Famous Black Actresses

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 1 
Whoopi Goldberg
(Actress, Comedian and Host; Best Known for Her Role in 'The Color Purple' and 'Ghost')
Whoopi Goldberg
32
Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chelsea, New York, United States

Accomplished American comedian, actress, singer and Broadway star, Whoopi Goldberg is amongst the select few who have won all the four awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Moreover, she is also a political activist, author and talk show host. Her notable work include films Ghost, Sister Act and The Color Purple; Broadway show Thoroughly Modern Millie and talk show The View.

 2 
Zoë Kravitz
(Actress Best Known for Her Role in 'The Divergent' and 'Fantastic Beasts' Film Series)
Zoë Kravitz
16
Birthdate: December 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venice, Los Angeles, California, United States

Actress, singer, and model Zoë Kravitz first gained prominence for her role in the superhero film X-Men: First Class in the early 2010s. She is the daughter of actor parents and her entry into Hollywood is hardly surprising. Besides acting, she also works as a fashion model and musician. As a singer, she is involved with the band Lolawolf.

 3 
Lena Horne
(Actress and Dancer Known for Her One-Woman Show 'Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music')
Lena Horne
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

 4 
Lupita Nyong'o
(Named One of Africa’s “50 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes in 2020)
Lupita Nyong'o
12
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 5 
Angela Bassett
(Known for Her Portrayal of Singer Tina Turner in the Biopic 'What's Love Got to Do with It')
Angela Bassett
14
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Best known for playing real-life black women in biopics, Angela Bassett does not mind being typecast as someone who often plays biographical roles. She has portrayed prominent personalities like Tina Turner, Betty Shabazz, Katherine Jackson, and Coretta Scott King. Also a director, producer, and activist, Angela Bassett works toward bettering the lives of African-Americans.

 6 
Laverne Cox
(First Transgender Person To Appear on Cover of 'Time' Magazine)
Laverne Cox
15
Birthdate: May 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
 7 
Jennifer Hudson
(Singer & Actress Known for Her Role in the Musical 'Dreamgirls')
Jennifer Hudson
10
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Jennifer Hudson shot to fame after reaching the finals of the third season of American Idol. She is known for her Academy Award-winning role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. She also won the Grammy twice, one for her self-titled debut album and the other for the musical The Color Purple
 8 
Kerry Washington
(Actress and Producer Famous for Her Portrayal of ‘Olivia Pope’ in the Drama Series ‘Scandal’)
Kerry Washington
7
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

American actress, Kerry Washington, attained fame when she starred in the television series, Scandal, which ran from 2012 to 2018. She was also commended for her role in the television film, Confirmation, and for the miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere. She has also acted in films like The Last King of Scotland, Django Unchained, Our Song, The Dead Girl and American Son.

 9 
Janelle Monae
(Singer-songwriter)
Janelle Monae
4
Birthdate: December 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Artist Janelle Monae initially sang with rapper Big Boi and is known for albums such as Dirty Computer. She has been nominated for the Grammys multiple times. Monae also appeared in films such as Hidden Figures and the Academy Award-winning drama Moonlight. She is both bisexual and pansexual.
 10 
Naomi Campbell
18
Birthdate: May 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Streatham
Naomi Campbell is one of the “Big Six” supermodels of the 1980s and the 1990s, who has graced both the ramp and print. She has also released a music album, been part of a fashion reality show, started a web series, and founded charitable organizations such as Fashion for Relief.
 11 
Mary J. Blige
(Rapper, and Actress Known as "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul")
Mary J. Blige
5
Birthdate: January 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Mary J. Blige is a popular singer-songwriter and actress. Having sold 80 million records worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Referred to as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary is credited with influencing the fusion of R&B and hip hop. She often gets featured in lists like The 100 Greatest Women in Music.

 12 
Keke Palmer
(Best Known for Her Role in the Film ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ and the Sitcom 'True Jackson, VP')
Keke Palmer
4
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harvey, Illinois, United States

Keke Palmer is an American actress, television personality, and singer. In 2019, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 celebrities who are shaping the future of health, entertainment, business, politics, and more. Palmer, who has been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, supports movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

 13 
Willow Smith
(Singer, Daughter of Actors 'Will Smith' and 'Jada Pinkett Smith')
Willow Smith
10
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

The daughter of popular American actors, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Willow Smith has established herself as a singer-songwriter and rapper. Mentored by rapper Jay-Z, Smith became the youngest artist to be signed to the former's label Roc Nation in 2010. In 2019, she came out as bisexual and expressed her desire to be in a polyamorous relationship.

 14 
Aisha Tyler
(Actress, TV Host)
Aisha Tyler
4
Birthdate: September 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco

Aisha Tyler is credited with co-founding an all-female a cappella group called Dartmouth Rockapellas, which aimed at spreading social awareness through music. She later became a prominent actress, playing important roles in popular TV series like Criminal Minds and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Aisha Tyler is also an ardent advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ rights.

 15 
Octavia Spencer
(The First Black Actress to Have Received two Successive Nominations at the Oscars)
Octavia Spencer
5
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

Octavia Spencer is an American actress, producer, and author. Widely regarded as one of the best actresses of her generation, Spencer has received several prestigious awards, such as a Golden Globe Award, Academy Award, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Octavia Spencer is the first black actress to have received two successive nominations at the Oscars.

 16 
Cicely Tyson
(Actress and Model Best Known for Her Films: 'Sounder' and ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’)
Cicely Tyson
5
Birthdate: December 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 28, 2021
Cicely Tyson is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Rebecca Morgan in Sounder and her Emmy-winning performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She is also a Tony- and Drama Desk-winning theater actor. Fans also loved her as Ophelia Harkness in How to Get Away with Murder.
 17 
Amandla Stenberg
(Actress and Singer Best Known for Her Films: ‘Colombiana’, ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Everything, Everything’)
Amandla Stenberg
5
Birthdate: October 23, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Amandla Stenberg is an American singer and actress. An openly gay actress who identifies as non-binary, Stenberg is popular for voicing her opinion on cultural appropriation among other sensitive topics. A self-proclaimed intersectional feminist, Amandla Stenberg was named in Time magazine's Most Influential Teens list in 2015 and 2016. She was also named in Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul 100 list.

 18 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)
Donna Summer
5
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012
 19 
Regina King
(Actress and Director Best Known for Her Film ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’)
Regina King
10
Birthdate: January 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Regina King was first noticed when she appeared in the series 227 and then gained fame with her role in Jerry Maguire. Her performance as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk won her both the Academy and the Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.

 20 
Pam Grier
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: ‘Coffy’, ‘Foxy Brown’, ‘The Big Doll House’ and ‘The Arena’)
Pam Grier
4
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

Widely regarded as the first female action star of cinema, American actress Pam Grier achieved popularity for playing important roles in a string of blaxploitation, action, and women-in-prison movies throughout the 1970s. She also serves as an inspiration to those suffering from cancer; she made a recovery after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1988.

 21 
Vanessa Williams
6
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
 22 
Yara Shahidi
(Actress & Model Known for Her Role as 'Zoey Johnson' on the TV Series" ‘Black-ish’ and ‘Grown-ish)
Yara Shahidi
5
Birthdate: February 10, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Yara Shahidi is best known as Zoey Johnson from Black-ish and Grown-ish. She started off as a model for brands such as McDonald's and GapKids, at age 6. One of Time’s “30 Most Influential Teens of 2016," she was also appreciated in the film The Sun Is Also a Star.
 23 
Zazie Beetz
(Actress Best Known for Her Comedy Series ‘Atlanta’ and Anthology Series ‘Easy’)
Zazie Beetz
8
Birthdate: May 25, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mitte, Berlin, Germany

German-American actress, Zazie Beetz, is best known for her role in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta. She became interested in acting while in high school and appeared in many community theater productions. She began her career with small roles in short films and established herself as a popular TV actress in a few years.

 24 
Eartha Kitt
(Singer with a Distinctive Voice Known for her Hits "Let's Do It", and "C'est si bon")
Eartha Kitt
4
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 25 
Nia Long
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: ‘Boyz n the Hood’, ‘Love Jones’ and ‘The Best Man’)
Nia Long
5
Birthdate: October 30, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

American actress, Nia Long, was first noticed when she starred in the television series Guiding Light from 1991 to 1994. She is mainly known for her work on television series, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Third Watch, Boston Legal and Empire. She has also acted in movies like Friday, Made in America, Boiler Room, Big Momma's House and The Best Man.

 26 
Leslie Jones
(Comedian)
Leslie Jones
4
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
 27 
Teyana Taylor
(Singer-Songwriter Who Appeared on MTV's 'My Super Sweet 16')
Teyana Taylor
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 28 
Robin Givens
(Actress and Director Known for Her Role as ‘Darlene Merriman’ in the TV Series ‘Head of the Class’)
Robin Givens
5
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Robin Givens is an American model and actress whose professional life during the late-1980s was overshadowed by her violent marriage to Mike Tyson. Subsequently, their acrimonious divorce drew considerable media attention as Givens claimed physical abuse, with Tyson admitting to punching her in the face.

 29 
Letitia Wright
9
Birthdate: October 31, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Georgetown, Guyana
 30 
Dionne Warwick
(One of the Most-Charted Vocalists of All Time)
Dionne Warwick
5
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, TV host, actress, and former FAO Goodwill Ambassador. Warwick was one of the most successful singers between 1955 and 1999, ranking among the 40 biggest hitmakers according to the Billboard Hot 100. 80 of her singles have been featured on Billboard's music charts, making Warwick one of the most-charted female singers in history. 

 31 
Gladys Knight
(Singer-Songwriter)
Gladys Knight
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 32 
Solange Knowles
(Singer, Songwriter & Performance Artist)
Solange Knowles
4
Birthdate: June 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Solange Knowles, younger sister of pop star Beyoncé Knowles, initially performed as a back-up dancer and wrote songs for Beyoncé’s band Destiny's Child. She has delivered Grammy-winning tracks such as Cranes in the Sky and has also won an Impact Award. She also owns a hip-hop-themed children’s merchandise brand.
 33 
Vivica A. Fox
(Actress)
Vivica A. Fox
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana, United States
 34 
Tyra Banks
(Known for Her Reality Television Series ‘America's Next Top Model’)
Tyra Banks
11
Birthdate: December 4, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, United States

Tyra Banks became the first black woman to grace the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and GQ. She became so successful as a model that she used her popularity to try her hand at acting, singing, writing, and producing. She is only one of seven women to appear consistently on Time magazine's world's most influential people list.

 35 
Tia Mowry
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Tia Landry’ in the Sitcom ‘Sister, Sister’)
Tia Mowry
9
Birthdate: July 6, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gelnhausen, Germany

Tia Mowry is one-half of the famous Mowry twin sisters who formed a singing group called Voices in the early 1990s. She has also played important roles in several popular films. A basketball enthusiast, Tia serves as the head coach for the Atlanta team that participates in the Entertainment Basketball League.

 36 
Wanda Sykes
(Comedian and Writer Known for Her TV Series "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm.")
Wanda Sykes
5
Birthdate: March 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States

Wanda Sykes is an American actress, writer, and comedian. In 2004, Sykes was named in Entertainment Weekly magazine's list of 25 funniest people in America. Also known for her role as an activist, Sykes has been emceeing fundraisers and hosting events to tackle issues concerning same-sex marriages. She is also an ardent supporter of the Ruth Ellis Center.

 37 
Jordin Sparks
(Pop Singer Who Became Famous at Age Seventeen When She Won Season Six of 'American Idol')
Jordin Sparks
4
Birthdate: December 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Jordin Sparks was the youngest American Idol winner, at 17. She released Billboard Hot 100-charting singles such as Tattoo and No Air, the latter with Chris Brown. Named to VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Music list, she has also launched her own perfume and performed on stage and on screen.
 38 
Issa Rae
(Co-Creator, Co-Writer, and Star of the HBO Television Series ‘Insecure’)
Issa Rae
9
Birthdate: January 12, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Issa Rae is known for her award-winning YouTube series Awkward Black Girl and the HBO series Insecure. Her YouTube channel has promoted the works of Black artists. She made it to the Glamour 35 Under 35 and the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists and was also featured on TIME 100.

 39 
Tatyana Ali
(Actress and Singer Known for Her Role in the TV Series ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’)
Tatyana Ali
9
Birthdate: January 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: North Bellmore, New York, United States

Tatyana Ali is an American singer and actress who gained recognition as a child actress, portraying Ashley Banks on the sitcom TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ali's singing abilities, showcased throughout the series, helped her release her debut studio album Kiss the Sky. Unlike many successful child artists, Ali was able to establish herself as an adult actress.

 40 
Eve
(Rapper)
Eve
4
Birthdate: November 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
 41 
Ruby Dee
(Actress and Civil Rights Activist Known for Her Pioneering Work in African American Theatre and Films)
Ruby Dee
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: June 11, 2014

Ruby Dee was an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, poet, civil rights activist, and journalist. She is best remembered for playing Mahalee Lucas in the 2007 film American Gangster, which earned her the Screen Actors Guild Award for Supporting Role. Dee also won a Grammy and Emmy during her career. She was also a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

 42 
Ruth Negga
(Irish Actress Known for Her Portrayal of 'Mildred Loving' in the Movie 'Loving')
Ruth Negga
5
Birthdate: January 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Born to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father, Ruth Negga didn’t look back after grabbing a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for the Best Newcomer, with her performance in the play Duck. She also played both Ophelia and Prince Hamlet in two different productions of the play.

 43 
Karrueche Tran
(Actress and Model Known for Her Role as Vivian Johnson in the Web Series ‘The Bay’)
Karrueche Tran
4
Birthdate: May 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Karrueche Tran is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Vivian Johnson in the popular web series, The Bay. Apart from playing an important role in The Bay, Tran also produced the series for which she won two Daytime Emmy Awards. Before becoming an actress, Karrueche Tran worked as a model and was the face of Lady Crooks.

 44 
Diahann Carroll
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: October 4, 2019

Diahann Carroll was an American actress, model, singer, and activist. In 1962, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Tony Award under Best Actress in a Musical category. She is credited with starring in Julia, the first American TV series to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role; Carroll's portrayal of Julia earned her a Golden Globe.

 45 
Laura Harrier
(Actress)
Laura Harrier
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
 46 
Renee Elise Goldsberry
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

Actress, singer, and songwriter, Renee Elise Goldsberry, is a popular figure in Broadway theater. She is best known for her role in the musical Hamilton, for which she won a Tony Award. She is also active in films and TV shows. As a singer and songwriter, she is the winner of one Grammy Award. 

 47 
Kandi Burruss
(Singer-songwriter)
Kandi Burruss
4
Birthdate: May 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: College Park, Georgia, United States
 48 
Debbie Allen
(Actress Best Known for Her Work in the Musical-Drama Television Series 'Fame')
Debbie Allen
3
Birthdate: January 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Debbie Allen is an actress, dancer, choreographer, and singer-songwriter.  She appeared in the musical-drama TV series Fame and also worked as the series’ principal choreographer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards. She runs the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and is a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 

 49 
Cynthia Erivo
(Actress)
Cynthia Erivo
5
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockwell, London, England, United Kingdom
 50 
Nichelle Nichols
3
Birthdate: December 28, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Robbins, Illinois, United States
Died: July 30, 2022