Kerry Washington Bio: In Her Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Kerry Washington Biography
Kerry Washington was born to Earl and Valerie Washington on January 31, 1977. Growing up in New York City as an only child, she began performing early on, acting with the TADA! Youth Theater Group and was involved with the Boys And Girls Club Of America. She considers herself of African-American and Jamaican-American descent, along with a mix of nationalities.
After attending the prestigious private school The Spence School in Manhattan and graduating in 1994, she attended George Washington University and graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa with a double major in sociology and anthropology. Though she was quite academic at college, she did act in a school musical as a frog. Washington spent time studying acting at Michael Howard Studios in New York as well.
Kerry Washington Bio: TV
Washington made her acting debut in 1994 on ABC Afterschool Special: Magical Makeover. In 1996 she starred in a series education/entertainment videos called Standard Deviants, and went on to hold guest spots and recurring roles on several programs, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, The Guardian, Boston Legal, 100 Centre Street and Psych. Washington hosted Saturday Night Live in November 2013.
Washington directed and appeared in Common‘s music video for “I Want You” and was in Maxwell‘s music video for “Bad Habits.”
Kerry Washington Bio: ‘Scandal’
Washington’s big break on television occurred when she landed the role of Olivia Pope on Scandal in 2012. The program, created by Grey’s Anatomy show-runner Shondra Rhimes, follows Olivia as a crisis management associate working in high political offices in D.C. Washington was the first woman to lead a primetime drama series since 1974’s Get Christie Love!
For her role Washington has been nominated for an Emmy Award and has won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress In A Drama Series. She was the first African-American woman in over 18 years to be nominated for an Emmy in her category, Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series.
Kerry Washington Bio: Filmography, Interview
Washington began appearing in films in 2000, acting in Your Song, Save The Last Dance, The Human Stain and Against The Ropes. Her first starring roles came in 2004 with the Spike Lee film She Hate Me, for which she received high praise, and Bad Company, which costarred Chris Rock and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Washington has gone on to appear in dozens of films. Some of the serious roles she has taken on are characters from Ray, The Last King Of Scotland, Night Catches Us, The Dead Girl, Woman In Burka, Life Is Hot In Cracktown, Night Catches Us, For Colored Girls with Janet Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg among others, and Django Unchained. Washington has taken on more light-hearted roles, too, including in Mr. And Mrs. Smith, I Think I Love My Wife, Fantastic Four and sequel, A Thousand Words and Tyler Perry Presents Peeples.
Though Washington is well known for her more serious roles with directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Lee, she has a comedic side to her personality. “Every day I was going to try to make Eddie [Murphy] laugh because if I could do that that would officially mean that I was funny,” Washington told Uinterview exclusively of her time on the set of A Thousand Words. “Even if he is laughing at me and not with me I think it counts.”
Washington was successful in getting some laughs out of Murphy. “We actually wounded up giggling a lot over my ridiculously corny jokes or, you know, terrible attempt[s],” Washington told Uinterview. “Sadly I got a bunch of the jokes from my dad who is, maybe, the corniest joke teller on the planet.”
Washington shared with Uinterview how much she enjoyed her character’s strength. “I really liked that my character, Caroline, is a woman who is really willing to go outside her own comfort zone in order to make her marriage work,” Washington said. “And she kind of takes this risk to spice things up a bit.”
In addition to television and film Washington has an affinity for performing on stage. She made her Broadway debut in 2010 in David Mamet’s Race. “As a girl who’s grown up in New York I’m really thrilled and excited to be doing my first Broadway play. I’m just beside myself,” Washington told Uinterview of the experience. “I feel like a really lucky girl.”
Kerry Washington Bio: Dating History, Husband, Pregnancy
Washington has remained publically quiet about her dating history. From 2004-2007 Washington was engaged to actor David Moscow. After they broke up, she is reported to have dated Lawrence O’Donnell and Efraim Grimberg. She began dating Nnamdi Asomugha in 2012 and married him June 24, 2013. In October 2013 it was announced that the couple is expecting their first child together.
Kerry Washington Bio: Personal Life, Politics
Washington has involved herself in numerous charitable causes. She is a member of the Creative Coalition and V-Day, and participated in Lee National Denim Day in 2007. She has also supported Step Up, Make A Film Foundation, 10×10 and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
In 2009 Washington teamed up makeup company L’Oreal Paris to create the ‘Color of Hope” collection to benefit breast cancer research. “The colors are really beautiful and you can feel good about wearing the colors not only because they’re gorgeous, but also because proceeds from that cosmetic line goes to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund,” Kerry told Uinterview. “So you can celebrate yourself and your beauty and just be a girl, and at the same time be a part of the fight against this cancer.”
Washington has a connection to the fight against cancer — her mother went through it. “My mom is a breast cancer survivor and she is with us today because of early detection because the technology in breast cancer has evolved to the point where we can save woman’s lives fairly easily if we find out early enough,” Washington told Uinterview. “My mom was one of those lucky women who went in for a mammogram and knew that something was going on, and she was able to start treatment from the very beginning.”
Washington was a supporter of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and has volunteered through Adopt-A-Classroom in New York and Green America (formerly Co-Op America). She was appointed to the President’s Committe of the Arts and Humanities in 2009 and spoke on behalf of President Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Washington spoke at her alma mater’s 2013 commencement and received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. She likes to keep mementos from each character she plays, such as an item of clothing.
Kerry Washington Awards, Magazine Covers
Washington has been nominated for dozens of awards and has won a few. In addition to the Image Award won for Scandal, she won the same award twice more. She won Outstanding Actress In A Motion Picture for Ray and Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Motion Picture for Django Unchained. Washington won the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress in Night Catches Us and shared the Outstanding Ensemble Award for her role in For Colored Girls. In 2001 Washington won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Performance and in 2013 was named TV Guide‘s Favorite Actress.
Over the years Washington has been nominated for a BET Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award, Independent Spirit Award, MTV Movie Award and an Emmy Award.
Washington has been photographed for the cover of numerous magazines, including Women’s Health, Maxim, Vanity Fair, Elle, Glamour, Jet, Parade, Ebony, Lucky and Essence.
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