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Kerry Washington

Washington at Hollywood Life Magazine’s 2007 Breakthrough Awards
Born January 31, 1977 (1977-01-31) (age 32)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present

Kerry Washington (born January 31, 1977)[1] is an American actress. She is known for her roles as Ray Charles's wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the film Ray (2004), as Idi Amin's wife Kay in The Last King of Scotland, and as Alicia Masters, love interest of Ben Grimm, The Thing, in the live-action Fantastic Four films of 2005 and 2007. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed independent films Our Song and The Dead Girl.


Early life

Washington was born in the Bronx, New York City, the daughter of a real estate broker father. Her mother was a professor and educational consultant.[2] She performed with the Tada theater teen group in 1985, when she was eight years old. She attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994. Washington went on to earn a B.A. degree in theater in 1998 from The George Washington University. She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.


Washington made her screen debut in the ABC telefilm Magical Make-Over (1994). She was in the cast of the 1996 PBS sketch comedy-style educational series Standard Deviants, and she appeared in the short "3D" and the feature film Our Song in 2000. She went on to appear in several movies, including Save the Last Dance (2001), The Human Stain (2003), Spike Lee's She Hate Me (2004), Ray (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Man, I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and as a wife of 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the UK historical drama The Last King of Scotland (2006). Washington has also appeared in the recurring role of Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal, and in several episodes of the A&E cable-TV series 100 Centre Street.

Her character in the two Fantastic Four movies, Alicia Masters, is a blind woman who is passionately attracted to Ben Grimm, the rock-like Thing. She uses her sense of touch to "see" Ben's face, responding positively to his stony texture, but immediately perceiving the sadness in his face, and the gentle character in his voice. An artist, she creates several realistic sculptures of the Thing, thus showing that she's perfectly aware of his monstrous appearance, but loves him ardently nevertheless. Washington's portrayal and dialogue may suggest Alicia prefers his appearance, size, and texture to that of a normal man. She comes across as a wise but generally optimistic character. In her performance, Washington uses her eyes to show us Alicia is blind, rather than using a cane or dark glasses. Her eyes don't necessarily point where a sighted person's eyes would, but as the "windows to the soul", they still relate to the emotions and dialogue of the character. Washington portrays Alicia as independent and confident, accepting help when offered, but otherwise handling things herself. (Another courageous blind character in the world of Marvel comics is a superhero himself, Daredevil.)

She is the new spokesperson for L'Oréal, appearing in commercials and ads alongside fellow actresses Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria Parker, and model Doutzen Kroes.

She also co-directed and appeared in the music video for hip-hop artist Common's song, "I Want You", the fourth single off of his album Finding Forever.

Washington narrated the critically acclaimed documentary about the New Orleans-based teenage TBC Brass Band, From the Mouthpiece on Back. She also appears in Maxwell's "Bad Habits" video.

She is currently making her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Race, alongside James Spader, David Alan Grier, and Richard Thomas.

Personal life

Washington was engaged to actor David Moscow from October 2004 to March 2007.[3]

As a sort of souvenir or memento, she usually tries to keep something from every character that she plays, such as an item of wardrobe or a piece of furniture from the house the character lived in.[4]

She is at times referred to as a political activist and was a supporter of Barack Obama's presidential candidacy.[5]


Year Film Role Notes
2000 Our Song Lanisha Brown
3D Angie Boyz n Da Hood
2001 Save the Last Dance Chenille Reynolds
Lift Niecy
2002 Take the A Train Keisha
Bad Company Julie
2003 The United States of Leland Ayesha
The Human Stain Ellie
Sin Kassie
2004 Against the Ropes Renee
Strip Search Unknown TV film
She Hate Me Fatima Goodrich
Ray Della Bea Robinson
2005 Sexual Life Rosalie
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Jasmine
Fantastic Four Alicia Masters
Wait Maggie
2006 Little Man Vanessa
The Last King of Scotland Kay Amin
The Dead Girl Rosetta
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Nikki Tru
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Alicia Masters
2008 Woman in Burka Kerry
Lakeview Terrace Lisa Mattson
Miracle at St. Anna Zana Wilder
2009 Life Is Hot in Cracktown Marybeth
A Thousand Words TBA post-production
2010 Mother and Child Lucy post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1994 ABC Afterschool Special Heather Episode: "Magical Make-Over"
1996 Standard Deviants Kerry
2001 NYPD Blue Maya Young Episode: "Franco, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn"
Law & Order Allie Lawrence Episode: "3 Dawg Night"
100 Centre Street Unknown 5 episodes
2002 The Guardian Drea Westbrook Episode: "The Next Life"
2005-2006 Boston Legal Chelina Hall 5 episodes
2008 Psych Mira Gaffney Episode: "There's Something About Mira"
2009 The People Speak Voice of Sojourner Truth

Awards and nominations

Washington at the Tribeca Film Festival.


External links

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