Wiley in 2013
|Born||Samira Denise Wiley
April 15, 1987 
|Alma mater||Juilliard School|
|Partner(s)||Lauren Morelli (2014 –present)|
Wiley was born in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Her parents, Christine and Dennis W. Wiley, are the co-pastors of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ. Wiley's parents have been referred to as "pillars of the LGBT religious community," as the Covenant Baptist Church was the only Baptist church in Washington D.C. performing same-sex unions in 2007. She has two siblings: Aiyana Maat and Joshua Wiley.[not in citation given]
Wiley studied drama at the Juilliard School in New York, and graduated in 2010. She trained in theater performance and worked mainly in theater in her early career. In 2011, she played Maria in a production of Love's Labour's Lost by The Public Theater.
When the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black—based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name about her experiences of being incarcerated in a women's prison—came into development, Wiley was told about the auditions by a friend from Juilliard, Marco Ramirez, who was a writer for the show. After discovering that another Juilliard friend, Danielle Brooks, had won a role in the show, Wiley asked Brooks to rehearse lines with her to prepare for her audition for the role of Poussey Washington, the on-screen best friend of Brooks' character. Wiley's audition was ultimately successful; she appeared in all twelve episodes of the series' first season and was featured prominently throughout the second season. The darker and more violent plot of the second season allowed for the growth of Wiley's character, whose evolved story lines lead to Wiley's prolonged screen exposure and ultimate development as a "fan-favorite." She was promoted to series regular for the third season. The fourth season revolves heavily around her character leading up to her character's death. Fans were outraged at the death of her character which ultimately drew a larger fan base to the series. Her girlfriend Lauren Morelli is a writer on the show. She was the person assigned to write the last episode Wiley would appear in.
Wiley's first major acting role was in the comedy film The Sitter (2011). In between seasons of Orange Is the New Black, Wiley filmed Rob the Mob, an independent crime film directed by Raymond De Felitta and released in March 2014.
Wiley has modeled for Maniac Magazine, appearing on the cover and in an editorial of the 2014 September/October issue. She was pictured modeling "a series of bold, chic, high fashion looks." Wiley was also featured on the cover of 2014 edition of OUT Magazine along with Sam Smith, Ellen Page, and Zachary Quinto.
In December 2015, it was announced Wiley had been cast to voice the titular character in the video game The Walking Dead: Michonne. The game was released by Telltale Games in February 2016.
In 2014, Wiley was named OUT100 Magazine's Ingenue of the Year. In February 2015, she was awarded the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award. According to the Human Rights Campaign's website, Wiley was always accepted and embraced by her parents, regardless of her sexuality, and to this she attributes her success.
In part, Samira Wiley won the 2015 Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, along with numerous members of the cast of Netflix's Original Series Orange Is The New Black.
|2014||Rob the Mob||Agent Annie Bell|
|2012||Person of Interest||Triage Nurse||Episode: "Many Happy Returns"|
|2013–2016||Orange Is the New Black||Poussey Washington||50 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
|2015||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Michelle||Episode: "Perverted Justice"|
|2016||The Catch||Captain Nia Brooks||Episode: "The Benefactor"|
|2016||You're the Worst|
|2017||The Handmaid's Tale||Moira|
|2016||The Walking Dead: Michonne||Michonne||Miniseries|
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