Rutina Wesley

  • Birth Name: Rutina Wesley
  • Birth Place: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • Profession: Actor
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Fast Facts

  • Decided to pursue a performance career after taking part in a production of Fame during her freshman year of high school.
  • Filmed a scene for Hitch (2005) that was cut from the final version, but made a splash in her big-screen debut in How She Move (2007).
  • Sang "I'm Not Afraid of Anything," from Jason Robert Brown's 1995 musical, Songs for a New World, at the funeral for friend and Juilliard classmate Sarah Fox, who was found murdered in Upper Manhattan's Inwood Hill Park in 2004.
  • Made Broadway debut in 2006 at the Music Box Theatre in David Hare's The Vertical Hour, which was directed by Sam Mendes and starred Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy.
  • Studied Shakespeare during a summer at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she played the titular role in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Was the second actress cast as Tara Thornton on True Blood. The original actress, Brook Kerr, played the role in the unaired pilot.
  • Active in Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP), a non-profit organization that utilizes the arts to help disadvantaged children worldwide.

Awards

  • 2009, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Ivery Wheeler — Father
  • Cassandra Wesley — Mother
  • Jacob Fishel — Husband (separated)

College

  • University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana, United States (BFA in Theatre Performance, 2001); The Juilliard School, New York, New York, United States (2005)

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