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Anika Noni Rose

Anika Noni Rose

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Also Known As: Anika Noni Rose Died:
Born: September 6, 1972 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bloomfield, Connecticut, USA Profession: actress, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A seasoned stage singer and actress, Anika Noni Rose earned a Tony Award for her role in the 2004 Broadway musical "Caroline, or Change," before turning heads on both the big and small screen. Her inauspicious film debut in the disastrous "American Idol" spin-off film, "From Justin to Kelly" (2003), was easily eclipsed by her vibrant leading role in the Academy Award-nominated screen adaptation of the musical, "Dreamgirls" (2006). Rose went on to establish herself with a number of acclaimed "firsts" - starring in the charming HBO series "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" (2008-09), the first screen production ever filmed in Botswana, Africa, as well as voicing Disney's first African-American fairy tale princess in the animated musical, "The Princess and the Frog" (2009) and co-starring in Tyler Perry's adaptation of "For Colored Girls" (2010). No matter what the project - whether live action or animated, television or silver screen - the multi-talented Rose always displayed an appealing blend of strong-willed independence, subtle wit and outstanding vocal chops.Born in Bloomfield, CT on Sept. 6, 1972, Rose received her first taste of acting while performing in a high school production of "Fame." Bit...

A seasoned stage singer and actress, Anika Noni Rose earned a Tony Award for her role in the 2004 Broadway musical "Caroline, or Change," before turning heads on both the big and small screen. Her inauspicious film debut in the disastrous "American Idol" spin-off film, "From Justin to Kelly" (2003), was easily eclipsed by her vibrant leading role in the Academy Award-nominated screen adaptation of the musical, "Dreamgirls" (2006). Rose went on to establish herself with a number of acclaimed "firsts" - starring in the charming HBO series "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" (2008-09), the first screen production ever filmed in Botswana, Africa, as well as voicing Disney's first African-American fairy tale princess in the animated musical, "The Princess and the Frog" (2009) and co-starring in Tyler Perry's adaptation of "For Colored Girls" (2010). No matter what the project - whether live action or animated, television or silver screen - the multi-talented Rose always displayed an appealing blend of strong-willed independence, subtle wit and outstanding vocal chops.

Born in Bloomfield, CT on Sept. 6, 1972, Rose received her first taste of acting while performing in a high school production of "Fame." Bit hard by the bug, Rose promptly abandoned her childhood ambition of becoming a veterinarian and set a course toward becoming an actress. She earned a degree in theater from Florida A&M University, and went on to receive her M.F.A. from the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco in 1998. Rose relocated to the theater mecca of New York, nabbing her first break later that year as a late addition to the Broadway production of "Footloose."

Her Obie Award-winning performance in 2001's "Eli's Comin'" made her a darling with the critics, but unfortunately, critical accolades did not equate to financial stability. Following a musical run in "Me and Mrs. Jones" with '70s singer Lou Rawls in Philadelphia, the up-and-coming-actress was down to her last $25 when she had a timely stroke of good luck - a small role in 2003's embarrassing musical misfire, "From Justin to Kelly." A vehicle built to capitalize on the popularity of "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ) season one finalists Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, the film died hard at the box office, but managed to buy Rose a stay of execution until she could find her next job.

Luckily, that next job was not long in coming. In 2004, Rose landed a breakthrough role as Emmie Thibodeaux in playwright Tony Kushner's critically acclaimed social study "Caroline, or Change." Set in 1960s Louisiana at the height of the American Civil Rights movement, "Caroline, or Change" gave Rose her juiciest role to date as the impetuous daughter of a black maid, the show's formidable title character (Tonya Pinkins). Rose's portrayal of the yearning Emmie won the young actress a Theater World Award and Broadway's top honor - the Tony Award - for that year's Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

Rose was back on Hollywood's radar thanks to her Tony win, and director Bill Condon wisely cast her as the third Dreamette, Lorrell Robinson, in the long-awaited screen adaptation of "Dreamgirls" (2006), based on the 1981 award-winning Broadway musical. Taking on the role originally created by Loretta Devine on Broadway, the role of Lorrell was arguably the most difficult, requiring an actress who could stand out yet not overshadow her co-stars. A less glamorous character than Beyoncé Knowles's Deena and less showy than Jennifer Hudson's scorned Effie White, Lorrell might have easily gotten lost in the shuffle as simply the film's third banana, were it not for Rose's ability to hold her own and nail the comic material that the part required.

Rose was nominated for an Image Award for her role in the USA Network miniseries "The Starter Wife" (NBC, 2007), and she found further small screen success when she was cast as assistant detective Grace Makutsi opposite Jill Scott as Precious Ramotswe in "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" (HBO, 2008-09). The BBC production was based on Alexander McCall Smith's best-selling series of mystery novels about a team of women investigators set in Botswana. Yet another unique HBO series, it performed well following its U.S. premiere, ending up with a nomination for Outstanding New Show of the Year by the TV Critics Association Awards, though in the end the cable network canceled the series with little explanation. A certifiable success on both the big and small screens, Rose went on to make her mark on animation history with the Walt Disney feature film, "The Princess and the Frog" (2009), voicing the lead character Princess Tiana, Disney's first African-American princess in a retelling of the classic fairy tale set in New Orleans. After a supporting role opposite Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and Phylicia Rashad in Tyler Perry's adaptation of "For Colored Girls" (2010), Rose delivered a memorable guest starring performance on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ), before landing an episode of "Private Practice" (ABC, 2007- ).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 As Cool As I Am (2013)
4.
6.
 Just Add Water (2008)
7.
8.
 Surviving Christmas (2004) Choir
9.
 From Justin to Kelly (2003) Kaya
10.
 Ralph Ellison's "King of the Bingo Game" (1999) Film Noir Female
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to New York
:
Won the role of Rusty in the Broadway musical "Footloose"
1999:
Feature debut in "King of the Bingo Game"
2003:
Appeared in "From justin to Kelly"
2004:
Won a Tony award as Tonya Pinkins' daughter in the Broadway production of "Caroline, or Change"
2004:
Cast in "Surviving Christmas" a comedy film starring Ben Affleck
2006:
Co-starred with Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson in Bill Condon's film adaptation of "Dreamgirls"
2008:
Cast in Debbie Allen's forthcoming revival of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
2009:
Played assistant detective Mma Makutsi in the HBO series "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency"
2009:
Voiced the lead character, Tiana, in Disney's animated feature, "The Princess and the Frog"
2010:
Joined an ensemble cast for Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Conservatory Theatre: San Francisco , California -

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