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Biography And Most Famous Movies And TV Shows Of Kerry Washington

American actress Kerry Washington has starred in ABC dramas such as Scandal, Confirmation, and Little Fires Everywhere.

Author:Iram Martins
Reviewer:Elisa Mueller
Nov 16, 2023
American actress Kerry Washingtonhas starred in ABC dramas such as Scandal, Confirmation, and Little Fires Everywhere.
She has received several accolades for her acting, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
In addition to Hollywood productions, Washington has appeared in indie flicks including Our Song, The Dead Girl, Mother and Child, Night Catches Us, and American Son.
Forbes ranked her as the ninth highest-paid television actress in 2018, and Time magazine placed her to its 2014 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
She is the recipient of the President's Award at the NAACP Image Awards and five other awards, including a Primetime Emmy.

Kerry Washington Early Life And Education

Washington was born to Valerie (an educator and consultant) and Earl (a real estate broker) Washington in the Bronx of New York City. The African-American ancestors of her father's family settled in Brooklyn after migrating there from South Carolina.
Mother's family is from Manhattan; Washington has indicated that her mother is of "mixed-race background and from Jamaica, so she is partly English and Scottish and Native American, but also descended from enslaved Africans in the Caribbean."
She is a cousin of former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell via her mother. She found out in 2018 that she was created with the help of a sperm donor.
Washington attended the Spence School in Manhattan from the age of thirteen (when she joined the TADA! Youth Theater) until she graduated from high school the same year (1994). After Nelson Mandela's release from jail, she was escorted to Yankee Stadium to hear him speak.
She studied anthropology and sociology at George Washington University, where she earned her Phi Beta Kappa degree in 1998. She went to New York City's Michael Howard Studios for training as well.
Washington stated in April 2016 that she had studied dance with Jennifer Lopez in New York throughout the 1990s. She told Jimmy Fallon, "I've been taking dance for a long time, since I was a little girl," during her visit on The Tonight Show. I had a teacher called Larry Maldonado who was a true inspiration to me and everyone else in my Bronx community.
And when his regular instructor wasn't available, he got a fantastic stand-in called Jennifer. However, she soon moved for Los Angeles to star in In Living Color. So, sure, JLo was my dancing instructor. Washington came clean in 2023 about having an abortion in her late 20s.

Kerry Washington Scandal And Critical Acclaim

Washington debuted on Broadway in Race by David Mamet and starred in For Colored Girls by Tyler Perry that same year. She also had a prominent role in Django Unchained (2012), a film directed by Quentin Tarantino that was universally praised. In June 2012, Washington was one of 175 people selected to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Washington played Olivia Pope, a crisis manager in Washington, D.C., in the ABC drama series Scandal, created by Shonda Rhimes and airing from April 2012 to April 2018. The program was well-received by audiences and critics alike, and it quickly became one of the most-discussed dramas on social media.
Washington's portrayal was well received, and in 2013 she won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the show. At TV Guide's Magazine Fan Favorite Awards, she was also awarded "Favorite actress" and Scandal "Favorite Drama" of the year, and she was chosen "TV Star of the Year" by the magazine's editors for 2013.
At the 65th and 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, Washington made history as the first African-American woman to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 18 years, for her role in the second season of Scandal. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
Glamour named Washington their Woman of the Year in 2013, while People magazine placed her number two on their list of the 100 Most Beautiful People that same year. She was also introduced as Neutrogena's new spokesperson.
Washington starred as the main character in Confirmation, an HBO film directed by Rick Famuyiwa, in 2016. She was nominated for both the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Kerry Washington Career

The ABC telefilm "Magical Make-Over" (1994) featured Washington in her debut acting appearance. She then continued her career with roles in films such as "Our Song" (2000), "Save the Last Dance" (2001), "Bad Company" (2002), and "The Human Stain" (2003). Her first significant leading part was in Spike Lee's critically acclaimed "She Hate Me" (2004). She went on to appear in films including "Fantastic Four" (2005), "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005), "Little Man" (2006), "The Last King of Scotland" (2006), and "I Think I Love My Wife" (2007).
She also appeared in many episodes of the A&E series "100 Centre Street" and the ABC series "Boston Legal" as a recurrent character named Chelina Hall. In addition to "Law and Order," "Psych," and "NYPD Blue," she has been on other police procedural series.
Washington made her Broadway debut in the 2010 production of "Race" by David Mamet. She made her cinematic debut in the same year in "For Colored Girls" by Tyler Perry. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asked her to become a member in June 2012 in recognition of her work in the highly acclaimed film "Django Unchained" (2012).
The character of crisis management Olivia Pope, whom Washington played in the ABC drama series "Scandal" from 2012 to 2018, is one of the most recognized of her career. The show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, had tremendous success with both audiences and critics.
Washington received the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series award at the 44th annual NAACP Image Awards for her work on the program in 2013. In the same year that she won the Golden Globe, she was also awarded TV Guide's "Favorite actress" and designated the publication's "TV star of the year" for 2013.
As the first African-American woman to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 18 years, Washington received nominations in this category at both the 65th and 66th ceremonies.
She has been nominated for many awards for her work on "Scandal," including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
Washington's performance in Rick Famuyiwa's "Confirmation" (2016), an HBO film in which he also acted, was much praised. The video depicts Anita Hill's appearance during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. It was up for the Emmy Award for Best Television Movie, which it deservedly did not win.
Washington was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award and the Critics' Choice Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work in "The Night Of." Washington co-starred in and executive produced the 2020 Hulu series "Little Fires Everywhere" with Reese Witherspoon. The series' inspiration came from the book of the same name by Celeste Ng.
Kerry Washington in blue jeans coat
Kerry Washington in blue jeans coat

Kerry Washington Movies And Tv Shows

The Simpsons (1989 – ), TV-14 | 22 Min | Animated Comedy

Embark on satirical escapades with a lovable working-class family navigating the zany streets of Springfield.Featuring the Talents of: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Harry Shearer

Law & Order (1990 – ) TV-14 | 45 Min | Crime Drama, Mystery

Delve into the intricate world of criminal investigation and legal proceedings as each episode tracks a murder inspired by real-life events.Starring: Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina, Sam Waterston

Scandal (2012–2018) TV-14 | 43 Min | Drama Thriller

Witness the riveting journey of a former White House Communications Director who transforms into a crisis management expert, uncovering more than just her clients' secrets.Featuring the Talents of: Kerry Washington, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Diaz

Psych (2006–2014) TV-PG | 44 Min | Comedic Crime,

MysteryLaugh and puzzle your way through cases as a novice sleuth convinces the police of his psychic powers, leading to hilarious investigations with his reluctant best friend.Starring: James Roday Rodriguez, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson, Corbin Bernsen

Django Unchained (2012) R | 165 Min | Drama, Western

Journey with a freed slave and his German bounty hunter as they embark on a perilous quest to rescue his wife from the clutches of a merciless plantation owner in Mississippi.Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

How To Get Away With Murder (2014–2020) TV-14 | 43 Min | Crime Drama, Mystery

Step into the intense world of ambitious law students entangled in a web of murder, deception, and a brilliant but enigmatic criminal defense professor.Starring: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Jack Falahee, Aja Naomi King

NYPD Blue (1993–2005) TV-14 | 45 Min | Crime Drama, Mystery

Join detectives from the 15th Precinct of the NYPD as they meticulously investigate and solve homicides within their jurisdiction.Starring: Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel
In this spin-off of the renowned David E. Kelley series "The Practice," witness the legal exploits of Alan Shore, a former Practice character, at the prestigious law firm of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt.Starring: James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen, Rene Auberjonois.
Other famous movies and Tv shows include:
  • Saturday Night Live (1975 – ) TV-14 | 90 min | Comedy, Musical Extravaganza
  • The School for Good and Evil (2022) PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
  • Little Fires Everywhere (2020)TV-MA | 463 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
  • Insecure (2016–2021)TV-MA | 30 min | Comedic Drama, Romance
  • Cars 3 (2017)G | 102 min | Animated Adventure, Comedy
  • Fantastic Four (2005) PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • The Last King of Scotland (2006) R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History
  • Save the Last Dance (2001) PG-13 | 112 min | Drama, Music, Romance
  • Ray (2004) PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music
  • Little Man: A Petite Criminal Comedy (2006) PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Crime Capers
  • The Guardian (2001–2004) TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama Series
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) PG | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • The Prom (2020) PG-13 | 130 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical Spectacle
  • ABC Afterschool Specials: Teen Dramas of Yesteryears (1972–1997) 60 min | Adventure, Comedy, Dramatic Anthology
  • Project Runway (2004 – ) TV-PG | 60 min | Reality-TV Competition
  • Reasonable Doubt (2022 – ) TV-MA | 53 min | Drama Series
  • The Daily Show (1996 – ) TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, News, Talk-Show
  • Real Time with Bill Maher (2003 – )TV-MA | 60 min | Comedy, News, Talk-Show
  • Lakeview Terrace: A Thrilling Neighborhood Feud (2008)PG-13 | 110 min | Crime Drama, Thriller
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003 – )TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Music, Talk-Show
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon(2014 – ), TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Music, Talk-Show


American actress Kerry Washington's networth is $50 million. The role of Olivia Pope in the ABC drama "Scandal" that she played from 2012-2018 brought her widespread recognition.

FAQs - Kerry Washington

Where Was Kerry Washington Born, And What Were Her Parents' Professions?

Kerry Washington was born in The Bronx, New York, to a professor mother and a real estate broker father.

What Educational Background Does Kerry Washington Have, And Where Did She Further Refine Her Acting Skills?

She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in sociology and anthropology and further honed her acting talents at New York's Michael Howard Studios.

What Was Kerry Washington's Screen Debut, And Which Show Did She Appear In Four Years Later?

She made her screen debut in a 1996 episode of "ABC Afterschool Special" and graduated to the big screen with a co-starring role in the coming-of-age film "Our Song" in 2000.

Apart From Her Acting Career, What Are Some Other Highlights In Kerry Washington's Journey?

Kerry Washington ventured into producing, joined the cast of "American Son," executive produced "Little Fires Everywhere," and played roles in a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, and biopics.

Final Words

Kerry Washington career journey has been nothing short of remarkable, evolving from her early appearances in "ABC Afterschool Special" to gaining recognition for her powerful roles in films like "Ray," "Django Unchained," and "Confirmation."
A native of The Bronx, New York, Washington honed her acting skills at TADA! Youth Theater and Michael Howard Studios after graduating from George Washington University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.
Her extensive filmography showcases her versatility, whether she's taking on roles in comedy, drama, or biopics. Her standout performance in "Scandal" brought her critical acclaim and numerous award nominations.
Beyond acting, she has also delved into producing. Kerry Washington's journey in the entertainment industry continues to be an inspiring narrative of talent, dedication, and success.
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Iram Martins

Iram Martins

Iram Martins is a seasoned travel writer and explorer with over a decade of experience in uncovering the world's hidden gems. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Management from the University of Lisbon, Iram's credentials highlight his authority in the realm of travel. As an author of numerous travel guides and articles for top travel publications, his writing is celebrated for its vivid descriptions and practical insights. Iram’s passion for cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path adventures shines through in his work, captivating readers and inspiring wanderlust. Outside of his writing pursuits, Iram enjoys learning new languages, reviewing films and TV shows, writing about celebrity lifestyles, and attending cultural festivals.
Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller, a Kansas City native, grew up surrounded by the wonders of books and movies, inspired by her parents' passion for education and film. She earned bachelor's degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Kansas before moving to New York City, where she spent a decade at Entertainment Weekly, visiting film sets worldwide. With over 8 years in the entertainment industry, Elisa is a seasoned journalist and media analyst, holding a degree in Journalism from NYU. Her insightful critiques have been featured in prestigious publications, cementing her reputation for accuracy and depth. Outside of work, she enjoys attending film festivals, painting, writing fiction, and studying numerology.
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