Kasi Lemmons

Actor, Screenwriter, Director
An attractive African-American player of stage, screen and TV who often projects an appealing vulnerability and intelligence, Kasi Lemmons began her professional career playing a hostage in the TV-movie "11th Victim" ... Read more »
Born: 02/23/1961 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (30)

Disconnect 2013 (Movie)

Roberta Washington (Actor)

Waist Deep 2006 (Movie)

Angry Black Woman (Actor)

In the Company of Women 2003 (Movie)

(Actor)

ER 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Lifetime Women's Film Festival 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

'Til There Was You 1997 (Movie)

Angenelle (Actor)

Gridlock'd 1997 (Movie)

Madonna and Child (Actor)

Fear of A Black Hat 1994 (Movie)

Nina Blackburn (Actor)

Murder, She Wrote 1992 - 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

The D.R.O.P. Squad 1994 (Movie)

June Vanderpoor (Actor)

Walker, Texas Ranger 1993 - 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hard Target 1993 (Movie)

Carmine Mitchell (Actor)

Candyman 1992 (Movie)

Bernadette Walsh (Actor)

Spy Games 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Five Heartbeats 1991 (Movie)

Cookie (Actor)

The Silence of the Lambs 1991 (Movie)

Ardelia Mapp (Actor)

Under Cover 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Vampire's Kiss 1989 (Movie)

Jackie (Actor)

Puzzle Weekend 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

School Daze 1988 (Movie)

Perry (Actor)

The Cosby Show 1988 (Tv Show)

Actor

Adams Apple 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

11th Victim (TV Show)

Actor

Afterburn (TV Show)

Actor

Before the Storm (TV Show)

Actor

Override (TV Show)

Actor

The Gift of Amazing Grace (TV Show)

Actor

Zooman (TV Show)

Actor
Director (7)

Black Nativity 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

Talk to Me 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

The 74th Annual Academy Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Segment Director

Caveman's Valentine 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Dr. Hugo 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

Eve's Bayou 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Fall From Grace 1986 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (3)

Black Nativity 2013 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Talk to Me 2007 (Movie)

(rewrite) (Screenplay)

Eve's Bayou 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Sound (1)

Fall From Grace 1986 (Movie)

(Sound)
Music (1)

Black Nativity 2013 (Movie)

("Coldest Town") (Song)
Camera, Film, & Tape (1)

Fall From Grace 1986 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)
Editor (1)

Fall From Grace 1986 (Movie)

(Editor)
Other (1)

Fall From Grace 1986 (Movie)

narrative text (Other)

Biography

An attractive African-American player of stage, screen and TV who often projects an appealing vulnerability and intelligence, Kasi Lemmons began her professional career playing a hostage in the TV-movie "11th Victim" (1979), directed by Jonathan Kaplan. She then took several years off to study with The Lee Strasberg Institute, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre, NYU, UCLA and famed mime Marcel Marceau. She returned to acting with a supporting role in Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead" (1984) Off-Broadway, and a guest spot on the detective series "Spenser: For Hire" (1985). After attending film school at the New School for Social Research in NYC, Lemmons made her entrance into features by writing, directing, shooting and editing the documentary short "Fall From Grace" (1987). The next year, she appeared in two drastically different films: "School Daze", Spike Lee's musical study of black-on-black prejudices; and "Vampire's Kiss", a dark comedy starring Nicolas Cage as a man who may be a vampire.

Lemmons continued to appear in high-profile Hollywood films including Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991), as Jodie Foster's FBI cadet friend; "Candyman" (1992), as Virginia Madsen's research partner; and John Woo's "Hard Target" (1993), as a cop with a heart of gold. She received her first leading role in the mock 'rapumentary' "Fear of a Black Hat" (1994), playing sociologist Nina Blackburn, who chronicles a year in the life of controversial rap group NWH (Niggaz With Hats). Lemmons has continued to work on stage and in TV, starring in an L.A. production of "Romeo and Juliet" and in the HBO original movie "Afterburn" (1992).

1997 marked a turning point for Lemmons. Having always wanted to be a writer, she had spent several years nurturing a script about a young girl's coming of age in the South. When it came time to film "Eve's Bayou", Lemmons put herself in contention as director. She fashioned a 20-minute short, "Dr. Hugo", starring her husband actor-director Vondie Curtis Hall, as an audition piece and convinced the producers to allow her to direct her own script. The result, what Lemmons has called "an African American Southern Gothic", was a well-acted, critically praised mood piece that heralded a new and exciting voice in films.

For her second film as a director, Lemmons reunited with Samuel L Jackson on the mystery thriller "The Caveman's Valentine" (2001). Screened at Sundance, the movie was adapted from an award winning novel and recounted the story of how a homeless man (Jackson) becomes embroiled in solving the mysterious death of a young man. As a director, Lemmons exhibited a flair with actors and a keen visual sense that helped to somewhat overcome the screenplay's flaws.

Relationships

Vondie Hall

Husband

Zora Hall

Daughter
born c. 1999

Henry Hall

Son
born in 1996

Cheryl Lemmons

Sister
served as a consultant on "The Caveman's Valentine"

EDUCATION

studied with mime Marcel Marceau

New York University

New York , New York

The Alvin Ailey School

New York , New York

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California

Circle in the Square Professional Theater School

New York , New York

New York School of Ballet

New York , New York

The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute

New York , New York

New School for Social Research

New York , New York

Milestones

2007

Helmed "Talk To Me," starring Don Cheadle as Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist

2001

Second feature, "The Caveman's Valentine" starring Samuel L Jackson, screened at Sundance

1997

Feature directing debut, "Eve's Bayou"; also scripted; Samuel L Jackson had pivotal role

1994

First film in a leading role, "Fear of a Black Hat"

1991

Portrayed the roommate of Clarice Starling in "The Silence of the Lambs"

1991

Cast as Alex Robbins, a regular character on the short-lived series, "Under Cover"

1990

First TV-movie in a leading role, "The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson" (TNT)

1988

Feature acting debut, "School Daze"

1987

Wrote, directed, shot and edited the short documentary, "Fall From Grace"; shown at the IFP October 16

1985

Returned to TV with a guest spot on "Spenser: For Hire"

1979

TV acting debut, "11th Victim", a TV-movie directed by Jonathan Kaplan

1979

Took several years off from acting to study

Appeared Off-Broadway in Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead"

Raised in St Louis, Missouri

Received a story credit for an episode of "The Cosby Show" (NBC)

Bonus Trivia

.

"We say we want something different from our cinema ... I'm not saying 'Eve's Bayou' is the answer, you know, because some people will like it and some people won't. But I think it is one of the answers. ... I wanted to create a piece that was visual and lyrical with characters speaking in the rhythms that I remember from my childhood ... " --Kasi Lemmons to Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1997.

.

"My dream is that I will either find material or create material that I feel as deeply about as I did 'Eve's Bayou.' I have a lot of stories to tell. It happened accidentally, but I am a writer now. ... " --Lemmons to Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1997.

.

"There are many, many people making big movies in Hollywood who have no idea who I am, how to pronounce my name... or if I'm a man or a woman. [laughs] But, you know, that's OK."---Lemmons to Venice magazine, July/August 2007.

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