Anna Deavere Smith

Actress, Playwright, Director
Smith was a journeyman actor and teacher before striking success with her one-woman production "Fires in the Mirror" in 1992, part of a series overall titled "On the Road: The Search for American Character". Drawn from ... Read more »
Born: 09/18/1950 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Filmography

Actor (27)

Black-ish 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Madam Secretary 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Numb3rs 2004 - 2005, 2010 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Nurse Jackie 2010 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Rachel Getting Married 2008 (Movie)

Carol (Actor)

The Kingdom 2007 (Movie)

Maricella Canavesio (Actor)

The West Wing 2002 - 2004, 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Choose or Lose: Vote or Die! 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Cry Wolf 2005 (Movie)

Headmaster Tinsley (Actor)

Rent 2005 (Movie)

Mrs. Jefferson (Actor)

The Manchurian Candidate 2004 (Movie)

Political Pundit (Actor)

Presidio Med 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Human Stain 2003 (Movie)

Mrs Silk (Actor)

Life 360 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Jessye Norman Sings For the Healing of AIDS 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Practice 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Twilight: Los Angeles 2000 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Hymn For Alvin Ailey 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Hawaii's Last Queen 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

The American President 1995 (Movie)

Robin McCall (Actor)

Dave 1993 (Movie)

Mrs Travis (Actor)

Fires in the Mirror 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Philadelphia 1993 (Movie)

Anthea Burton (Actor)

The Issue Is Race 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Soup For One 1982 (Movie)

(Actor)

Life Support (TV Show)

Actor

The Mystery of Love (TV Show)

Narrator
Writer (2)

Twilight: Los Angeles 2000 (Movie)

("Twilight: Los Angeles 1992") (Play as Source Material)

Twilight: Los Angeles 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (1)

Twilight: Los Angeles 2000 (Movie)

("presents") (Producer)

Biography

Smith was a journeyman actor and teacher before striking success with her one-woman production "Fires in the Mirror" in 1992, part of a series overall titled "On the Road: The Search for American Character". Drawn from personal interviews, the play explored the racial tensions that resulted from two events in a small Brooklyn community: a Black child was killed by a car driven by a Hassid; a Jewish scholar was stabbed to death reportedly in retaliation. Smith delineated portrayals of 19 individuals whose lives were touched in some way by the events. What emerged was a powerful meditation that posed questions about how people (and by extension the audience) integrate perceptions of specific events into the general context of their own lives. Smith was commissioned to create a similar piece on the Los Angeles following the 1992 riots that stemmed from the jury decision to acquit the police accused of beating Rodney King. Using the same techniques, she sketched a larger canvas in "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992", portraying over 40 characters. The play won acclaim and earned Smith two Tony nominations for Best Play and Best Actress.

Relationships

Rosalind Allen

Sister
Born c. 1960

Deaver Smith

Father

Anna Smith

Mother

EDUCATION

Western High School

Baltimore , Maryland 1967

American Conservatory Theatre

San Francisco , California

Beaver College

Glenside , Pennsylvania 1971

Milestones

2009

Cast as hospital administrator Mrs. Akalitus in Showtime's dark comedy, "Nurse Jackie"

2009

Headlined her solo show "Let Me Down Easy" at off-Broadway's Second Stage

2008

Co-starred in Jonathan Demme's "Rachel Getting Married"

2007

Played Deputy National Security Advisor in Peter Berg's "The Kingdom"

2005

Co-starred in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, "Rent"

2003

Cast in "The Human Stain," opposite Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman

2001

Had a recurring role on the NBC White House drama, "The West Wing"; created by Aaron Sorkin

2000

Had a recurring role as District Attorney Kate Brunner on "The Practice" (ABC)

2000

Starred in film version of "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992"; presented in a special screening at the Sundance Film Festival

1999

Reworked the stage play of "House Arrest" for the Los Angeles stage

1997

First produced stage play with a cast of actors, "House Arrest: First Edition"

1995

Played the president's press secretary in Rob Reiner's "The American President"; scripted by Aaron Sorkin

1993

Appeared in Jonathan Demme's film about AIDS and homosexuality, "Philadelphia"

1993

Once again was the solo performer of multiple characters in "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992"; first opened in LA and later moved to NY; nominated for two Tony Awards for Best Actress and Best Play

1992

Breakthrough role as the solo performer playing multiple and diverse characters in "Fires in the Mirror"; also wrote play

1986

Moved to Los Angeles

1983

Made TV debut on the ABC daytime soap, "All My Children"

1983

First play produced, "On the Road"

1982

Feature film debut, "Soup for One"

1978

Was an assistant professor of theater at Carnegie-Mellon University

1974

Made her stage debut in "Horatio"

Was a professor in the drama department at Stanford University

Taught acting at New York University

Bonus Trivia

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Smith was one of the 1996 recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship.

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Won a 2006 Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for her contribution to civil rights issues.

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