Alfre Woodard

Actress, Producer
One of most accomplished and talented African-American actresses of her generation, Alfre Woodard earned an Oscar nomination and multiple Emmy wins in a prolific film and TV career that spanned over three decades ... Read more »
Born: 11/07/1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Filmography

Actor (160)

A Toast to 2014! 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Interviewee

Mississippi Grind 2015 (Movie)

(Actor)

State Of Affairs 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Ship 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Annabelle 2014 (Movie)

Evelyn (Actor)

Baby of the Family 2014 (Movie)

Rachel (Actor)

Makers 2014 (Tv Show)

Narrator

Nat Turner, A Troublesome Property 2014 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Statistically Speaking 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Back Story: 12 Years A Slave 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hadza: Last of the First 2014 (Movie)

(Narrator)

12 Years a Slave 2013 (Movie)

Mistress Shaw (Actor)

Copper 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Steel Magnolias 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Private Practice 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Grey's Anatomy 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Memphis Beat 2009 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

The 41st NAACP Image Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The Black Panther 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Voice

Three Rivers 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

True Blood 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

American Violet 2009 (Movie)

Alma Roberts (Actor)

Dateline: Presidential Inauguration Special 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

My Own Worst Enemy 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Medal of Honor 2008 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

Reach for Me 2008 (Movie)

Evelyn (Actor)

Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys 2008 (Movie)

Alice (Actor)

Desperate Housewives 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Inconceivable 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

King Leopold's Ghost 2006 (Movie)

Ilanga (Voice)

L.A. Law 1986 - 1987, 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Oprah Winfrey's Legends' Ball 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Something New 2006 (Movie)

Joyce McQueen (Actor)

Take the Lead 2006 (Movie)

Augustine James (Actor)

Beauty Shop 2005 (Movie)

Ms. Josephine (Actor)

A Wrinkle in Time 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

John Ritter Remembered 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Forgotten 2004 (Movie)

Ann Pope (Actor)

Radio 2003 (Movie)

Principal Daniels (Actor)

Searching for Debra Winger 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Core 2003 (Movie)

NASA Chief Talma Stickley (Actor)

The Practice 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Singing Detective 2003 (Movie)

Chief of Staff (Actor)

The Wild Thornberrys Movie 2002 (Movie)

Voice of Akela (Cheetah Mother) (Actor)

K-Pax 2001 (Movie)

Claudia Villars (Actor)

Speak Truth to Power 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinosaur 2000 (Movie)

of Plio (Voice)

Eleanor Roosevelt 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Innovators: A Musical Odyssey 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Love & Basketball 2000 (Movie)

Camille Wright (Actor)

NetAid 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2000 Essence Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

What's Cooking? 2000 (Movie)

Audrey Williams (Actor)

14th Independent Spirit Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

1998 Creative Arts Emmy Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Different Moms 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Narrator

Mumford 1999 (Movie)

Lily (Actor)

People's Century: 1900-1999 1997 - 1999 (TV Show)

Narrator

Secrets 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Storytime 1993 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 30th NAACP Image Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

ALMA Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Down in the Delta 1998 (Movie)

Loretta (Actor)

Slave Ship 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Narrator

The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Cadillac Desert 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Follow Me Home 1997 (Movie)

Evey (Actor)

Genesis: A Living Conversation 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1996 Emmy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Member of the Wedding 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Primal Fear 1996 (Movie)

Judge Miriam Shoat (Actor)

Secrets 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

Star Trek: First Contact 1996 (Movie)

Lily (Actor)

The Second Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Aliens For Breakfast 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

How to Make An American Quilt 1995 (Movie)

Marianna (Actor)

The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A Century of Women 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Blue Chips 1994 (Movie)

Lavada McRae (Actor)

Crooklyn 1994 (Movie)

Carolyn Carmichael (Actor)

Frasier 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 51st Annual Golden Globe Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Colors of Love 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Essence Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Facts of Life 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Narrator

Bopha! 1993 (Movie)

Rosie Mangena (Actor)

Heart and Souls 1993 (Movie)

Penny Washington (Actor)

Rich in Love 1993 (Movie)

Rhody Poole (Actor)

The 65th Annual Academy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Passion Fish 1992 (Movie)

Chantelle (Actor)

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag 1992 (Movie)

Ann (Actor)

Grand Canyon 1991 (Movie)

Jane (Actor)

Miss Firecracker 1989 (Movie)

Popeye Jackson (Actor)

The 10th Annual ACE Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Mandela 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Sara 1984 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Scrooged 1988 (Movie)

Grace Cooley (Actor)

St. Elsewhere 1982 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 20th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 9th Annual ACE Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Faerie Tale Theatre 1982 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Line 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Extremities 1986 (Movie)

Patricia (Actor)

Mandela 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Sweet Revenge 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Killing Floor 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Go Tell It on the Mountain 1983 (Movie)

Esther (Actor)

Tucker's Witch 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Cross Creek 1982 (Movie)

Geechee (Actor)

Health 1980 (Movie)

(Actor)

Remember My Name 1978 (Movie)

Rita (Actor)

The Trial of the Moke 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

A Step Toward Tomorrow (TV Show)

Actor

A Wrinkle in Time (Movie)

Mrs. Whatsit (Actor)

Blue Bayou (TV Show)

Actor

Bury Me Standing (Movie)

(Actor)

Caribbean Music Awards (TV Show)

Actor

Code of Honor (Movie)

Vicki Teague (Actor)

Freedom Road (TV Show)

Actor

Funny Valentines (TV Show)

Actor

Gulliver's Travels (TV Show)

Actor

Holiday Heart (TV Show)

Actor

John Henry (TV Show)

Voice

Malcolm X: Make It Plain (TV Show)

Narrator

Mandela's Fight For Freedom (TV Show)

Narrator

Miss Evers' Boys (TV Show)

Actor

Nefertiti and the Lost Dynasty (TV Show)

Narrator

Pictures of Hollis Woods (TV Show)

Actor

Poliwood (TV Show)

Actor

The Ambush Murders (TV Show)

Actor

The Child Saver (TV Show)

Actor

The Member of the Wedding (Movie)

Bernice Brown (Actor)

The Piano Lesson (TV Show)

Actor

The Sophisticated Gents (TV Show)

Actor

The Underground Railroad (TV Show)

Actor

The Water is Wide (TV Show)

Actor

The Wishing Tree (TV Show)

Actor

Unnatural Causes (TV Show)

Actor

Words by Heart (TV Show)

Actor
Music (2)

Beauty Shop 2005 (Movie)

("Amazing Grace" Traditional) (Song Performer)

Heart and Souls 1993 (Movie)

("Mr. Hug-A-Bug") (Song Performer)
Producer (2)

Down in the Delta 1998 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

The Colors of Love 1994 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Biography

One of most accomplished and talented African-American actresses of her generation, Alfre Woodard earned an Oscar nomination and multiple Emmy wins in a prolific film and TV career that spanned over three decades. Woodard worked primarily in drama, where she was celebrated for her grounding force in "Passion Fish" (1992), "Crooklyn" (1994), "How to Make an American Quilt" (1995) and "Down in the Delta" (1998), though she occasionally offered up her uninhibited wit in "Beauty Shop" (2005) and "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012). Among Woodard's most praised performances were TV movies that explored the African-American experience, including James Baldwin's "Go Tell it on the Mountain" (PBS, 1985), "The Piano Lesson" (CBS, 1995), "Miss Evers' Boys" (HBO, 1997) and the TV movie remake of the feature "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime, 2012). She also shown in guest roles, including her turn as a mentally ill mother on the hit vampire series "True Blood" (HBO, 2008- ). Woodard never considered herself a star but rather a working actress, though her rich gallery of characterizations - whether rural and poverty-stricken or educated women in positions of power - embodied an instinctual savvy and realistic viewpoint that placed her in a league of her own.

Relationships

Constance Woodard

Mother

Roderick Spencer

Husband
Married October 21, 1983

Mavis Spencer

Daughter
Born c. 1992 adopted with husband Roderick Spencer

Duncan Spencer

Son
Born c. 1994 adopted with husband Roderick Spencer

Marion Woodard

Father

EDUCATION

Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts 1974

Bishop Kelley High School

Tulsa , Oklahoma

Milestones

2009

Earned a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word for the Children's album, Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales; Alfre was a producer

2008

Featured in Tyler Perry's "The Family That Preys"

2007

Appeared in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "Pictures Of Hollis Woods"; earned an Emmy nomination in 2008 for Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV-Movie

2006

Earned an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV-Movie for "The Water is Wide" (CBS)

2005

Appeared in the comedy "Beauty Shop" starring Queen Latifah

2005

Joined the cast of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" in its second season as single mom, Betty Applewhite; received an Emmy nomination in 2006 for Supporting Actress in a Comedy

2004

Cast as a Detective in the thriller "The Forgotten" starring Julianne Moore

2003

Appeared in the Rosanna Arquette-directed documentary, "Searching for Debra Winger"

2001

Portrayed a psychiatrist's boss in "K-Pax," co-starring Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey

2000

Co-starred with Ving Rhames in the Showtime original movie "Holiday Heart"

2000

Appeared in featured role in the film "Love & Basketball"

2000

Acted in the ensemble of "What's Cooking?"

1999

Reteamed with Lawrence Kasdan for "Mumford"

1999

Appeared with CCH Pounder in "Funny Valentine" (BET/Starz!)

1998

Starred in and co-produced the drama "Down in the Delta" directed by Maya Angelou

1998

Reprised her role as Dr. Roxanne Turner in an episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC)

1997

Gave an award-winning performance as a nurse caring for the men who were part of the Tuskegee syphilis study in the HBO film "Miss Evers' Boys"

1997

Undertook the role of Berenice in small screen remake of "The Member of the Wedding" (USA Network)

1996

Delivered a small but incisive turn as the trial judge in the legal thriller "Primal Fear"

1996

Portrayed a scientist who favors fleeing from the Borg in "Star Trek: First Contact"

1995

Played Maya Angelou's daughter in the female ensemble drama "How to Make an American Quilt"

1995

Offered a compelling performance in the CBS TV-movie "The Piano Lesson"

1992

First credit as producer (associate) "The Colors of Love"

1991

Again teamed romantically with Glover in Lawrence Kasdan's "Grand Canyon"

1989

Offered a well-received performance as the mother of basketball player in the NBC TV-movie "A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story"

1988

Played Bill Murray's overworked assistant in the comedy "Scrooged" a modernization of Charles Dickens's novella, A Christmas Carol

1987

Again teamed with Glover as Winnie and Nelson Mandela in the HBO biopic "Mandela"

1986

Delivered an Emmy-winning turn as a rape victim in the pilot episode of NBC's drama series "L.A. Law"

1986

First portrayed South African activist Winnie Mandela to Danny Glover's Nelson Mandela in "Mandela" (PBS)

1985

Joined season four of the popular medical drama, "St. Elsewhere" as Dr. Roxanne Turner

1985

Played Roz Dupree on the short-lived NBC sitcom "Sara"

1983

Offered an Emmy-winning turn as the mother of youth killed by cops in three episodes of "Hill Street Blues" (NBC)

1983

Received Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role as the housekeeper in "Cross Creek"

1982

Played Marsha Fulbright on the short-lived CBS supernatural detective drama, "Tucker's Witch"

1979

Delivered a fine turn as the deadpan hotel manager in Robert Altman's satirical film "Health"

1978

Made film debut in "Remember My Name"

1978

Made TV-movie debut in "The Trial of the Moke" (PBS episode of "Great Performances")

1977

Breakthrough stage role in "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf"

Moved to Los Angeles and joined the Mark Taper Forum's Improvisational Theatre Project

First began performing with the Arena Stage Theater in Washington, DC

Bonus Trivia

.

"I've been called serious and I've been called seriously goofy. Let me put it this way. I am a founding member of Artists to Free South Africa, and we, as a people, are using our position as a microphone to get something heard that doesn't usually get heard. The State Department's tilt on things is that freedom fighters are terrorists and we're using our organization to address our community the way grass-roots groups around the country use their communities. I am an activist and sincere about that. I can be absolutely unorganized and hysterical or I can be completely cool and hold the ground for everybody else around me." - Woodard quoted in Movieline, May 1994

.

"I don't really think of myself as a celebrity. I don't give out anything that would make people come up and talk to me. I'm intensely private. People have always looked at me for one reason or another, but I'm never convinced that they aren't looking at me for some peculiar reason. I mean, I usually wear sort of an Afro hairstyle. I'm in an interracial marriage. [But] it doesn't matter why they're talking about you, it still feels like you're naked. You still have the feeling like you're back in high school or something." - Woodard quoted in Movieline, May 1994

.

In 2009, Woodard was selected by President Obama as a member of the President's Committee on Arts and the Humanities.

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