal' Casts 'Treme' Star to Play Olivia's Mother (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- "Khandi Alexander Will Play Olivia Pope's Mother On 'Scandal' | Shadow and Act". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- Slezak, Michael. "Scandal Season 3: Khandi Alexander Cast as Olivia's Mother — Is She Alive?". TVLine. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- Variety Staff. "Emmy Award Nominations 2015 – Full List: 67th Primetime Emmy Nominees - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (1970-01-01). "Mo'Nique & Khandi Alexander Join HBO Films' Bessie Smith Biopic". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
- "Mo'Nique & Khandi Alexander Join Queen Latifah In Bessie Smith Biopic|Shadow and Act". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
- Erik Pedersen. "Critics' Choice Television Awards Nominations 2015". Deadline. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Erik Pedersen. "'Supergirl's Melissa Benoist Joins 'Patriots Day' As Wife Boston Marathon Bomber - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 6 May 2016.