Alfre Woodard

Celebrity

Biography

  • Birth Place: Tulsa, OK
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 11/08/1952, Scorpio
  • Profession: Actor; producer
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While this talented actress has never truly risen to superstar status, she is an accomplished performer of stage and screen. She's played a host of diverse characters---doctor, detective, judge, junkie, teacher---yet she is consistently believable, her portrayals rooted in rich realism and radiating an intuitive humanity. Her prolific, decades-spanning career---which includes TV stints on St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues as well as a number of TV-movies and a wide array of theatrical films---has won her critical praise and numerous acting awards. A married mother of two, Woodard has maintained a low personal profile, even when she signed on to one of TV's hottest shows in 2005, Desperate Housewives. Although her turn as enigmatic Wisteria Lane denizen Betty Applewhite boosted her entertainment stature, she retired the role in 2006. She returned to the small screen in the Christian Slater espionage outing My Own Worst Enemy (2008), playing a spy-organization supervisor, and in the equally short-lived medical drama Three Rivers (2009). Off stage, Woodard champions various humanitarian causes, including raising awareness for global poverty and HIV/AIDS, and cofounding Artists for a New South Africa, a non-profit organization devoted to advancing democracy and equality in that country. Alfre Woodard Fast Facts:
  • The youngest of three children, she was a cheerleader in high school.
  • Breakthrough role came in the 1977 Los Angeles stage production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
  • In 1978, made her TV debut in The Trial of the Moke, a Great Performances episode about the court-martial of Henry O. Flipper, the first black West Point graduate.
  • Also made her motion-picture debut in 1978 in Remember My Name, a complex drama about a blue-collar couple hounded by a mysterious stranger.
  • Played Lily Stoane in 1996's Star Trek: First Contact, a role that resulted in the creation of an action figure made in her likeness.
  • Cofounded Artists for a New South Africa in 1989. The nonprofit organization combats HIV/AIDS, helps orphaned children and advances civil rights in that country.
  • On her career boost as a result of playing mysterious Betty Applewhite in Desperate Housewives: "After 30 years as a performer, I figured I was on people's radar already, but noooo!" she told TV GUIDE in 2005. "Now people shout at me in the streets. 'Hey, Betty! What are you doing? You're a weird lady!'"
  • Alfre Woodard Relationships:
  • Duncan Spencer - Son
  • Roderick Spencer - Husband
  • Marion H. Woodard - Father
  • Mavis Spencer - Daughter
  • Constance Woodard - Mother
  • Alfre Woodard Awards:
  • 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Winner
  • 2008 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 2001 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
  • 1995 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special - Nominee
  • 2013 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 2011 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1987 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series - Winner
  • 2003 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Winner
  • 1997 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special - Winner
  • 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 1990 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special - Nominee
  • 2006 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1988 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Winner
  • 2006 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 1996 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Miniseries or a Special - Nominee
  • 1983 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Nominee
  • 1998 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Winner
  • 1986 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Winner
  • 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Nominee
  • 1987 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special - Nominee
  • 1985 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Special - Nominee
  • 1984 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Winner
  • 1993 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • College:
  • Boston University, Boston, MA (BFA in Theater, 1974)

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