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Biography of Kerry Washington

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Kerry Washington (born January 31, 1977), is an American actress. She is known for her roles as Ray Charles’ wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the film Ray (2004), as Kay Amin in The Last King of Scotland, and Alicia Masters in the 2005 live-action Fantastic Four film and its 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed independent films Our Song and The Dead Girl.

Early life

kerry washingtonWashington, an African American, was born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, the daughter of a successful real estate broker father and a professor and educational consultant mother. As a child, she performed in children’s musical theater with TADA! Youth Theater. She attended The Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994; fellow alumni include Gwyneth Paltrow and Emmy Rossum. Washington went on to earn a theater degree in 1998 from George Washington University.

Personal life

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

As a sort of souvenir/memento, she usually tries to keep something from every character that she plays whether it is an item of wardrobe or a piece of furniture from the house that the character lived in.

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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 roles 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, in a departure, an accented, period role 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 Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal, and in several episodes of the A&E cable-TV series 100 Centre Street.

She is the new spokeperson for L’Oréal starring in commercials and ads alongside fellow actresses Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, 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.

In addition, Kerry serves as the narrator of the critically-acclaimed 2008 documentary about the New Orleans-based teenage TBC Brass Band entitled From the Mouthpiece on Back, which also lists The Roots as one of the executive producers of the movie.

She has also been known as apart of the African American group ‘Negro Hunters’ that find troubled black students in schools across the west coast and try to help them regain their way into an education..


Year Movie
1994 “ABC Afterschool Specials”
1996 “Standard Deviants (TV series)”
2001 “Our Song”, “3D”, “Save the Last Dance”, “Lift (TV series)”, “NYPD Blue (TV series)”, “Law & Order (TV series)”, “100 Centre Street (TV series)”
2002 “Take the A Train”, “Bad Company”, “The Guardian”
2003 “The United States of Leland”, “The Human Stain”, “Sin”
2004 “Against the Ropes”, “Strip Search (TV)”, “She Hate Me”, “Ray”
2005 “Sexual Life”, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, “Fantastic Four”, “Wait”
2006 “Boston Legal (TV series)”, “Little Man”, “The Last King of Scotland”, “The Dead Girl”
2007 “I Think I Love My Wife”, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”
2008 “Psych (TV series)”, “Woman in Burka”, “Lakeview Terrace”, “Miracle at St. Anna”, “Life Is Hot in Cracktown”, “Mama Black Widow”

A moment with…Kerry Washington

When Kerry Washington told Chris Rock she wanted to play the flesh-flaunting home wrecker Nikki in I Think I Love My Wife (March 16), ”he laughed at me,” she recalls. He thought the Bronx-born beauty was better suited for the role of Brenda, his nurturing spouse. That was until Rock saw her play a sultry lesbian in Spike Lee’s She Hate Me (2004). By then, though, Washington had her own doubts. ”I got nervous because he was directing,” she says, adding, ”Head of State is not my favorite movie in the world.” Now, after working with Rock, she’s on a roll.

On Chris Rock, the actor ”Before this, I never thought of Chris as an actor. He really made an effort this time around. He hired one of the best acting coaches in the business and worked hard.”

On Alicia Masters, the character she reprises in this summer’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ”The studio was looking for white actresses. I approached them and said, ‘Would you be willing to open this up?’ Now, when you watch the Fantastic Four cartoon, Alicia Masters is black. That’s huge.”

On becoming a sex symbol ”I Think I Love My Wife’s Nikki has nothing to do with Kerry Washington. That’s Kerry Washington with silicone stuck in her bra, smoking cigarettes and talking in a deep voice.”

On going to Africa to shoot The Last King of Scotland ”There’s this idea that as an African American you’re supposed to get off the plane in Africa and feel like you’re home. And — to be totally honest with you — I was terrified that I wasn’t going to have that response. I was like, ‘I don’t want to be a bad black person.”’ So what happened when she got there? ”I fell in love. I totally fell in love.”


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