January 1, 1958 |
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Other names||Ren Woods|
Renn Woods, also known as Ren Woods (born January 1, 1958), is an African-American film and television actress, and singer, best known for her role as Fanta in Roots, and also as the girl with flowers in her hair who sang "Aquarius" in the film version of Hair. Woods began her singing career as a child and released two solo albums before returning her focus to acting in the 1980s.
Woods was born in Portland, Oregon, and became a child singing prodigy, appearing on NBC's Soul Special at the age of 10. She starred in the first National Tour of The Wiz as Dorothy at the Ahmanson Theatre. She returned to that same theatre in 2006 in the Tony Kushner/Jeanine Tesori musical, Caroline or Change.
In 1979, she released a solo album, Out of the Woods, which was supposed to be produced by Maurice White, however, due to the label being in transition, it was produced by Earth, Wind & Fire member Al McKay. A second album, Azz Izz, was released in 1982. Azz Izz was well received. The second album featured a new composition by Prince titled "I Don't Wanna Stop".
As an actress, Woods has enjoyed considerably more success. She achieved even greater fame as "Fanta" in Roots in 1977. She appeared on such American television series as What's Happening!!, Lou Grant, Hill Street Blues, The Jeffersons, Roc, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Beauty and the Beast and NYPD Blue. She also appeared in an episode of The White Shadow.
- Car Wash (1976)
- Youngblood (1978)
- Hair (1979)
- The Jerk (1979)
- Xanadu (1980)
- Nine to Five (1980)
- The Brother from Another Planet (1984)
- Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
- Church (2010)
- Unsung Hollywood (2015)
- Allmusic Biography; accessed November 1, 2015.