Sanaa Lathan

Actress

9/19/1971 (47 years old) New York, New York, United States

Given her stunning looks, it's fitting that Lathan's first name means "work of art" in Swahili. Happily, this bombshell's talent is equal to her aesthetic appeal. The daughter of a Broadway hoofer and a veteran TV director, this "work of art" was inevitably artistically inclined, studying dance and acting as a child. After graduating from the Yale School of Drama, she guested on a number of TV shows, eventually winning a series-regular spot in 1998 on the short-lived Nightline spoof Lateline. That same year, Lathan made much more of an impression with a small but memorably oedipal part as Wesley Snipes' mama in the vampire flick Blade. A string of successively larger roles in African-American-oriented movies upped her profile, two of them---1999's The Wood and 2000's Love & Basketball---opposite her then-boyfriend, Omar Epps. In the latter, she and Epps were perfectly matched physically as both lovers and competitive athletes, and Lathan won a number of awards (Image, Black Reel and BET) for her multifaceted performance. But it was her turn as a butt-kicking beauty in the wildly successful 2004 thriller Alien vs. Predator that made her a familiar face to the masses, even if the flick showed off her body more than her brains. A Tony-nominated turn in the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun that same year proved she could still deliver a thoughtful performance. In 2006, she signed on to the sexy series Nip/Tuck as the mysterious boss of two morally challenged plastic surgeons, and in 2009, she began voice-over work on Fox's The Cleveland Show.

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