Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1969-02-21 (52 years old) · Gender: Female · Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, USA

43 Movies · 25 TV shows

Also Known As: Aunjanue L. Ellis

Biography

Aunjanue L. Ellis (; born February 21, 1969) is an American film, stage, and television actress, and producer. She began her acting career in theater, and made her film debut in Girls Town. Ellis has played leading roles in a number of independent movies, and co-starred in several mainstream films.Ellis is best known for her roles in films Men of Honor (2000), The Caveman's Valentine (2001), Undercover Brother (2002), Ray (2004), The Express: The Ernie Davis Story (2008), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) and The Help (2011). On television, Ellis had regular role in the ABC police drama series High Incident (1996–97), and later co-starred in a number of short-lived dramas. She had recurring roles on The Practice, True Blood, and The Mentalist, and played roles in a number of made for television movies, such as Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) and Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2013).In 2015, Ellis played the leading role in the miniseries The Book of Negroes, based on bestselling novel by Lawrence Hill. She received critical acclaim and a Critic's Choice Award nomination for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. From 2015 to 2017, she starred as Miranda Shaw in the ABC thriller series Quantico. In 2016, Ellis played Nancy Turner, Nat Turner's mother, in the period drama film The Birth of a Nation. In 2019, she received Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie nomination for her performance in the Netflix miniseries When They See Us. She is starring in the HBO drama series Lovecraft Country.

Early Life

Ellis was born in San Francisco, California, and raised on her grandmother's farm in McComb, Mississippi. She attended Tougaloo College before transferring to Brown University, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in African-American studies. She also studied acting with Jim Barnhill and John Emigh. During her years at Brown University, Ellis made her debut in a student play. She went on to study acting in the Graduate Acting Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Movies & TV shows

2021.

1 Movie
King Richard

King Richard

2021
Venus and Serena Williams will soon become two of the most legendary tennis players in history, and Richard Williams is their coach.

2020.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel

The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel

2020
The Clark Sisters were formed with guidance from their mother.
TV
Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country

5.5
2020
The anthology horror series follows 25-year-old Atticus, who joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find his missing father. Th...

2019.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Miss Virginia

Miss Virginia

2019
A struggling inner-city mother sacrifices everything to give her son a good education. Unwilling to allow her son to stay in a dangerous school, she launches a movement that could save his future - an...
TV
When They See Us

When They See Us

7.4
2019
Five teens from Harlem are trapped in a nightmare after being accused of a brutal attack in Central Park.

2018.

2 Movies
Pimp

Pimp

2018
An urban love story set on the hard streets of the Bronx. A struggling female pimp, named Wednesday, grows up learning the game from her dad. Once he's gone she's left to look out for her prostitute m...
If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk

5.75
2018
A pregnant African-American woman sets out to clear his name after he was wrongly imprisoned.

2017.

1 Movie
Romeo and Juliet in Harlem

Romeo and Juliet in Harlem

2017
The first Shakespeare feature film adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" with a complete cast of color that stays true to the language and storyline.

2016.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor

6.59
2016
After a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession, a low-level cabinet member is suddenly appointed President of the United Stat...
The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

2.67
2016
Nat Turner, a former slave in America, led a movement to free African-Americans in Virginia in the 19th century that resulted in a violent backlash from whites.

2015.

2 TV shows
TV
The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes

2015
In order to get her freedom in the 19th century, Aminata must navigate a revolution in New York, isolation in Nova Scotia, and the jungles of Sierra Leone.
TV
Quantico

Quantico

5.89
2015
A group of people are at the FBI base. It doesn't make sense that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.

2014.

2 Movies
Of Mind and Music

Of Mind and Music

2014
Dr. After the death of his mother and being unable to help her, Alvaro Cruz found redemption and reward by helping a jazz singer on the streets of New Orleans. Cruz seeks out her long lost son in an e...
Get on Up

Get on Up

6
2014
A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

2013.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

5.83
2013
It took two and a half centuries for Ichabod Crane to uncover a mystery that dates back to the founding fathers.
The Volunteer

The Volunteer

2013
After quitting her stable but soul-crushing job, Leigh passes her days in an apathetic fog until she decides to volunteer at a soup kitchen. There she meets Ethan, a homeless man with whom she begins ...

2012.

1 Movie
Abducted: The Carlina White Story

Abducted: The Carlina White Story

2012
A baby kidnapped at birth and raised by the woman who took her, eventually discovers she is a missing child, and struggles with choosing between her two identities.

2011.

5 Movies
Game of Death

Game of Death

2011
Marcus, a CIA agent, is sent to Detroit to take out an arms dealer and the head of a hedge fund that is financing him. It's a fight to survive in a hospital and into a hedge fund vault, as his CIA bac...
The Tested

The Tested

2011
Three people are on different paths because of a tragedy.
Money Matters

Money Matters

2011
A moving and intimate film that follows Monique "Money" Matters (Terri Abney) caught at the brink of adolescence. Her relationship with her mother Pamela Matters (Aunjanue Ellis- RAY, MEN OF HONER), i...
The Resident

The Resident

2011
Juliet, a doctor, separated from her husband and found a New York apartment. It has spacious rooms, a spectacular view, and a handsome landlord. Juliet gets the unnerving feeling that she is not alone...
The Help

The Help

7.29
2011
Aibileen Clark is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson is an African-American maid who has often offended...

2010.

2 TV shows
TV
Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta

Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta

6
2010
Set in the nation's largest full service bridal salon, viewers go behind the scenes at Bridal's byLori to see what each bride goes through to find the perfect wedding dress. The staff of the Southern ...
TV
Blue Bloods

Blue Bloods

6.74
2010
A family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement are the focus of a drama. The New York Police Commissioner is Frank Reagan. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, ...

2009.

5 Movies · 2 TV shows
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

9
2009
The life story of world- renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the subject of a movie.
TV
The Good Wife

The Good Wife

6.01
2009
After her husband's sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail, she assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce.
The Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghosts

2009
A New York City-set drama of interlocking stories takes place over 36 hours.
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

5.6
2009
A New York City subway train is hijacked by armed men, who hold the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and then turn an ordinary day's work for Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermin...
TV
NCIS: Los Angeles

NCIS: Los Angeles

6.57
2009
The Office of Special Projects is an elite division of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that specializes in undercover assignments.
I Love You Phillip Morris

I Love You Phillip Morris

2009
Steve Russell is a cop. Russell turned to fraud as a means of shaking things up because of his bland lifestyle. Russell's criminal antics landed him behind bars, where he met the charismatic Phillip M...
Motherhood

Motherhood

2009
Motherhood is a comedy written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann. The film was shot in New York's West Village and focuses on the trials and difficulties of being a mother.

2008.

2 Movies · 2 TV shows
TV
The Mentalist

The Mentalist

6.32
2008
Patrick Jane, a former celebrity psychic medium, uses his razor sharp skills of observation and expertise at "reading" people to solve serious crimes with the California Bureau of Investigation.
TV
True Blood

True Blood

6.27
2008
Alan Ball is the creator and producer of True Blood. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the co-existence of vampire and humans in Bon Temps, ...
The Express

The Express

2008
The Express is based on the true story of college football hero Ernie Davis, who was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.
Racing for Time

Racing for Time

2008
Cleveland 'Stack' Stackhouse is a guard with the Texas Correctional Youth Authority who witnessed the cycle of destructive choices and racial tensions among female teen offenders and decided to do som...

2007.

1 Movie
Cover

Cover

2007
The wife of a man who has been leading a double life is the prime suspect in a murder on New Year's Eve. As the revelation of her husband's betrayal threatens to destroy all that they have known, her ...

2006.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Justice

Justice

2006
Justice is an American legal drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer that aired on Fox in the USA and CTV in Canada. The series also aired on Warner Channel in Latin America, Nine Network in Australia, an...
Freedomland

Freedomland

2006
A black police detective has to solve a case of a kidnapped boy and deal with a protest.

2005.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
TV
E-Ring

E-Ring

2005
E-Ring is an American television military drama, created by Ken Robinson and David McKenna and executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, that premiered on NBC on September 21, 2005. The title of the sh...
Perception

Perception

2005
Jen Marshall is an LA girl with a laundry list of burned bridges. It is up to her friends to help her through this difficult time or to abandon her when she returns to New York.
TV
Jonny Zero

Jonny Zero

7
2005
Jonny Zero is an action-crime drama television series that aired on the Fox network in 2005. It starred Franky G, GQ, and Brennan Hesser. It was cancelled after eight episodes. It began airing on Mond...
TV
Numb3rs

Numb3rs

5.8
2005
Based on actual cases and experiences, Numb3rs depicts the confluence of police work and mathematics in solving crime as an FBI agent recruits his mathematical genius brother to help solve a wide rang...

2004.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Brother to Brother

Brother to Brother

2004
The drama looks back on the Harlem Renaissance from the perspective of an elderly, black writer who meets a gay teenager in a New York homeless shelter.
TV
The D.A.

The D.A.

2004
There is a D.A. The series aired from March 19 to April 9, 2004.
Ray

Ray

6.12
2004
Ray Charles went blind when he was seven. He was inspired by a fiercely independent mom who insisted he make his own way. After touring across the Southern musical circuit, the singer gained a reputat...

2002.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
TV
MDs

MDs

2002
Medicine could make a lot of money if it weren't for sick people. So goes the motto of the mega-sized, mega-frugal HMO that runs Mission General Hospital in San Francisco, where two doctors bend the r...
I Am Ali

I Am Ali

2002
A view into the daily life of a couple coming to terms with the main character’s schizophrenia.
Undercover Brother

Undercover Brother

2002
The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. is fighting against a white organization that defends the values of the black people in North America. Gen was black, he was the Afro-American candidate. In Warren Boutwell'...

2001.

4 Movies · 1 TV show
John John in the Sky

John John in the Sky

2001
A young boy sets out to build a working airplane in order to escape with his mother from his abusive father.
The Opponent

The Opponent

2001
Patty Sullivan is a battered woman who decides to take charge of her life by taking boxing lessons to protect herself when her boyfriend becomes violent. Patty sets her sights on competing in a profes...
TV
Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Law & Order: Criminal Intent

6.25
2001
The third iteration of the "Law & Order" franchise takes viewers deep into the minds of its criminals while following the intense psychological approaches the Major Case Squad uses to solve its crimes...
Lovely & Amazing

Lovely & Amazing

2001
An intimate family portrait of four hapless but resilient women and the lessons they learn in keeping up with the frenetic demands of their individual neuroses. The salvation the women find is illusor...
The Caveman's Valentine

The Caveman's Valentine

5.71
2001
Samuel L is an Academy Award®-nominee. "Jackson delivered a full-throttle performance as Romulus Ledbetter, a misunderstood musician turned recluse, hiding from personal demons in a New York City cave...

2000.

2 Movies
Men of Honor

Men of Honor

4
2000
The instructor was angry with the U.S. Carl Brashear wanted to become the Navy's first African-American master diver. Their relationship starts out on the rocks, but eventually fate brings them togeth...
Disappearing Acts

Disappearing Acts

2000
A school teacher and aspiring singer named Zora Banks is hoping to become a successful star while taking a break. Franklin Swift is a construction worker who wants to start his own business. When the ...

1999.

3 Movies · 2 TV shows
TV
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

6.09
1999
Sexually-based offenses are considered heinous in the criminal justice system. In New York City, the detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Specia...
TV
Third Watch

Third Watch

1999
The exploits of a group of men and women who serve the City of New York as police officers, firemen, and paramedics, all working the same fictional 55th precinct during the 3pm to 11pm shift.
A Map of the World

A Map of the World

1999
Alice and her family live on a dairy farm in a small Wisconsin community. Alice was charged with child abuse after an accident on her property with a friend's child.
Desert Blue

Desert Blue

1999
The world's largest ice cream cone is the centerpiece of an old gold-rush town that is struggling to stay on the map. They stayed longer than expected because of the accident. A teenage girl who loves...
In Too Deep

In Too Deep

4.75
1999
Gittens rules Cincinnati with an iron fist. He's known as "God" on the streets. Jeffrey Cole is an undercover cop who is determined to break Gittens' hold on the city. As Cole takes on an assumed iden...

1998.

1 Movie
Side Streets

Side Streets

1998
In 24 hours, 5 worlds collide in the forgotten neighborhoods of New York City.

1997.

1 TV show
TV
The Practice

The Practice

1997
Young associates at a bare-bones Boston firm are the focus of a provocative legal drama. People who walk a moral tightrope are the focus of the show.

1996.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Girls Town

Girls Town

1996
Four women are finishing their last year of high school. Unfortunately for the group, one of their own died by suicide. The three remaining women began to talk to each other about the ways in which th...
TV
High Incident

High Incident

1996
The ABC network has a police drama series called High Incident. The show was created by Steven Spielberg. It ran a total of 32 episodes.
Ed's Next Move

Ed's Next Move

1996
Ed lives in Wisconsin. After being dumped by his girlfriend, Ed moved to New York City. She's available and Ed thinks she's what he's looking for.

1994.

1 TV show
TV
New York Undercover

New York Undercover

1994
Detective J.C is the star of New York Undercover. Two undercover detectives in New York City's Fourth Precinct were assigned to investigate various crimes and gang-related cases.

Unknown Year.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
61st Street

61st Street

A high-school athlete with a bright future is accused of murdering a police officer during a drug bust. Franklin Roberts, a public defender, sees this as his chance to finally challenge the institutio...
The Subject

The Subject

A successful white documentarian is dealing with the aftermath of his last film, which caught the murder of a Black teen on tape. A man is filming a new doc series while someone tapes his every move.
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