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Sanaa Lathan

Actor, Voice Actor
© Gage Skidmore
Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 2.0 ]
Sanaa McCoy Lathan (born September 19, 1971) is an American actress and voice actress. She has starred in many films, including the box-office hit The Best Man and its 2013 sequel, Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar, Alien vs. Predator and The Family That Preys. Lathan was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun. In 2009, she voiced Donna Tubbs in The Cleveland Show. In 2010, she starred in the all-black performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London. Early life Lathan was born in New York City. Her first name means "art" in Swahili and "shining light" in Arabic. She is of African American and Native American descent. Her mother, Eleanor McCoy, was an actress and dancer who performed on Broadway with Eartha Kitt. Her father, Stan Lathan, worked behind the scenes in television for PBS, as well as a producer on shows such as Sanford & Son and Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. Her brother is Tendaji Lathan, a well known DJ. She attended Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in English. Lathan then attended Yale University with a degree in drama. Career Following her training at Yale, where she studied with Earle R. Gister and performed in a number of Shakespeare's plays, Lathan earned acclaim both off-Broadway and on the Los Angeles stage. Encouraged by her father to make Los Angeles her professional base, Lathan found early television roles on episodes of such shows as In the House, Family Matters, NYPD Blue, and Moesha. During that same period, she won raves and a Best Actress nod from the Los Angeles NAACP Theatrical Award Committee for her performance in To Take Arms. In 1998, Lathan earned a degree of recognition with her role as the mother of Wesley Snipes' title character in Blade. She followed this the subsequent year with a role in Life with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy and back-to-back turns in The Best Man and The Wood. The Best Man was a comedic ensemble film, starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau Jr., and Morris Chestnut. The Best Man went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing African American films in history and Lathan received a NAACP Image Award nomination for her performance. The Wood, another ensemble film starring Diggs and Omar Epps, cast her as the love interest of Epps. Lathan and Epps were reunited onscreen in Gina Prince-Bythewood's Love & Basketball, this time playing a couple as passionate about basketball as they are about each other. Her performance in Love & Basketball earned her the 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, as well as an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress and a BET Award. In 2000, Lathan appeared in the Off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues along with Teri Garr and Julianna Margulies. In 2001, Lathan earned additional acclaim for her work in the multicultural comedy film Catfish in Black Bean Sauce. Next was her second collaboration with Prince-Bythewood: Disappearing Acts; it is based on a novel by Terry McMillan. In the HBO film, Lathan is cast as an aspiring singer/songwriter in love with a carpenter, played by her Blade co-star Wesley Snipes. For her work in the film, Lathan earned an Essence Award for Best Actress. That year, she was named by Ebony magazine as one of its 55 Most Beautiful People and was honoured by Essence magazine and Black Entertainment Television. In 2002, Lathan starred in the romantic comedy film, Brown Sugar, alongside Diggs, Queen Latifah, and Mos Def. Lathan's performance earned an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. The film also received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture. In 2004, Lathan starred on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, and Phylicia Rashad. Lathan received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her portrayal of Beneatha Younger. Several years later, Lathan reprised the role in a critically acclaimed ABC Network production of A Raisin in the Sun. In 2003, she co-starred with Denzel Washington in Out of Time. The following year, she was cast in the lead role in Alien vs. Predator. The film was a major success grossing over $171 million worldwide.

Wikipedia ]

Born
Sanaa McCoy Lathan
September 19, 1971 (age 52)
Profession
Actor, Voice Actor
Parents
Stan Lathan, Eleanor McCoy
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