This is my list of the top beautiful Black actresses in entertainment past and present.
Halle Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Jerome Jesse Berry, was African-American, and worked as a hospital attendant. Her mother, Judith Ann (Hawkins), who is Caucasian, has English and German ancestry, and is a retired psychiatric nurse. Halle has an older sister named Heidi Berry
Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge
(née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge
began performing publicly, usually in black Baptist churches throughout the country...
Jayne Kennedy (born Jane Harrison on October 27, 1951 in Washington, D.C.) is an American actress, model and sportscaster. Jayne was crowned Miss Ohio USA 1970 (she was the first African American woman to win the title), and was one of the 10 semi-finalists in the 1970 Miss USA pageant. It was rare for an African American woman at that time to be in the contest...
Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order to find work as an actress and Lena was left in the care of her grandparents...
Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of a Zimbabwean mother, Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and Nick Newton, a British father who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK. She then lived in Cornwall in the southwest of Britain until the age of 11...
Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high school...
Classy, graceful, & intelligent, Salli Elise Richardson was born November 23, 1967, in Chicago, Illinois. Salli's acting career was first nurtured in the theater and, ever since, she has been on a non-stop journey to success. Her first feature performance was in 1991 as "Denise" in Up Against the Wall
Renée Elise Goldsberry
Renee Goldsberry was born in San Jose, California, and raised in both Houston, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a bachelors degree in acting, and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California, where she received her masters in vocal jazz performance...
Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana, to Katherine Jackson
(née Katherine Esther Scruse) and Joe Jackson
, a musician. She is the youngest of ten children. After her birth, her brothers formed a band later called The Jackson 5. She lived at home with her sisters, while her brothers and father lived an extravagant life in Los Angeles...
"Daily Variety", many publications and critics called Judy Pace one of the most beautiful women to ever appear on screen. In the 1970s she was the personification of black beauty, but restricting her to just being a "black" beauty is a slap in the face because she's a beauty, period. Most importantly...
Vanessa Lynn Williams was born in Millwood, New York, to Helen L. (Tinch) and Milton Augustine Williams, Jr., both music teachers. Vanessa and her brother grew up in suburban New York in comfortable surroundings. Vanessa sang and danced in school productions and signed her high school yearbook with a promise to "see you on Broadway"...
Vanity was a glamorous Canadian model and lead singer of the all-girl group "Vanity 6". She specialized in playing sultry female characters often in trouble with the law. Vanity was born Denise Katrina Matthews in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Helga Senyk and James Levia Matthews...
On January 16th 1979 the world was blessed with the birth of Aaliyah Dana Haughton in Brooklyn, New York. Aaliyah was raised by her father, mother and brother Rashad Haughton
in Detroit. At age 9 she appeared on Star Search
, the TV program and sang "My Funny Valentine", a song which her mother had sung years earlier...
Vivica A. Fox
Vivica A. Fox was born in South Bend, Indiana, on July 30, 1964, and is the daughter of Everlyena, a pharmaceutical technician, and William Fox, a private school administrator. She is of Native American and African-American descent and is proud of her heritage. She is a graduate of Arlington High School in Indianapolis...
Rochelle Aytes was born in New York City. She attended LaGuardia High School and graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in Dance from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory for Dance in 1998. She is best-known for her role in White Chicks
as Denise Porter; her role in Left 4 Dead 2
as a news producer; and more recently in the TV series The Forgotten
as Detective Grace Russell...
Beyoncé was born in Houston, Texas. Her father, Mathew Knowles
, manages Destiny's Child
. Her mother, Tina Knowles
(née Celestine Ann Beyincé), designs their glittering costumes. Solange Knowles
, her sister (they're about 5 years apart), has released her debut album. She dances with her big sister during DC-3 concerts. Beyoncé is of African-American and Creole descent...
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic where they would live for the next seven years...
Garcelle was born in Haiti. Her mother, Marie-Claire, was a teacher who moved Garcelle and her six older children to Massachusetts after a divorce from her father, Axel, four years prior. At age 16, the family moved again to Miami. At 17, Garcelle pursued a modeling career in New York. She got a break on Aaron Spelling
's TV show...
Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...
Alicia Keys was born in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, to Teresa (Augello), a paralegal who was also an occasional actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Her father is African-American, and her mother, who is caucasian, is of Italian and English/Irish/Scottish ancestry. Alicia began taking piano lessons at age seven at her mother's insistence...
Paula Patton was born in Los Angeles, California, to Joyce (Vanraden) and Charles Patton. Her father is African-American and her mother, who is caucasian, has German, English, and Dutch ancestry. Her family lived across the street from the 20th Century Fox lot when she was growing up and she was a fan of films from her earliest years...
Sanaa Lathan, pronounced Sa-NAA, "like Sinatra without the tra", was born on September 19, 1971, in New York, as her actress mother Eleanor McCoy
performed on Broadway with the likes of Eartha Kitt
, and her director father Stan Lathan
worked behind the scenes in television for PBS. She was exposed to the life of entertainment and stars at a very early age...
Stunning pop culture icon, Hollywood leading lady and three-time NAACP award winner Nia Long returns to the big screen this fall in the highly anticipated Universal Pictures sequel The best man holiday (in theaters November 15th) where she reunites with original castmates Taye Diggs ("Private Practice")...
Joy Bryant was born in a modest home in The Bronx, New York and as a young woman, was enrolled in an inner-city outreach organization called "A Better Chance," designed to encourage minority talent. Joy was also blessed with brains as well beauty and remained an excellent student throughout her high school years. As a result, she was awarded a full academic scholarship to Yale University...
This stunning and resourceful actress has been primarily a film player thus far. Only recently has she been opening herself up more to doing television (the series Gemini Division
, which she executive-produced), and animated voice-overs. Dawson's powerhouse talent stands out the most in edgy, urban filming that dates back to 1995 when she was only sixteen...
One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an important part of her life as a child...
Dawn was born into drama on a US Air Force base in Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan. She was raised in a small town in Southern Illinois- the land of barns and farms. Books were her salvation. Shakespeare her first love. Dawn wrote her first play in 5th grade using the story of Snow White to explain the importance of trees for an Arbor Day celebration...
Pam Grier was born in Winston-Salem, NC, one of four children of Gwendolyn Sylvia (Samuels), a nurse, and Clarence Ransom Grier Jr., an Air Force mechanic. Pam has been a major African-American star from the early 1970s. Her career started in 1971, when Roger Corman
of New World Pictures launched her with The Big Doll House
Meagan Monique Good was born on 8 August 1981 in Panorama City, California, USA, to Tyra Wardlow-Doyle, who worked as her manager, and Leondis "Leon" Good, an LAPD officer. She began appearing on commercials at the age of four. Then she started guest-starring on series like The Parent 'Hood
, Touched by an Angel
Ella Thomas grew up overseas. Her mother was Eritrean and her father was an U.S. Air Force officer who was stationed in the country. Her parents moved to Germany while she was still an infant yet continued to return frequently to Asmara to visit her mother's family, until a civil war ravaging the country made it unsafe for them to travel...
Lauren London first appeared in the film, ATL, opposite actor and recording artist, Tip "TI" Harris. Due to London's breakout success in ATL, she received an offer to star in the film, This Christmas, with Loretta Devine, Idris Elba and Regina King. Her next film role was in the teen romantic comedy...
With roots that lead back to Louisiana southern aristocracy, lovely leading lady Lynn Whitfield was born in 1953, the eldest of four children and a third-generation BFA graduate from Howard University. Her dentist father was instrumental in developing Lynn's initial interest in acting as he was a prime figure in forming community theater in her native Baton Rouge...
Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Koren Pinkett Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Robsol Grant Pinkett, Jr., a contractor, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones
, a nurse. They divorced after only a few months of marriage. Her father is of African-American descent and her mother is of Afro-Caribbean ancestry (from Barbados and Jamaica). Jada majored in dance and choreography at the Baltimore School for the Arts...
Jennifer Beals was born in December 1963 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the city. With a life-long desire for acting, Beals first appeared in small high school plays and even got an uncredited bit part in My Bodyguard
in 1980. After graduation, she enrolled in college at Yale University, studying American literature...
Anika Noni Rose
Anika Noni Rose followed her work in the feature film "Dreamgirls" with a role in the comedy feature "Just Add Water," in which she co-stars with Danny DeVito, Dylan Walsh, Jonah Hill and Justin Long, under the direction of Hart Bochner. In 2004, Rose was honored with a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the widely acclaimed Broadway show "Caroline...
Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria, a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician. She began her career in the television show 227
, followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood
. She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba Gooding Jr.
's character's wife in Jerry Maguire
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Lesley-Ann Brandt has become one of the biggest South African exports via New Zealand after immigrating to Auckland with her parents and brother in 1999. With her mixed ethnic background, Lesley-Ann is Hollywood's exciting new discovery. As a child, she participated in almost every kindergarten and school play and was a natural singer...
A lovely and gifted actress, Michael Michele has won acclaim for her portrayals of strong and capable women on television as well as in feature films. Born in Evansville, Indiana, on August 30, 1966, she--like practically everyone in the Hoosier State--grew up a big basketball fan. Michele played roundball...
Tika Sumpter was born in New York and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College. Sumpter began her career as model, before she landed the role of "Layla Williamson" in ABC's daytime soap opera, One Life to Live
(2005-2010, 2011). After she left the soap, Sumpter won a recurring role in the CW series...
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor, and her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney...
Gloria Elizabeth Reuben is a Canadian born actress and singer who has amassed impressive credentials in television, film, theater, and music. Reuben was born in Toronto, Ontario and started classical piano lessons at the age of five. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of music. Gloria's career includes many memorable acting roles...
Born in Los Angeles in 1964, Theresa Randle began her performing career by studying dance (traditional, modern, jazz) and comedy. She entered Beverly Hills High School, with a special program for the exceptionally gifted. At the end of college she earned her first role at the Los Angeles Inner City Cultural Center and was seen in commercials...
Morrow grew up in Miami, Florida. She made her television debut appearance in 1992 as Wendy Mallow on the popular television program, Baywatch. From 1995 to 1996, she portrayed Rachel Gannon on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Morrow also had a recurring appearance on the sitcom, Family Matters as Darius McCrary (Eddie)'s girlfriend and then ex-girlfriend...
LisaRaye McCoy-Misick was born September 23, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. She is of African American and Native American descent and is proud of her heritage. She later attended Eastern Illinois University but she never really took the idea of a career in acting seriously until persuaded by an insistent roommate to attend a local audition in Chicago...
Rae Dawn Chong
Rae Dawn Chong was born February 28, 1961 in Edmonton, Canada to Maxine Sneed and Tommy Chong
. After a few film and television spots, Rae Dawn earned a Genie for her performance in Jean-Jacques Annaud
's prehistoric-drama Quest for Fire
. She played the young, Ivaka prisoner, Ika. Other notables roles include Harpo's girlfriend "Squeek"...
Sharon Leal is a military brat. She was born in Tuscon, Arizona. Sharon then moved with her parents to the Philippines, till she was 6 years old. She went to prayer-school there. Then, her parents packed up to move back to the US and settled in Fresno, California. Her mother, Angelita, who is Filipino...
Aisha Tyler born September 18, 1970 is an American talk show host, actress, comedian, author, producer, writer, and director. She is known for portraying Andrea Marino in the first season of Ghost Whisperer, voicing Lana Kane in Archer, and portraying Mother Nature in the Santa Clause film series, as well as recurring roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Talk Soup.
She is a native of Davenport, Iowa. Attended Davenport North High School in Davenport, Iowa. Graduated with a music degree from Loyola Marymount University in 2001. Was a singer with the group "Necessity."
Kat Graham is a music artist, actress and producer, best known for her starring role in the hit TV show "The Vampire Diaries." Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Kat speaks four languages - English, Spanish, French and Hebrew - and is the daughter of a Liberian father and a Russian Jewish mother. At the age of 6...
Lark Voorhies was born on 25 March 1974 in Nashville, Tennessee. She first began acting at the age of two but postponed her acting career until the age of 11, when she appeared on Small Wonder
. Lark later starred as Lisa Turtle in Good Morning, Miss Bliss
, the predecessor to NBC's popular teen series Saved by the Bell
Raised in a working-class Ohio town, Danielle Nicolet moved with her family to southern California to train in gymnastics. She competed through her teenage years, but finally admitted that acting was her dream. She has always played unpredictable characters, whether they be dramatic or comedic. Early on she appeared most notably in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1
Kandyse McClure is a Canadian actress born on March 22, 1980 in Durban in South Africa. She graduated from West Vancouver Secondary School in 1998. She is an actress, known for main roles in TV series Battlestar Galactica (2004), Hemlock Grove (2013), and from the movies Carrie (2002) and Seventh Son (2014).
Actress-dancer-director Jasmine Guy has enjoyed a diverse career in television, theatre and film. She began her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Jasmine starred on Broadway in the original productions of Beehive and Leader of the Pack, and reprised hit productions of 'Grease'...
Lisa Bonet was born in San Francisco, California, to Arlene Joyce (Litman), a teacher, and Allen Bonet, an opera singer. She has lived most of her life in New York and Los Angeles, where she attended Reseda High School and Celluloid Actor's Studio. Her father was African-American and her mother was Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Poland and Russia)...
Erica Hubbard started her career in 1988 doing voice-overs and starring in commercials such as: McDonald's, MCI, Reebok and Sears. She has worked in many markets, including Chicago, New York and California. Ms. Hubbard has performed in feature films distributed by Paramount, 20th Century Fox and TSIBILI Pictures...
Robin Simone Givens was born in New York City on 27th of November, 1964, to Ruth (Newby) and Reuben Givens. Robin's father left his family when Robin was a young girl and she seldom saw him after that. Robin's mother raised her and her younger sister in Westchester, CT. Her mother (once linked to Yankee...
Marsha Thomason was born and raised in Manchester, England. Her love for acting began after watching the musical "Bugsy Malone". Soon after, aged 12, she joined Oldham Theatre Workshop, where she performed many diverse stage plays, including "Our Day Out" by Willy Russell
and "Peace" by Aristophanes
British actress Naomie Harris was born in London, the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla
. Her father is from Trinidad and her mother is from Jamaica. She showed an interest in acting from an early age and attended the prestigious Anna Scher Theatre School. From here, Harris won roles in various projects...
Victoria Rowell is an award-winning actress, international lecturer, holds two doctorates - a teacher, advocate, mother, and former foster youth. She has been recognized by 193 members of Congress for advocacy work on behalf of education, arts, foster and adoptive youth and parents as well as diversity issues...
Born in Florida and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Gloria's first job was as an assistant to the legal secretary in the New York office of the NAACP. She also became a model around this time and worked at the Playboy Club as a "Bunny." This exposure led to her being cast in her first movie, For Love of Ivy
Born in the tiny town of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Angell Conwell began her journey at a very young age. After winning countless awards locally, she signed with Wilhelmina's Kids Division in New York at the age of 10. Always one to challenge herself. She begged for her parents permission to audition for August Wilson's highly acclaimed...
Valarie Pettiford's career glitters like the lights on Broadway. An award-winning triple-threat, Valarie has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, but has never let her brushes with fame go to her head. Although some would argue that she is a celebrity in her own right, Valarie is still a humble girl from Queens...
Elise Neal was born in Memphis, Tennessee and began dancing at age six. She credits her success to her mother, Arletha Neal, who always supported her and drove her to many talent shows and recitals. After moving to New York and quickly booking many off-Broadway shows and musical revivals, she thought Broadway would be her winning ticket...
Gina was born in New York City and is youngest of three children in a close-knit Cuban American family. Attended New York City's High School of Music and Art She is a gifted mezzo soprano and was trained in opera and jazz and also sang in a gospel choir.
Regina Hall was born December 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., to Ruby, a teacher, and Odie Hall, a contractor. She graduated from Fordham University in 1992, and went on to earn a master's degree in journalism from New York University before shifting to an acting career. In 1997 at age 26, she began appearing in commercials...