Regina Rene King
January 15, 1971
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
(m. 1997; div. 2007)
|Relatives||Reina King (sister)|
Regina Rene King (born January 15, 1971) is an American actress and director. She is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and four Primetime Emmy Awards (tying the record for the most acting Emmys won by an African-American performer, along with Alfre Woodard). In 2019, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
King first gained attention for playing Brenda Jenkins in the television series 227 (1985–1990). Her subsequent roles included the film Friday (1995), the animated series The Boondocks (2005–2014), and the crime television series Southland (2009–2013). From 2015 to 2017, King starred in the ABC anthology series American Crime, for which she won two Primetime Emmy Awards, and in 2018, she starred in the Netflix miniseries Seven Seconds, for which she won her third Primetime Emmy Award. She starred in Barry Jenkins's film adaptation of the James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). For her performance, she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. King won her fourth Primetime Emmy Award for starring in the dystopian superhero limited series Watchmen (2019).
King has also played supporting roles in the films Boyz n the Hood (1991), Poetic Justice (1993), Ray (2004), A Cinderella Story (2004), as well as in the comedies Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005). Her other television roles include the drama series The Leftovers (2015–2017) and the sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2013–2019).
King has directed episodes for several television shows, including Scandal in 2015 and 2016 and This Is Us in 2017. She has also directed the music video for the 2010 song "Finding My Way Back" by Jaheim. Her feature film directorial debut came with the drama One Night in Miami... (2020), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director and a Directors Guild of America Award for First Time Feature Film. She became the second black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director.
Early life and education
King was born in Los Angeles County, California, and grew up in View Park–Windsor Hills. She is the elder daughter of Gloria Jean (née Cain), a special education teacher, and Thomas Henry King Jr., an electrician. King's parents divorced in 1979. Her younger sister is former actress Reina King, who appeared on What's Happening Now!!
King attended Westchester High School, graduating in 1988. She later studied Communications at the University of Southern California, dropping out after two years when she realized her passion for acting.
1985–2004: Beginnings as an actress and breakthrough with Ray
King began her acting career in 1985, playing the role of Brenda Jenkins on the television series 227, a role she played until the show ended in 1990. She went on to appear in the John Singleton films Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Higher Learning. In 1995, she was featured in the hit comedy film Friday. The next year, she starred in the Martin Lawrence dark comedy-romance A Thin Line Between Love and Hate as Mia, and she gained fame starring in blockbuster romantic comedy film Jerry Maguire as Marcee Tidwell.
In 1998, she was cast in Tony Scott's film Enemy of the State, receiving her first nomination at the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. In the same year, King took part in the films How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Mighty Joe Young, and Love and Action in Chicago. In 2001, King played Sontee Jenkins in Chris and Paul Weitz's Down to Earth, receiving praise from critics for her performance. The following year, she played the main role in television series Leap of Faith.
After taking part in teen romantic comedy film A Cinderella Story, King was cast as Margie Hendrix in the Academy Awards nominated biographical film Ray, about Ray Charles. For her performance in Ray, King won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress and was part of a cast nomination from the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
2005–2017: Acting, American Crime and first works as a director
In 2005, King was cast in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and began voicing the characters Huey and Riley Freeman for the animated series The Boondocks. In 2007, King played the main role of Sandra Palmer in season six of television series 24 and acted in films Year of the Dog and This Christmas. From 2009 to 2013, King played Detective Lydia Adams in TNT police drama Southland, receiving multiple Critics' Choice Television Award nominations, and winning two NAACP Image Awards.
After taking part in Rick Famuyiwa's romantic comedy film Our Family Wedding, King appeared as guest judge in RuPaul's Drag Race. In 2013, King played Caltech HR manager Janine Davis in the television series The Big Bang Theory. In 2014, she was cast in two television series, The Strain and Shameless.
In 2015, King was a cast member on ABC's John Ridley-penned ensemble drama American Crime, playing three roles, including a devout member of the Nation of Islam and the sister of a drug addict accused of murder. In 2015 and 2016, King won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie for her roles. Also in 2015, King starred in The Leftovers, which earned her a Peabody Award.
From 2015 to 2017, King began to pursue work as a director and writer, initially directing six episodes of the drama series Being Mary Jane. In 2016, she directed two episodes of Scandal, and single episodes of The Catch, Animal Kingdom, This Is Us and Shameless.
2018–present: If Beale Street Could Talk and success directing with One Night in Miami
In 2018, King played the role of the mother of a murdered black teenager in the Netflix original series Seven Seconds, winning her third Primetime Emmy Award. Her performance in the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins, garnered critical acclaim and earned her the Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
King starred in the 2019 series Watchmen, for which she won her fourth Primetime Emmy Award. In July 2019, it was announced King would direct One Night in Miami... based upon the play of the same name. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2020, the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected in the festival's history. King received numerous awards and nominations at major critics' prizes, earning a Best Director nomination at the Golden Globe Awards and being recognized with the Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
In May 2021, it was announced that King would direct race-themed monster movie Bitter Root for Legendary Entertainment. In October 2021, King starred in American Western film The Harder They Fall, directed by Jeymes Samuel, winning several awards including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
King was married to Ian Alexander Sr. from 1997 to 2007. Their son, Ian Alexander Jr., was born in 1996 and later became a disc jockey and recording artist. Her son died by suicide on January 21, 2022, at age 26.
|1991||Boyz n the Hood||Shalika|
|1996||A Thin Line Between Love and Hate||Mia Williams|
|1996||Jerry Maguire||Marcee Tidwell|
|1998||How Stella Got Her Groove Back||Vanessa|
|1998||Enemy of the State||Carla Dean|
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Cecily Banks|
|1999||Love and Action in Chicago||Lois Newton|
|2001||Down to Earth||Sontee Jenkins|
|2002||Truth Be Told||Rayne|
|2003||Daddy Day Care||Kim Hinton|
|2003||Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde||Grace Rossiter|
|2004||A Cinderella Story||Rhonda|
|2005||Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous||Sam Fuller|
|2006||The Ant Bully||Kreela||Voice|
|2007||Year of the Dog||Layla|
|2007||This Christmas||Lisa Whitfield-Moore|
|2010||Our Family Wedding||Angela|
|2013||Let the Church Say Amen||Director|
|2014||Planes: Fire & Rescue||Dynamite||Voice|
|2018||If Beale Street Could Talk||Sharon Rivers||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|2021||Flag Day||U.S. Marshall Blake|
|2021||The Harder They Fall||Trudy Smith|
|1985–1990||227||Brenda Jenkins||Main role (seasons 1–5)|
|1994||Northern Exposure||Mother Nature||Episode: "Baby Blues"|
|1994||New York Undercover||Marah||Episode: "Tasha"|
|1995||Living Single||Zina||Episode: "The Shake-Up"|
|1999||Where the Truth Lies||Lillian Rose-Martin||Television film|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Allie||Television film|
|2002||Leap of Faith||Cynthia||Main role (season 1)|
|2002||Damaged Care||Cheryl Griffith||Television film|
|2005–2014||The Boondocks||Huey Freeman / Riley Freeman||Voice; Main role (seasons 1–4)|
|2006||Women in Law||—||Pilot|
|2007||24||Sandra Palmer||Main role (season 6)|
|2008||Living Proof||Ellie Jackson||Television film|
|2009–2013||Southland||Detective Lydia Adams||Main role (seasons 1–5)|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself (guest judge)||Episode: "Dragazines"|
|2013–2019||The Big Bang Theory||Janine Davis||6 episodes|
|2014||The Strain||Ruby Wain||3 episodes|
|2014||Shameless||Gail Johnson||4 episodes|
|2014||The Gabby Douglas Story||Natalie Hawkins||Television film|
|2015–2017||American Crime||Aliyah Shadeed||Recurring role (season 1)|
|Terri LaCroix||Main role (season 2)|
|Kimara Walters||Main role (season 3)|
|2015, 2017||The Leftovers||Erika Murphy||Main role (season 2); guest role (season 3)|
|2018||Seven Seconds||Latrice Butler||Main role|
|2019||Watchmen||Angela Abar / Sister Night||Main role|
|2021||Saturday Night Live||Herself (host)||Episode: "Regina King/Nathaniel Rateliff"|
|2022||Phat Tuesdays: The Era Of Hip Hop Comedy||Herself||Documentary series|
|2013||Southland||Episode: "Off Duty"|
|2015||Being Mary Jane||6 episodes|
|2016||The Catch||Episode: "The Princess and the I.P."|
|2016||Animal Kingdom||Episode: "Child Care"|
|2016||Greenleaf||Episode: "Veni, Vidi, Vici"|
|2016||Pitch||Episode: "The Break"|
|2017||This Is Us||Episode: "The 20s"|
|2017||Shameless||Episode: "Fuck Paying It Forward"|
|2018||The Good Doctor||Episode: "Heartfelt"|
|2020||One Night in Miami...||Feature film; also executive producer|
|TBA||A Man in Full||3 episodes; also executive producer|
As music video director
|2010||"Finding My Way Back"||Jaheim|
|2011||"Not My Daddy"||Kelly Price featuring Stokley|
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, April 12, 2022
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What began in 2004 as a modern retelling of the iconic fairy tale... quickly spiraled into a cult classic yielding a decade and a half of follow-up films with different actors and plots...
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- "Regina King to Direct 'This Is Us' Episode | Entertainment Tonight". www.etonline.com. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
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- "Regina King wins supporting actress Oscar for 'Beale Street'". Reuters. February 24, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
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- Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (May 11, 2021). "Regina King to Direct Race-Themed Monster Movie Bitter Root for Legendary". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
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