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Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1952-11-08 (67 years old)

81 Movies · 18 TV Series

Biography

Alfre Woodard (; born November 8, 1952) is an American actor, producer, and political activist. She has been named one of the most versatile and accomplished actors of her generation. She has been nominated once each for an Academy Award and Grammy Award and 18 times for an Emmy Award (winning four) and has also won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Woodard began her acting career in theater. After her breakthrough role in the Off-Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1977), she made her film debut in Remember My Name (1978). In 1983, she won major critical praise and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Cross Creek. In the same year, Woodard won her first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the NBC drama series Hill Street Blues. Later in the 1980s, Woodard had leading Emmy Award–nominated performances in a number of made for television movies, and another Emmy-winning role as a woman dying of leukemia in the pilot episode of L.A. Law. She also starred as Dr. Roxanne Turner in the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1986, and for Guest Actress in 1988. In the 1990s, Woodard starred in films such as Grand Canyon (1991), Heart and Souls (1993), Crooklyn (1994), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Primal Fear (1996) and Star Trek: First Contact (1996). She also drew critical praise for her performances in the independent dramas Passion Fish (1992), for which she won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as Down in the Delta (1998). For her lead role in the HBO film Miss Evers' Boys (1997), Woodard won Golden Globe, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild, and several other awards. In later years, she has appeared in several blockbusters, like K-PAX (2001), The Core (2003), and The Forgotten (2004), starred in independent films, and won her fourth Emmy Award for The Practice in 2003. From 2005 to 2006, Woodard starred as Betty Applewhite in the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives, and later starred in several short-lived series. She appeared in the films The Family That Preys (2008), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Annabelle (2014), and Juanita (2019), and has also worked as a political activist and producer. In 2019, she received critical acclaim for her performance in the drama film Clemency. Woodard is a founder of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization devoted to advancing democracy and equality in that country. She is a board member of AMPAS.

Personal Life

Woodard lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband, writer Roderick Spencer, and their two children Mavis and Duncan. Woodard follows Christian Science. Her daughter, Mavis, served as Miss Golden Globe for the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.Woodard is an activist for a wide spectrum of causes. She is a founder and board member of Artists for a New South Africa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating the African AIDS pandemic and to advancing democracy and equality in South Africa since 1989. The charity has raised more than $9 million and has provided healthcare to over 3,500 South African AIDS orphans. Woodard is also a board member of the Democratic Party, and campaigned for Barack Obama in the both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. She lends continuing support to the fight for LGBT rights and same sex marriage. In February 2009, she joined a group of American film directors and actors on a cultural trip to Iran at the invitation of the "House of Cinema" forum in Tehran.On August 9, 2015, Woodard appeared on TLC's Who Do You Think You Are?. Research into her father's genealogy revealed that her great-grandfather Alex Woodard was born into slavery in Houston County, Georgia, in the early 1840s. At about age 14 or 15, Alex was separated from his family when his master relocated to Jackson Parish, Louisiana. Historians helped Woodard locate evidence that Alex was assessed a poll tax in 1867, indicating that he was registered to vote two years after the Civil War ended. By 1881, Alex had purchased 80 acres of farmland in Jackson Parish. On April 15, 1898, Alex Woodard and his wife Elizabeth sold their 80 acres to her brother, Aaron Stell, as they had moved to Wharton County, Texas, by that time. In tribute to Alex Woodard's climb from enslavement to landowner, Alfre poured a libation of water on the land that her great-grandfather and his family acquired by dint of hard work and unwavering determination. The scene closed the program.

Early Life

Woodard was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an entrepreneur and interior designer. She is the youngest of three children. Woodard attended Bishop Kelley High School, a private Catholic school in Tulsa, graduating from there in 1970. She studied drama at Boston University, from which she graduated.

Movies & TV Series

2000.

8 Movies · 1 TV Series
The Tulsa Lynching of 1921: A Hidden Story

The Tulsa Lynching of 1921: A Hidden Story

2000
Documents the race riot of 1921 and the destruction of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With testimony by eyewitnesses and background accounts by historians.
What's Cooking?

What's Cooking?

2000
In LA's Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children's acculturation and immigrant parents' fears col...
Holiday Heart

Holiday Heart

2000
A drag queen takes in a drug addict and her daughter and helps raise the daughter.
TV
Static Shock

Static Shock

8
2000
The adventures of a teenage superhero who fights crime in Dakota City.
John Henry

John Henry

2000
A larger-than-life tale about the African-American hero born with a hammer in his hand. Join John Henry on a scenic journey from cotton country to the wilderness, where he finds men of all colors work...
Lost Souls

Lost Souls

2000
A small group of Catholics led by an ailing priest believe that Satan intends to become man, just as God did in the person of Jesus. The writings of a possessed mental patient lead them to Peter Kelso...
Dinosaur

Dinosaur

6.27
2000
An orphaned dinosaur raised by lemurs joins an arduous trek to a sancturary after a meteorite shower destroys his family home.
Love & Basketball

Love & Basketball

6
2000
A young African-American couple navigates the tricky paths of romance and athletics in this drama. Quincy McCall and Monica Wright grew up in the same neighborhood and have known each other since chil...
American Experience: Eleanor Roosevelt

American Experience: Eleanor Roosevelt

2000
Eleanor Roosevelt struggled to overcome an unhappy childhood, betrayal in her marriage, a controlling mother-in-law, and gripping depressions — all the while staying true to her passion for social jus...
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