Birthday: November 6, 1972
Age: 48 Years, 48 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Melanie Thandiwe Newton
Born Country: England
Born in: Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom
Famous as: Actress
Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females
Spouse/Ex-: Ol Parker (m. 1998)
father: ick Newton, Nick Newton
mother: Nyasha Newton
children: Booker Jombe Parker, Nico Parker, Ripley Parker
City: London, England
education: Downing College
Thandie Newton is a well-known English television and film actress. She has played several roles representing the downtrodden black community in Europe and America. She is best known for her role as a faithful house slave in the movie ‘Interview with the Vampire.’ She is also known for her role in the movie ‘Beloved’ in which she played the ghost of a young slave girl who is killed by her mother to save her from slavery. She has appeared in the television film ‘In Your Dreams’ and in the medical drama series ‘ER’ that were aired during prime time. She has also delivered award-winning performances. While she received a couple of awards for the science fiction series ‘Westworld,’ she won the ‘BAFTA Award’ for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ for the movie ‘Crash.’ After being in a relationship with director John Duigan for six years from the age of 16, she married writer, producer, and director Ol Parker with whom she has three children. Having been a victim of sexual exploitation, she has been actively involved in initiatives against rape and sexual violence against women.
Childhood & Early Life
Thandie Newton was born Melanie Thandiwe Newton on 6 November 1972, in Westminster, London, UK. Her mother Nyasha is a Zimbabwean and her father Nick Newton is an Englishman who worked as a laboratory technician and artist. She lived in Zambia during her early childhood. Her family then moved to England due to political unrest in Zambia. She has a younger brother named Jamie.
Thandie grew up in the port town of Penzance in Cornwall, England, and learned dancing at the ‘Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.’ Unfortunately, she had to give up dancing due to a back injury. She graduated from ‘Downing College,’ Cambridge with a degree in social anthropology. During her early years, she felt a bit out of place because of her black ethnicity.
She began a relationship with Australian film director John Duigan at the age of 16 and maintained it for six years. During this period, she was cast in his film ‘Flirting’ alongside Noah Taylor. She moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue an acting career, but later returned to London.
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After playing the role of ‘Thandiwe Adjewa’ in the movie ‘Flirting’ in 1991, she went on to play minor roles in movies like ‘The Young Americans’ and ‘Loaded.’ She also landed a role in the television film ‘Pirate Prince’ which helped her to make a mark in show business.
Her big breakthrough came in 1994 when she played the role of a faithful house slave in the movie ‘Interview with the Vampire’ which also featured stars like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. This was followed by her role in the film ‘Jefferson in Paris’ in which she portrayed an enslaved woman named ‘Sally Hemings.’ Sally was owned by President Thomas Jefferson and is believed to have been the mother of six of his children.
Because of her ethnicity, she kept getting roles that required her to represent the downtrodden black community. In the movie ‘Beloved,’ she displayed her acting skills while portraying the ghost of a young slave girl who gets killed by her mother. Her performance was on par with that of stars like Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover who were part of the cast.
She then appeared with Tom Cruise in the hit movie ‘Mission: Impossible 2.’ This was followed by her role in ‘It Was an Accident,’ a movie which was written by her husband Ol Parker. Her next movie ‘The Truth About Charlie’ earned her a nomination for ‘Best Actress’ at ‘Black Reel Awards.’
She then appeared in the telefilm ‘In Your Dreams’ in 1997. In the medical drama series ‘ER,’ she landed a recurring role which she played from 2003 to 2009. Her other recurring role from 2013 to 2015 was in the police drama series ‘Rogue.’ She also gave an award-winning performance in the science fiction series ‘Westworld’ in 2016.
Thandie displayed her amazing acting skills while playing the role of ‘Christine’ in the movie ‘Crash’ which won her multiple awards, including the coveted ‘BAFTA Award’ for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ and the ‘Empire Award’ for ‘Best Actress.’
By now, she had become a seasoned actress who could play a variety of roles. She appeared in the comedy film ‘Norbit’ alongside Eddie Murphy in 2007. The following year, she played US National Security Advisor / Secretary of State ‘Condoleezza Rice’ in ‘W.,’ a biographical film based on the 43rd President George W. Bush.
She went on to serve as an MC for the environmental program ‘Live Earth’ and delivered a speech on the topic ‘Embracing otherness, embracing myself’ where she spoke about her upbringing. Her speech left a deep impression on her audience.
Today, she is a well-established actress with a huge fan following on social media. Her next movie ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ released in 2018. In the film, which was directed by Ron Howard, she portrayed the character of ‘Val.’
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In 2018, she also played ‘Audrey Newhouse’ in the Canadian drama film ‘The Death & Life of John F. Donovan’ which was directed by Xavier Dolan. The film also starred actors like Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, and Susan Sarandon. She then had a recurring role in the Netflix series ‘Big Mouth.’
In August 2019, she was cast to play an important role in the science fiction drama film ‘Reminiscence.’ She is currently playing the recurring role of ‘Maeve Millay’ in the HBO science fiction series ‘Westworld.’
Some of her major movies include ‘Flirting’ (1991), ‘Interview with the Vampire’ (1994), ‘Jefferson in Paris’ (1995), ‘Besieged’ (1998), ‘Beloved’ (1998), ‘Mission: Impossible 2’ (2000), ‘It Was an Accident’ (2000), ‘The Truth About Charlie’ (2002), ‘Crash’ (2004), ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ (2006), ‘For Colored Girls’ (2010), and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ (2013).
She has appeared in television series, such as ‘Pirate Prince’ (1991), ‘In Your Dreams’ (1997), ‘ER’ (2003 – 2009), ‘American Dad!’ (2006), ‘Rogue’ (2013 – 2015), ‘The Slap’ (2015), ‘Westworld,’ and ‘Line of Duty’ (2017).
Awards & Achievements
For her role as ‘Christine’ in the movie ‘Crash,’ she was given multiple awards, including the ‘BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role,’ ‘Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble,’ ‘Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast,’ ‘Empire Award for Best Actress,’ ‘Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year,’ ‘London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year,’ ‘Satellite Award for Best Cast –Motion Picture,’ and ‘Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.’
She won the ‘Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble’ for portraying the role of ‘Tangie’ in the movie ‘For Colored Girls.’
In 2016, she was awarded the ‘Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ and ‘IGN Award for Best TV Actress’ for her role in the series ‘Westworld.’ In 2018, she won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ for her performance in the series.
Personal Life & Legacy
After being in a relationship with director John Duigan for six years, she married writer, producer, and director Ol Parker in 1998. With Ol Parker she has two daughters named Ripley and Nico, and a son named Booker Jombe.
She has been an activist in the field of child welfare and has written a foreword comprising of her childhood memories of growing up in Cornwall. The book was titled ‘We Wish: Hopes and Dreams of Cornwall’s Children.’
Newton was deeply moved during her visit to Mali where she saw the plight of poverty-stricken women. Having been a victim of sexual exploitation, she joined the ‘One Billion Rising’ movement against rape and sexual violence against women. She has been fighting for gender equality and justice for women.
She was named ‘Sexiest Vegan of 2014’ in the United Kingdom. She has been influenced by the teachings of Buddhism.
She is known for having a great sense of humor which earned her the title ‘The Queen of Practical Jokes.’
She was named as one of ‘The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year 2000’ by ‘Black Men’ magazine.
In her early days, she suffered from an eating disorder called Bulimia.
According to Thandie, her mother is the princess of the Shona Tribe of Zimbabwe.