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Lisa Gay Hamilton

Lisa Gay Hamilton

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Also Known As: Lisagay Hamilton Died:
Born: March 25, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though TV audiences knew Lisa Gay Hamilton best for her roles on shows like "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) and "Chance" (Hulu, 2016-), the seasoned actor had been appearing on both stage and screen for decades by the time she made her mark on television. Born in Los Angeles in 1964, Hamilton's family eventually relocated to the east coast, where she began taking private acting classes in Manhattan during junior high school. She earned a BA in drama from the Tisch School of the Arts in 1985, the same year she appeared in the movie "Krush Groove" (1985). After making her Broadway debut in the original production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Piano Lesson" in 1990 and an earning an Obie Award for her role in Athol Fugard's "Valley Song" in 1993, Hamilton enrolled at the Juilliard School and completed an MFA in acting. She would play Rebecca Washington on "The Practice" from 1997 to 2003, and soon got to work directing her Peabody award winning documentary "Beah: A Black Woman Speaks" (2004). She would co-star in John Sayles' "The Honeydripper" (2007), winning the part after attending her audition in full period costume, and soon found a number of high caliber TV roles awaiting...

Though TV audiences knew Lisa Gay Hamilton best for her roles on shows like "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) and "Chance" (Hulu, 2016-), the seasoned actor had been appearing on both stage and screen for decades by the time she made her mark on television. Born in Los Angeles in 1964, Hamilton's family eventually relocated to the east coast, where she began taking private acting classes in Manhattan during junior high school. She earned a BA in drama from the Tisch School of the Arts in 1985, the same year she appeared in the movie "Krush Groove" (1985). After making her Broadway debut in the original production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Piano Lesson" in 1990 and an earning an Obie Award for her role in Athol Fugard's "Valley Song" in 1993, Hamilton enrolled at the Juilliard School and completed an MFA in acting. She would play Rebecca Washington on "The Practice" from 1997 to 2003, and soon got to work directing her Peabody award winning documentary "Beah: A Black Woman Speaks" (2004). She would co-star in John Sayles' "The Honeydripper" (2007), winning the part after attending her audition in full period costume, and soon found a number of high caliber TV roles awaiting her, playing Melissa on the comedy-drama "Men of a Certain Age" (TNT, 2009-2011), and the Hugh Laurie procedural "Chance."

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Backseat (2018)
3.
 Beautiful Boy (2018)
4.
 Indiscretion (2016)
5.
 Go For Sisters (2013)
6.
 Life of a King (2013)
7.
 Lovelace (2013)
8.
 Take Shelter (2011)
9.
 Beastly (2011)
10.
 Mother and Child (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1996:
Gained notice for her role in "Drunks" (first aired on Showtime; later shown in limited theatrical release)
2002:
Cast as Captain Lorna Shiro in "The Sum of All Fears"
2000:
Played Ophelia in a modern TV adaptation of "Hamlet."
2005:
Cast in the ensemble feature "Nine Lives," a series of vignettes directed by Rodrigo GarcĂ­a, offering glimpses into the lives of nine women
2002:
Re-teamed with director Johnathan Demme to portray Lola in "The Truth About Charlie"
1995:
Earned an Obie Award for her role in Athol Fugard's "Valley Song."
1998:
Portrayed the younger version of Oprah Winfrey's character in Johnathan Demme's film adaptation of Toni Morrison's "Beloved"
2011:
Featured in the film "Beastly," a retelling of the fairy tale <i>Beauty and the Beast</i>
2006:
Published the children's book "Keep Climbing Girls," based on a poem by actress Beah Richards
2009:
Played Melissa on the one-hour drama "Men of a Certain Age."
1995:
Featured in Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys"
2007:
Co-starred in the John Sayles drama "The Honeydripper."
2011:
Cast in the drama "Take Shelter," opposite Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain
1997:
Played the small-town transplant Sheronda in Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown."
1985:
Made film debut in "Krush Groove"
1997:
Played Rebecca Washington on "The Practice."
1990:
Made her Broadway debut in the original production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Piano Lesson."
2004:
Directed and won a Peabody Award for her documentary "Beah: A Black Woman Speaks."
1993:
Played Isabella opposite Kevin Kline in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Measure for Measure."
2007:
Earned acclaim for her performance in the off-Broadway play "The Ohio State Murders."
2016:
Played the recurring role of Celia on the political drama "House of Cards."
2016:
Took on the role of Suzanne on the series "Chance."
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Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -
New York University's Tisch School of the Arts: - 1985
The Juilliard School: New York, New York - 1988

Notes

Hamilton's first name is sometimes billed as two words (Lisa Gay) and other times as one word (LisaGay)

"There are certain plays or roles that are ethnic-based, but there are times when it's irrelevant. That's the great thing about theatre." --LisaGay Hamilton in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, March 30, 1997

"If I don't have a director who can help me, I can take of myself or I know where to go and get the help I need." --Hamilton in INTERVIEW, November 1996

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