Fast Facts

  • Made her Broadway debut in 1998 as Rusty in the musical Footloose.
  • Won a 2001 Obie Award, along with the rest of the cast, for the off-Broadway play Eli's Comin'. 
  • First major movie role was in the 2003 comedy From Justin to Kelly.
  • Auditioned for a back-up-singer role in the 2004 Broadway musical Caroline, or Change but got the supporting role of Emmie, which earned her many accolades as well as a Tony.
  • Had to wear 6-inch heels in Dreamgirls to appear in frame with much taller costars Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson.
  • Played Maggie in the all-black 2008 Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
  • Provided the voice for Princess Tiana, Disney's first black princess, in the 2009 animated movie The Princess and the Frog.


  • 2007, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
  • 2014, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 2004, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Musical): Winner
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee


  • Claudia Rose — Mother
  • John Rose Jr. — Father


  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL (BA in Theater); American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA (MFA, 1997)


  • Birth Place: Bloomfield, CT
  • Profession: Actor, Singer

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