Thandiwe Newton

On this date in 1972, a film star was born in London. Thandiwe Newton, a culturally diverse British woman with a flair for the arts, spent her early days living in Africa and England. Her parents had met in a hospital in Zambia. Her mother, a Zimbabwean health care worker, and her father, a British lab technician, moved back to Zambia after Newton was born and remained there until they were forced to seek political refuge.

In the UK, Newton pursued a career in dance while attending the University of Cambridge. She earned a degree in social anthropology in 1995. A back injury prevented her from attaining her dream of becoming a famous dancer. Her film debut was in 1991 in the Australian movie “Flirting.” She then had roles in “Interview with a Vampire” (1994), “Beloved” (1998), “Mission Impossible: II” (2000), “Crash” (2004), “The Pursuit of Happiness” (2006), “Norbit” (2007), “Vanishing on 7th Street” and “For Colored Girls” (2010), “Good Deeds” (2012), “Half of a Yellow Sun” (2013), “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” (2018).

In 2006 she received BAFTA, London Critic Circle Film and Empire awards for her performance in “Crash.” Her portrayal of Condoleezza Rice in “W” (2008) also earned her accolades. In 2016, she started portraying Maeve Millay in the HBO science fiction drama series “Westworld,” for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Newton married English writer, director and producer Ol Parker in 1998. They have three children: daughters Ripley (b. 2000) and Nico (b. 2004) and son Booker Jombe (b. 2014). Asked what spiritual path she follows during an interview about her film “For Colored Girls,” she answered “Buddhism.”

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