Renn Woods

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Renn Woods
Born (1958-01-01) January 1, 1958 (age 59)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Other names Ren Woods
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1976-present

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.[1] Woods began her singing career as a child and released two solo albums before returning her focus to acting in the 1980s.

Music career[edit]

Woods began singing at the age of six.[2] By age 10, she was touring the world with the group Sunday's Child.[2] 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.[2]

In 1979, she released a solo album, Out of the Woods, which was produced by Earth, Wind & Fire member Al McKay. A second album, Azz Izz, was released in 1982.[3] Azz Izz was well received. The second album featured a new composition by Prince titled "I Don't Wanna Stop". Woods released a third album featuring jazz standards, Crazy, in 2015.[3]


Television roles[edit]

Woods achieved fame as "Fanta" in Roots in 1977. She appeared on other American television series, including 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.[2]


Woods created a one-woman autobiographical musical, A Diva Like Me, in the 1990s. In 2012, she expanded it into an ensemble version, Sold: Renn Woods in Concert (A Play in Rhythm and Blues).[2][1][4]

Personal life[edit]

Woods added an extra "n" to her first name to lessen confusion with a company that used the domain name Renwoods.[5]

Filmography (selected)[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sharon Eberson (October 4, 2013). "Preview: Actress Renn Woods writes musical based on life story". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Renn Woods' Musical SOLD: RENN WOODS IN CONCERT Makes Industry Debut at Shelter Studios, 10/20". Broadway World. October 19, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "CD of the Month: Renn Woods – Crazy". The Funk Show. January 24, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ "'Sold: Renn Woods in Concert'". New Pittsburgh Courier. October 18, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ Bob Leszczak (November 2, 2012). Single Season Sitcoms, 1948-1979: A Complete Guide. McFarland. p. 198. ISBN 9780786493050. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 

External links[edit]