Famous Black Actresses

 1 Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Actress, comedian, and writer Mindy Kaling first gained international fame with her work in the NBC sitcom, The Office, for which she was nominated for several Primetime Emmy Awards. She earned a bachelor's degree in playwriting before beginning her career. As the child of immigrants from India, she is one of the few Indian-American women active in the industry.

 2 Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg
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Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 3 Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

An actress, screenwriter, producer, and businesswoman, Jada Pinkett Smith is a woman who dons many hats. Entering the entertainment world in the 1990s as an actress, she quickly cemented her place in Hollywood and soon branched out into production as well. An ambitious lady, she also runs her own music company and fashion label.

 4 Diana Ross

Diana Ross
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

With several prestigious honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, under her belt, Diana Ross is one of the most popular and influential singers of all time. In 1976, Billboard named her the Female Entertainer of the Century. She has influenced popular artists like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Michael Jackson.

 5 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

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.

 6 Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.

 7 Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Taraji P. Henson is an American actress who became the first black woman to receive the Critics' Choice Television Award under the Best Actress in a Drama Series category for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon in the TV series Empire. Taraji P. Henson was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. 
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 8 Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 9 Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Queen Latifah is an American musician and actress whose song U.N.I.T.Y. played a major role in raising awareness about women's rights worldwide. Dubbed Queen of Jazz-Rap, Latifah has influenced several soul, R&B, and hip-hop artists like Remy Ma, Lil' Kim, Ivy Queen, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and Eve among other artists. As an actress, Latifah has won several prestigious awards.

 10 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 11 Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: May 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
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.

 12 Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Ghanaian, British

 13 Alex Martin

Alex Martin
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 14 Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: February 11, 2012

Amongst the best-selling recording artists of all time and an inspiration to millions of budding artists, Whitney Houston achieved stardom with her eponymous debut album. The success of her later albums consolidated her position and earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female artist of all time. She struggled with drug abuse and troubled marriage and died of drowning in her hotel's bathtub. 

 15 Tina Turner

Tina Turner
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 26, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Known as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Tina Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time and has had a very long and successful career. Let's Stay Together, What's Love Got to Do with It, Private Dancer and Golden Eye are some of her chartbuster songs. She is also a songwriter and has acted in films too.

 16 Aaliyah

Aaliyah
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: January 16, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: August 25, 2001

Aaliyah was an American singer, actress and model, who became famous when her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number sold three million copies in the US. Her subsequent albums also sold in millions and won her numerous accolades. She also acted in some films. She tragically died in an airplane crash in the Bahamas, at the age of 22.

 17 Viola Davis

Viola Davis
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
A popular television, film, and stage actress, Viola Davis became the first African-American actress to be honored with Triple Crown of Acting. She is also known for supporting equal rights for women. In 2012 and 2017, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

 18 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has been active in the music industry since the mid-1990s. Her debut album was a super hit and earned her five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists in the United States and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy, and activism.

 19 Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Tracee Ellis Ross is an actress and TV host best known for her performance in TV series like Girlfriends and Black-ish. One of the few actresses to sport a distinguishable curly hairstyle, Tracee owns a hair-care line called Pattern Beauty, which is exclusively meant for curly hair.

 20 Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks
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Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: December 4, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 21 Halle Berry

Halle Berry
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Halle Berry is one of the most popular actresses of the current generation. During the 2000s, she was one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses. Halle is also known for her activism for which she was honored with the 2006 Woman of The Year award by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. She also gets featured in several Sexiest Women lists.

 22 Tia Mowry

Tia Mowry
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 6, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

 23 Skai Jackson

Skai Jackson
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Famous As: Child Actress
Birthdate: April 8, 2002
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

From starting acting at age 5 to being one of TIME's Most Influential Teens, Skai Jackson has come a long way. She amazed audiences with her roles in Jessie and BUNK’D and later thrilled her fans on Dancing with the Stars. An anti-bullying activist, Skai has also written her memoir.

 24 Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

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.

 25 Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Famous rapper and singer, Lauryn Hill, is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time and a pioneer in the Neo soul genre. The artist whose album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill won five Grammy Awards, is an inspiration for numerous singers and rappers. Earlier, she gained recognition as member of Fugees, an award-winning hip hop group.

 26 Tamera Mowry

Tamera Mowry
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 6, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Tamera Mowry is best known as Tamera Campbell from Sister, Sister, a show that also featured her twin sister, Tia. Tamera also appeared in the movie Twitches and its sequel, and the reality show Tia & Tamera. She has co-hosted The Real, written books, and launched products for new mothers.

 27 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Kenyan, Mexican

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.

 28 Shantel Jackson

Shantel Jackson
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: July 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 29 Destiny Etiko

Destiny Etiko
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Nigerian

 30 Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 31 Olivia Washington

Olivia Washington
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 32 Nia Renee Hill

Nia Renee Hill
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 33 Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 34 Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 35 Sade Adu

Sade Adu
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: January 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Nigerian, British

 36 Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Phylicia Rashad, the Mother of The Black Community, became the first Black lady to win the Tony Award for Best Actress, for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun. Known for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, she also appeared in Colored Girls and Creed. 

 37 Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

A critically acclaimed and award-winning actress, Thandie Newton is also an activist—she led a flash mob in 2013 for gender equality and justice. An actress with an affinity for Buddhism, Thandie was named Sexiest Vegan of 2014 by PETA. During the 2019 New Year Honours, she was appointed OBE for services to charity and film.

 38 Willow Smith

Willow Smith
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 39 Robin Givens

Robin Givens
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Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 40 Aisha Tyler

Aisha Tyler
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Famous As: Actress, TV Host
Birthdate: September 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 41 Sonequa Martin-Green

Sonequa Martin-Green
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 21, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 42 Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson
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Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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

 43 Lark Voorhies

Lark Voorhies
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 44 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Widely regarded as the queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu is an American singer-songwriter whose debut studio album Baduizm helped popularize neo-soul in the late-1990s. Thanks to her popularity, Erykah Badu serves as a subject for street art in several places, including Greater London, England. Also an actress, Badu has appeared in popular films, such as The Cider House Rules.

 45 Lauren London

Lauren London
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 5, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Lauren London is best known for her portrayals of Kiera in The Game, Shelley in Single Ladies, and Sheree in Baggage Claim. Fans also loved her as Erin "New New" Garnett in the film ATL. She has been seen in a few music videos and promotes the Sean John collection.

 46 Kandi Burruss

Kandi Burruss
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 47 Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 48 Letitia Wright

Letitia Wright
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 31, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Guyanese, British

 49 Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
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.

 50 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: May 17, 2012