Danai Gurira

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Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira by Gage Skidmore.jpg
BornDanai Jekesai Gurira
(1978-02-14) February 14, 1978 (age 36)
Grinnell, Iowa
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active2004–present
Website
www.danaigurira.com
 
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Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira by Gage Skidmore.jpg
BornDanai Jekesai Gurira
(1978-02-14) February 14, 1978 (age 36)
Grinnell, Iowa
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active2004–present
Website
www.danaigurira.com

Danai Jekesai Gurira (born February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She is best known for her role as Michonne on the AMC drama series The Walking Dead.

Early life[edit]

Gurira was born in Grinnell, Iowa and was raised there until December 1983, when she moved with her family to Harare, Zimbabwe.[1] She has an older brother who is a chiropractor and two older sisters, while her mother is a university librarian and her father is a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.[2] She returned to the United States at age 19 to study at Macalester College. She earned her MFA at New York University.[3]

Career[edit]

Gurira with fellow castmembers of The Walking Dead at Comic-Con 2012

In 2006, Gurira won an Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for writing, and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress[3] for off-Broadway play In the Continuum.[4] She starred in the 2007 film The Visitor, for which she won Method Fest Film Festival for Best Supporting Actress. She appeared in Ghost Town, 3 Backyards, My Soul to Take, and Restless City. She has guest starred in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Life on Mars, and Law & Order.

In 2009, Gurira debuted on Broadway in August Wilson's play Joe Turner's Come and Gone.[5] From 2010 to 2011, she appeared in the HBO drama series Treme. Gurira's play, In the Continuum, commemorated World AIDS Day in December 2011.[6]

In March 2012, it was announced that she would join the cast of AMC's drama series The Walking Dead in the third season as Michonne.[7][8][9] The same year, she received the Whiting Writers' Award.

Gurira played a lead role in the independent drama film Mother of George, which premiered at 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Gurira received critical acclaim for her performance in the movie.[10][11] In June 2013, Gurira won the Jean-Claude Gahd Dam award at the 2013 Guys Choice Awards.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Gurira is a Christian.[13] In 2008, she appeared at the Global Green Sustainable Design Awards to read a letter written by a New Orleans native displaced by Hurricane Katrina.[14] Gurira co-founded Almasi in 2011, an organization dedicated to continuing arts education in Zimbabwe.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2007The VisitorZainabMethod Fest Film Festival for Best Supporting Actress
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
2008Ghost TownAssorted ghost
20103 BackyardsWoman in Blue Dress
My Soul to TakeJeanne-Baptiste
2011Restless CitySisi
2013Mother of GeorgeAdenike Olumide BalogenBlack Reel Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2004Law & Order: Criminal IntentMarei Rosa RumbidzaiEpisode: "Inert Dwarf"
2009Life on MarsAngelaEpisode: "The Simple Secret of the Note in Us All"
Law & OrderCourtney OwensEpisode: "Fed"
2010American ExperienceSarah StewardEpisode: "Dolley Madison"
Lie to MeMichelle RussoEpisode: "Exposed"
2010–2011TremeJill6 episodes
2012–presentThe Walking DeadMichonne26 episodes
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)

Stage[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2005In the ContinuumUnknownWriter
Obie Award
Outer Critics Circle Award
Helen Hayes Award
John Gassner Award
2009Joe Turner's Come and GoneMartha Pentecost
2011Measure for MeasureIsabella
2012The ConvertUnknownWriter[15]
Nominated – Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Writing[16]

References[edit]

External links[edit]