Black and Beautiful

in alphabetical order
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1.
Aaliyah
Soundtrack, Boyhood
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...
 
2.
Tatyana Ali
On January 24, 1979, Tatyana Marisol Ali was born to Sonia, who was a nurse from Panama, and Sheriff Ali, a retired police officer from Trinidad. At the age of four she started singing and got a taste of fame when she begged her mother to take her to an audition for Sesame Street. She went on to perform in many productions in her native city...
 
3.
Amerie
Soundtrack, Hitch
Introduced to most of the world in 2005 with the smash single "1 Thing," triple-threat actress / dancer / singer-songwriter-producer Ameriie continues to evolve. As a young girl she lived in a variety of places, including South Korea, Germany, Texas and Alaska due to her father's US military career...
 
4.
Leila Arcieri
Actress, xXx
 
6.
K.D. Aubert
Model & Actress KD Aubert started her modeling career with LA Models in 2001. As a runway model working overseas, she soon ventured into print modeling with Elite models (LA) where she was thrust into major campaigns. Soon after KD entered into the world of commercials where again, she was lucky enough into land some very memorable campaigns...
 
7.
Margaret Avery
Slender, attractive actress Margaret Avery, spellbinding in her role of Shug in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, is certainly no "one-hit wonder". Although filmgoers may be able to trace her back only to that once-in-a-lifetime part, Margaret has been a talented player on the large and small screens for well over three decades...
 
8.
Erykah Badu
Soundtrack, Moonlight
 
10.
Angela Bassett
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...
 
11.
Jennifer Beals
Actress, The L Word
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...
 
12.
Halle Berry
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, Heidi Berry. Halle first came into the spotlight at seventeen years when she won the Miss Teen All-American Pageant...
 
13.
Lisa Bonet
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)...
 
15.
Melanie Brown
Born on the 29th May 1975 in Leeds, England, Melanie Brown became a member of Spice Girls in 1994. Their three albums sold than 40 million copies worldwide and they had nine singles at number 1 in the UK. "Hot" was her first solo album, released on 9th October 2000. It entered the UK charts at #28...
 
16.
Joy Bryant
Actress, Bobby
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...
 
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19.
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was born in Long Island, New York. She is the daughter of Patricia (Hickey), a singer and vocal coach, and Alfred Roy Carey, an engineer. Her mother's ancestry is Irish, and her father was of Afro-Cuban and African-American descent. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. In June of 1990...
 
21.
Dorothy Dandridge
Actress, Carmen Jones
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...
 
22.
Stacey Dash
Actress, Clueless
Stacey Dash was born in the Bronx, New York. Stacy knew that she wanted to act, and from an early age began to act professionally. She made regular appearances on The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and also St. Elsewhere. At 21 she made her feature film debut in Enemy Territory, which was quickly followed by Moving...
 
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24.
Viola Davis
Actress, The Help
Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), a maid and factory worker...
 
25.
Rosario Dawson
Actress, Sin City
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...
 
26.
Loretta Devine
Actress, Crash
Loretta Devine was born August 21, 1949 in Houston, Texas, to Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), a beautician, and James Devine, who worked as a laborer. Loretta grew up in the Acres Home area of Houston and later enrolled at the University of Houston, where she earned a a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama...
 
28.
Jourdan Dunn
Actress, Zoolander 2
Jourdan Dunn is an English fashion model. She was born in the West London suburb of Greenford, where she grew up with her mother, a receptionist of Jamaican heritage, and two younger brothers. She was discovered in Hammersmith Primark, at the age of 16 and signed to Storm Model Management. In February 2008...
 
29.
Selita Ebanks
Producer, Rip the Runway
Selita Ebanks is best known for appearing in the 2007 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and for her work as a Victoria's Secrets lingerie model. She appeared in six Victoria's Secret fashion Shows from 2005 to 2010 and was a Victoria's Secret Angel from 2005 to 2009. She has worked also as an actress making appearances on The Apprentice...
 
31.
Gail Fisher
Actress, Mannix
A classy, smart-looking, spectacularly beautiful African-American actress who broke racial barriers in 1970s Hollywood but suffered greatly in her private life years after her TV glory days, award-winning actress Gail Fisher was born on August 18, 1935, in Orange, New Jersey, the youngest of five children...
 
32.
Meagan Good
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...
 
33.
Pam Grier
Actress, Jackie Brown
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...
 
34.
Regina Hall
Actress, Scary Movie 4
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...
 
35.
Lauryn Hill
Soundtrack, Surf's Up
Lauryn Hill, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, first came to attention with the multi-talented Fugees. Their first album, "Blunted On Reality", went virtually unnoticed by the public; their real breakthrough came with the sophomore album, "The Score", which featured "Killing Me Softly"...
 
36.
Keri Hilson
Soundtrack, Burlesque
 
37.
Jennifer Hudson
Actress, Dreamgirls
Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author. Bright and booming talent Hudson is a perfect example of how NOT winning the title of American Idol can actually be a boon to your career and not necessarily the end of a childhood dream...
 
38.
Heather Hunter
Actress, He Got Game
One of the most popular black stars in porn, Heather Hunter began her adult-film career on her 18th birthday, shooting Heather Hunter on Fire in 1988. Born and raised in New York City, she shot a few adult films there before journeying to Los Angeles. A former dancer on the TV show Soul Train, she was...
 
39.
Chanel Iman
Her father is African American and her mother is half Korean and African American. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia but grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is the owner of "The Red Bag Boutique" with daughter in Los Angeles. She helps local communities in Los Angeles and New York.
 
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41.
Janet Jackson
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...
 
42.
Shar Jackson
Actress, Moesha
Sharisse Jackson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 31, 1976. Jackson is of African American and Cherokee descent on her mother's side, and of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent on her father's side. Shar Jackson has been acting since the age of three when she enrolled in the Al Fann Theatrical Ensemble...
 
43.
Lil' Kim
Soundtrack, Knocked Up
Kimberly Denise Jones, was born on July 11, 1974, to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. She is of Native American and African American descent. Standing just 4 feet 11 inches tall Kimberly Jones seems much less than being just your average girl in the hood, but when "Lil' Kim" was introduced to the world she became known for her provocative over-the-top outfits...
 
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45.
Alicia Keys
Soundtrack, Men in Black
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...
 
47.
Regina King
Actress, Ray
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...
 
48.
Beyoncé Knowles
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...
 
49.
Sanaa Lathan
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...
 
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52.
Leona Lewis
Soundtrack, Avatar
 
54.
Adriana Lima
Adriana Lima was born on June 12, 1981 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. At the tender age of 13, Adriana entered the Ford Supermodel of the World Contest, where her unique beauty, derived from her Native-Brazilian, African-Brazilian, Portuguese, French, and Caribbean heritage, won her second place. Moving to New York at age 16...
 
55.
Nia Long
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")...
 
57.
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes
Music Department, All That
Controversial, flamboyant, and spontaneous are probably the best words to describe Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Born in Philadelphia, and raised throughout the world as the daughter of a U.S. Army serviceman, Lisa Lopes became one of the most important trendsetters in the 1990s music scene. After relocating to Atlanta during her young adult years...
 
58.
MC Lyte
Actress, Limitless
 
59.
Nina Mae McKinney
Actress, Hallelujah
Nina Mae McKinney is known as the seductress "Chick" from Hallelujah, the first all-black, all-sound musical. Even though she was acknowledged as a great actress, singer and dancer by audiences in the U.S. and Europe, today she is mostly forgotten. She certainly had the looks, enthusiasm, and acting talent to succeed...
 
60.
Barbara McNair
Popular African-American vocalist and entertainer Barbara McNair dazzled audiences with her singing prowess and exceptional beauty for well over four decades until her death on February 4, 2007 of throat cancer in Los Angeles. The Chicago-born entertainer and one-time secretary was raised in Racine...
 
61.
Michael Michele
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...
 
62.
Christina Milian
Actress, American Pie
Christine Flores (born September 26, 1981), better known as Christina Milian is an American singer, songwriter and actress. At the age of 19, Milian signed a contract with Def Jam. In 2001, Milian released her self-titled debut album, which featured the singles "AM to PM" and "When You Look at Me"; "AM to PM" charted within the Top 40 of the U.S...
 
63.
Tangi Miller
Actress, Felicity
Tangi Miller was born and raised in Miami, Florida. The oldest of six children, Tangi acted in stage productions while in high school. After graduating, she attended Alabama State University, majoring in marketing. After her graduation, she realized she spent all of her free time acting, so she decided to pursue that talent...
 
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Mya
Actress, Chicago
Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1979), professionally referred to as Mýa, is an American R&B and pop recording artist, entertainer, philanthropist, and actress. A Washington, D.C. native, as a young child, Harrison took ballet lessons from the age of two and added jazz and tap dancing lessons to her schedule two years later...
 
66.
Naturi Naughton
Actress, Power
Naturi Naughton is an American Singer and Actress best known for her performance as "Lil Kim" in Fox Searchlight's hit film "Notorious", and her role in MGM's remake of the classic film "Fame". Naughton has starred in various other projects such as: Lottery Ticket, The Playboy Club, Mad Men and The Client List...
 
67.
Elise Neal
Actress, Logan
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...
 
68.
Thandie Newton
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...
 
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71.
Keke Palmer
Actress, Grease Live!
Keke Palmer was born Lauren Keyana Palmer in Robbins, Illinois--a small town 20 miles south of Chicago-- to Sharon and Larry Palmer, both former actors. Palmer showed vocal promise as a five-year-old, when she belted out "Jesus Loves Me" in her church choir. A year later the singer-actress had a solo in her kindergarten play but...
 
72.
CCH Pounder
Actress, Avatar
CCH Pounder (the CCH standing for Carol Christine Hilaria, her birth name). As can be said of other similarly styled actresses such as Alfre Woodard and Cicely Tyson, most of Pounder's characters are enriched with these same positive attributes and it is a testament to this actress' abilities that she continues on such a high plane in a nearly three-decade career...
 
73.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Actress, Moesha
Sheryl Lee Ralph was born December 30, 1956 in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. She is known for her roles in Moesha (1996), Its A Living (1980), and Instant Mom (2013). Her Career Began in the late 1970's. She has been Married to Vincent Hughes since July 30, 2005 a Pennsylvania state senator. She was previously married to Eric Maurice.
 
74.
Rihanna
Soundtrack, Star Trek Beyond
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born in a parish in Barbados called St. Michael, to Monica (Braithwaite), an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Her mother is Afro-Guyanese and her father is of Afro-Barbadian and British Isles ancestry (known as "Redlegs" in the Caribbean). Rihanna lived the life of a normal island girl going to Combermere...
 
76.
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...
 
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Sade
Soundtrack, True Lies
 
80.
Zoe Saldana
Actress, Avatar
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...
 
81.
Shanice
Music Department, One on One
Shanice Wilson has been singing since she was only 7 months old and throughout the years she just kept getting better and better. At the age of 8, she was picked to sing in a Kentucky Fried Chicken Commercial with the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and and was also a first prize winner on the talent tv show...
 
82.
Octavia Spencer
Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, which she claims is the proverbial buckle of the Bible belt. She's the sixth of seven siblings and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. A "closet" lover of acting, this practical Alabamian knew that she'd someday work in the film industry, but never dreamed it would be in front of the camera...
 
83.
Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas
Music Department, All That
Rozonda Ocelean Thomas was born February 27, 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her father Abdul Ali, is of East Indian and Middle Eastern (Arab) descent, and her mother Ava Thomas is an American of African American and Native American descent. She has one son with producer Dallas Austin - they named him Tron...
 
85.
Rachel True
Actress, Half & Half
Rachel True has been working for most of the 1990s. She broke into the business with a pair of guest roles on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show In 1993, Rachel moved to L.A.; she then appeared in the rap parody CB4 with Chris Rock. She also landed another pair of guest spots on the HBO sitcom Dream On...
 
86.
Aisha Tyler
Actress, Archer
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.
 
87.
Cicely Tyson
Actress, The Help
Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...
 
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Gabrielle Union
Actress, Bad Boys II
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...
 
92.
Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins
Music Department, All That
Tionne Tenese Watkins was born on April 26, 1970 in Des Moines, Iowa. She is also known as "T-Boz" in the R&B/Hip-Hop group, TLC. Born to parents of both African American and Native American descent. As a child she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia (1 in 12 people of African American descent have the disease)...
 
93.
Veronica Webb
Actress, Zoolander
The youngest of three daughters born to Doug, an electrician who died in 1993, and Marion, a nurse, Webb graduated in 1983 from Detroit's Waldorf School. Moving to New York City to study design the same year, Webb got her modeling start after a makeup artist saw her in a housewares boutique.
 
94.
Lynn Whitfield
Actress, Stepmom
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...
 
95.
Michelle Williams
(Tenetria) Michelle Williams was born on July 24, 1980 in Rockford, Illinois. When she was a child, she never imagined being in one of the most successful female groups in the country. When she was seventeen, she had a friend who was playing the keyboard for famous R&B star Monica so, of course...
 
97.
Serena Williams
Self, Wimbledon
Serena Williams, is one of the top female tennis player in the world, has always maintained a level of interest. She earned her first grand slam singles title at the U.S. Open back in 1999, and made a string of four straight grand slam singles title wins - the 2002 French, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open titles...
 
98.
Vanessa Williams
Actress, Eraser
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"...
 
99.
Debra Wilson
Actress, MADtv
 
100.
Alfre Woodard
Actress, Primal Fear
Alfre Woodard was born on November 8, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest of three children of Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an interior designer. She was named by her godmother, who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name written out in gold letters. A former high school cheerleader and track star...