Thandie Newton Biography

Melanie Thandie Newton is a well-known English television and film actress. Let’s take a look at her childhood, family, achievements and some interesting facts.

Quick Facts

Birthday: November 6, 1972

Nationality: British

Famous: Actresses British Women

Age: 47 Years, 47 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Scorpio

Born in: London, United Kingdom

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Ol Parker (m. 1998)

father: ick Newton

mother: Nyasha Newton

children: Booker Jombe Parker, Nico Parker, Ripley Parker

City: London, England

Continue Reading Below

Melanie 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 bagged 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 Parkerwith 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.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Childhood & Early Life
  • Melanie Thandiwe Newton, better known as Thandie Newton, was born 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, till her family had to move 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. However, 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 childhood, 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’ with Ben Mendelsohn and Noah Taylor. She moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue an acting career but later returned to London.
    Continue Reading Below
  • After playing the role of Thandiwe Adjewa in the movie ‘Flirting’ in 1991, she went on to appear in minor roles in movies, ‘The Young Americans’ and ‘Loaded’. She also got a role in the television film ‘Pirate Prince’ which helped her to make a mark in show business.
  • She got a big break in 1994 when she played the role of a faithful house slave in the movie ‘Interview with the Vampire’ which featured stars like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. This was followed by her role in the film ‘Jefferson in Paris’, in which she portrays an enslaved woman of mixed origin named Sally Hemings, who 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 similar roles which 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 matched 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 the Black Reel Awards ceremony.
  • She then appeared in the telefilm, ‘In Your Dreams’ in 1997 and in the medical drama series, ‘ER’, in which she had a recurring role 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 varied roles. She appeared in the comedy film ‘Norbit’ with Eddie Murphy in 2007 and as the US National Security Advisor / Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice in a biographical film on President George W. Bush.
  • She went on to be an MC for the environmental programme, ‘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 those who listened to it.
  • Today, she is a well-established actress with a huge fan following on social media. Her next movie is the Star Wars film, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ which is scheduled for release in 2018.
    Continue Reading Below
Major Works
  • Her 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’ (2016) and ‘Line of Duty’ (2017).
Awards & Achievements
  • For her role as Christine in the movie ‘Crash’ (2004), 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 and Satellite Award for Best Cast –Motion Picture 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 2010.
  • In 2016, she was awarded the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and the IGN Award for Best TV Actress for her role in the series ‘Westworld’.
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 whom 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 as ‘We Wish: Hopes and Dreams of Cornwall’s Children’.
  • Newton was deeply moved on 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 ever since.
  • Thandie is a pure vegetarian and was given the title ‘Sexiest Vegan of 2014’ in the United Kingdom. She also has been influenced by the teachings of Buddhism.
  • She is known for having a great sense of humor which got her the title ‘The Queen of Practical Jokes’ in the industry.
  • She was voted 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.
  • As per her statement, her mother is a princess of the Shona Tribe of Zimbabwe.

1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

  (Drama, Biography)

2. Crash (2004)

  (Thriller, Crime, Drama)

3. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

  (Horror, Drama)

4. Flirting (1991)

  (Romance, Drama)

5. RocknRolla (2008)

  (Thriller, Crime, Action)

6. Gridlock'd (1997)

  (Drama, Crime, Comedy)

7. Besieged (1998)

  (Drama, Romance)

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy, Action)


Primetime Emmy Awards
2018 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Westworld (2016)
BAFTA Awards
2006 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Crash (2004)

Follow Thandie Newton On:


See the events in life of Thandie Newton in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Thandie Newton Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- November 16, 2017
Thandie Newton

People Also Viewed

Emilia Clarke
(American, British)
Naomi Scott
Lily Collins
Emma Watson

Karen Gillan
Millie Bobby Brown
(British, Spanish)
Emily Blunt
(American, British)