Pretty Black Actresses (no particular order)

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1.
Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Actress, I Am Legend
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. However...
 
4.
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...
 
5.
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...
 
6.
Kandyse McClure
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).
 
8.
Tamera Mowry-Housley
Self, The Real
Tamera Darvette Mowry was born on July 6, 1978, two minutes before her twin sister, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, in Gelnhausen, Hesse, Germany to Darlene Mowry and Timothy Mowry, who was in the U.S. Army at the time of her birth and later became a custody officer/jailer with the City of Glendale Police Department...
 
10.
Judy Reyes
Actress, Scrubs
 
11.
Tami Roman
Tami Roman grew up in a middle-class, single-parent household in White Plains, NY. Since her mom worked three jobs to support the family, Tami spent many days and nights alone, undoubtedly a "latch-key" kid responsible for raising herself. It wasn't until her mother met and married Ali Akbar that her childhood changed drastically...
 
12.
Jessica Alba
Actress, Sin City
Jessica Marie Alba was born on April 28, 1981, in Pomona, CA, to Catherine (Jensen) and Mark David Alba, who served in the US Air Force. Her mother has Danish, Welsh, German, English, and French ancestry, while her father is of Mexican descent (including Spanish, Indigenous Mexican and distant Sephardic Jewish...
 
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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...
 
16.
Lauren London
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...
 
17.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Gugu, short for Gugulethu which is Zulu for "Our Pride", was born in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse, and her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney...
 
18.
Jessica Parker Kennedy
Actress, 50/50
Jessica Parker Kennedy is a Canadian actress of film and television. Born in Calgary, Alberta her first string of screen work began with the television film Santa Baby as Lucy the Elf, a role she reprises in the television film sequel Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe. With a repertoire of television credits, Jessica's continuing work ties with series such as V...
 
19.
Megalyn Echikunwoke
Actress, Spyder Games
Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke was born May 28, 1983 in Spokane, Washington. Her father is Nigerian and her mother is of Caucasian descent. Her last name Echikunwoke means "leader of men" and Megalyn is the granddaughter of a Nigerian tribal leader of the Igbo, which technically makes her African royalty. She is known for playing "Nicole Palmer" in the first season of 24...
 
21.
Claudia Jordan
Claudia's parents met when her father was in the Air Force, stationed at Brindisi, Italy where he met her mother, an Italian native. She was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island where as an East Providence High School student, she was selected for the All State Track and Field team. She participated in three Junior Olympics and finished third in the long jump at the East Coast Invitational...
 
22.
Kristen Wilson
Kristen Wilson was born and raised in Massachusetts where she trained as a dancer and performed with the Boston Ballet for four years. She received her BFA degree in musical theatre from Syracuse University. Taking time out in her junior year to take part in a national tour of "West Side Story", Wilson was well on her way to a successful acting career...
 
23.
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...
 
24.
Garcelle Beauvais
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...
 
25.
Donzaleigh Abernathy
Donzaleigh Abernathy won the Tanne Foundation 2012 Artist Award for her work as an actress and for her script, "Birmingham Sunday." She starred for four years in over 60 Episodes as a Series Regular on Lifetime Television's critically acclaimed dramatic series, "Any Day Now." She received recognition from Film Critic Roger Ebert for her performance in the Warner Bros...
 
26.
Robin Givens
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...
 
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Jessica Lucas
Actress, Cloverfield
Jessica Lucas (born September 24, 1985[1]) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is known for her roles in television, such as Edgemont, Melrose Place, and Cult, and in the films The Covenant, Cloverfield and the 2013 Evil Dead. She also starred in the music video for Coldplay's 2014 single "True Love"...
 
30.
Aunjanue Ellis
Actress, Men of Honor
Aunjanue Ellis was born in San Francisco, California. She graduated from the Brown University, and later attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. During her career, Ellis performed on Off-Broadway theater, appeared in many film, and had roles on television. In film, she is best known for her roles in "Men of Honor" (2000)...
 
31.
Sharon Leal
Actress, Guiding Light
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...
 
32.
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. In college, she earned a degree in journalism from N.Y.U. before starting a film career. In 1997, she began appearing in commercials at age 26, and then made the giant leap into movies. Her fame came with her role in the comedy-horror spoof Scary Movie...
 
33.
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. At the age of 8, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high school...
 
34.
Tasha Taylor
Actress, Dimples
Tasha Taylor is the youngest daughter of pioneering Blues artist Johnnie Taylor. Tasha is a multi-talented musician, actor and performer. As a musician she is the complete package, an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician and now, producer of her cd Taylormade. Tasha's childhood home is Dallas, Texas...
 
35.
Yaya DaCosta
Yaya DaCosta was born and raised in New York City along with her sister and two brothers. She got her first acting gig at the age of eleven when her junior high school drama teacher, Ann Willis Ratray, encouraged her to audition for educational films. She continued to perform in school shows throughout high school and college and in 2005...
 
36.
Noelle Bellinghausen
Actress, House M.D.
A singer-songwriter-actress with song placements under her belt to recently becoming a reoccurring on prime time TV. A former star basketball player, Noelle is no stranger to sacrifice, gut-checking vulnerability, and determination. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska and raised in Las Vegas, NV, Noelle grew up doing everything music...
 
37.
Nathalie Emmanuel
Actress, Furious 7
Nathalie Emmanuel is an English actress best known for her role as Missandei on the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones and Ramsey in Furious 7 (2015). In 2006, she made her television break by starring as Sasha Valentine in the soap opera Hollyoaks. In 2015 she starred in Furious 7 and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
 
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Danielle Nicolet
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...
 
42.
Britne Oldford
Actress, Hunters
Britne Oldford has a background in music, dance, and theatre. She attended an arts intensive program, majoring in drama at a renowned arts school from her freshman to senior year of vocation, which proved vital in her transition into the entertainment industry. Residing in New York City, Britne has been actively perusing her acting career with notable success since the age of 18...
 
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Kenya D. Williamson
Author of "Depth of Focus: A Novel," Kenya Dieja Williamson attended Philadelphia's Temple University before relocating to Los Angeles where she's performed in dozens of commercials, TV shows and movies. The Pennsylvania native and novelist is also a screenwriter for TV, film and the web. Kenya's performing background began in childhood with plays...
 
45.
LisaRaye McCoy
Actress, All of Us
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...
 
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Farrah Skyler Greye
Miscellaneous Crew, The 76th Annual Academy Awards
Farrah was born overseas in Hyderabad, India. She grew up in Northern California. Her passions were to follow in her grandpa's footsteps as a doctor of medicine, pursuing Pre-med studies at N.C. State University. Dropping out of college, she opened a restaurant in Boone, N.C. with former boyfriend. Her soul yearning for the Arts and Theater...
 
49.
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...
 
50.
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...
 
51.
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...
 
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Inger Tudor
Actress, Goliath
 
59.
Dania Ramirez
Actress, Premium Rush
Dania is a Latin American actress born in the Dominican Republic. She grew up, living with her grandmother, in a poor household. Her parents left for the United States, when she was 6-months old, and she finally joined them in New York when she was age 10. She knew from a young age that she wanted to act...
 
60.
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...
 
61.
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")...
 
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63.
Aaliyah
Soundtrack, Boyhood
Talented. Beautiful. Modest. These three words described R&B singer-turned-actress Aaliyah perfectly. Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Diane (Hankerson) and Michael Haughton. Her uncle was music manager Barry Hankerson and her brother is director Rashad Haughton. Aaliyah was raised in Detroit...
 
64.
Elise Neal
Actress, The Hughleys
Elise Neal was born in Memphis, Tennessee and began dancing at age six. She contributes her success to her mother, Arletha Neal, who always supported her and drove her to numerous 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...
 
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66.
Dana Davis
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."
 
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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...
 
70.
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...
 
72.
Queen Latifah
Actress, Living Single
Often considered hip-hop's first lady (though some would attribute that to Roxanne Shanté), the woman behind the moniker Queen Latifah was born Dana Owens on March 18th, 1970, in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (Bray), a teacher, and Lancelot Owens, Sr. She came from a police family--both her father and older brother were cops...
 
74.
Keisha Alfred
Keisha grew up in Brooklyn, New York, a descendant of Trinidadian parents. She fell in love with acting as a very young child and performed in grade school as the first Black "Little Orphan Annie" and as Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks. Her mother who grew up very poor believed in the importance of education and persuaded Keisha to become a nurse...
 
75.
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 named Heidi Berry...
 
76.
Marsha Thomason
Actress, White Collar
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...
 
77.
Mara Junot
A seasoned pro African-American voice-over specialist with over a decade of experience, providing the 3-dimensional sound that resonates for Fortune 500 companies around the globe. Mara's work has been featured by popular household brands worldwide including AT&T(TM), Google, Microsoft, Nintendo®, McDonald's®...
 
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Nichelle Nichols
Actress, Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols was born Grace Nichols on December 28, 1932 in Robbins, Illinois. She began her show business career at age 16 as a singer with Duke Ellington in a ballet she created for one of his compositions and later sang with his band. After switching to acting, she was twice nominated for the Sarah Siddons Award for best actress in "The Blacks" and "Kicks and Company"...