The Full Wiki

Rutina Wesley: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rutina Wesley

Wesley appearing on a panel for True Blood at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2009.
Born Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2006–present
Spouse(s) Jacob Fishel

Rutina Wesley is an American film, stage, and television actress.


Early life

Wesley was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1] Wesley's father Ivery Wheeler is a professional tap dancer and mother Cassandra Wesley was a showgirl.[2] She attended high school at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts. She studied dance at Simba Studios and the West Las Vegas Arts Center.[3]

While at the Las Vegas Academy, Wesley missed several other auditions for college training programs and was finally accepted by University of Evansville in Indiana. She was hesitant in joining the university because of a lack of minorities in the state.[4] After earning her undergraduate degree in Theatre Performance, her grandmother suggested that she do a nursing course, but Wesley insisted on pursuing her education.[4] She joined Juilliard School in 2001 and graduated in May 2005, which included a summer spent at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[1]


In December 2006, Wesley starred in David Hare's Broadway play The Vertical Hour, directed by Sam Mendes, alongside Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy.[2] In 2007 Wesley also appeared in The Public Theatre production of In Darfur by playwright Winter Miller, co-starring Heather Raffo, Aaron Lohr among others.[5]

Wesley did a minor role in 2005 film Hitch, which was edited in the final cut.[3] However, she made her on screen debut in the lead role in 2007 film How She Move, from British director Ian Iqbal Rashid. The character Raya Green, who enters a step dancing competition to secure funds for her education, was inspired from Tony Monero, portrayed by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.[6] Prior to the shooting of the film, Wesley underwent a five-week dance rehearsal period.[3] Portraying a woman of Jamaican descent, she also took dialect coaching for the role.[1] Wesley auditioned for the role Tara Thornton in the HBO series True Blood in 2007 and secured the part after creator Alan Ball chose her because "[she] was the first person who showed [Tara's] vulnerable side".[2]

Personal life

Wesley divides her time living in Los Angeles and Astoria, Queens. She is married to Jacob Fishel, an actor.[7]



Year Film Role Notes
2007 How She Move Raya Green Film debut
2008 Numb3rs Sarah TV series - in the episode "Magic Show"
2008–present True Blood Tara Thornton TV series - 24 episodes


  1. ^ a b c Williams, Kam (2008-01-20). "Rutina Wesley "How She Move" Interview with Kam Williams". News Blaze. Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  2. ^ a b c Rochlin, Margy (2008-10-30). "Flesh and Blood in a Town of Vampires". (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  3. ^ a b c Cling, Carol (2008-01-29). "Las Vegas Academy grad a shooting star". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  4. ^ a b "Spotlight: Training to Act". Back Stage. Nielsen Business Media Inc.. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  5. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary (2007-04-11). "Public's In Darfur to Star Raffo, Lohr, Washington, Wesley, Jah". Playbill. Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  6. ^ Marchand, Philip (2008-01-24). "'How She Move' shows dance as escape". (Toronto Star Inc.). Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  7. ^ Rochlin, Margy (2008-10-30). "Flesh and Blood in a Town of Vampires". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address