Fast Facts

  • As a teen, was nicknamed "Latifah," an Arabic word meaning delicate or sensitive, by a cousin.
  • Won two state championships as a forward on her high school basketball team.
  • Released her debut album, All Hail the Queen, in 1989.
  • Made her big-screen debut in 1991 in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever.
  • Is co-chairperson of the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Fund, founded in memory of her brother Lancelot, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. The fund awards scholarships to economically challenged students.
  • Was the big winner of a 2000 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire celebrity week, earning $250,000, which she donated to her brother's charity.
  • Fulfilled a promise to a 16-year-old South Carolina girl who quit school after being harassed for being overweight, accompanying the girl to class when she agreed to return to school.
  • Has her own line of CoverGirl cosmetics created for women of color.

Awards

  • 1995, Grammy — Best Female Rap Solo Performance: Winner
  • 2008, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Song: Nominee
  • 2002, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2008, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Winner
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2015, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series: Nominee
  • 1997, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Female: Nominee
  • 2002, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2014, People's Choice Awards — Favorite New Talk Show Host: Winner
  • 2008, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Winner
  • 2003, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Winner
  • 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner

Relationships

  • Lancelot Owens Jr. — Brother
  • Rita Owens — Mother
  • Lancelot Owens — Father

College

  • Attended Manhattan Community College, New York, NY

Details

  • Birth Name: Dana Elaine Owens
  • Birth Place: Newark, NJ
  • Birthday: March 18, 1970, Pisces
  • Profession: Actor, Singer, Rapper
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