Sanaa Lathan (full name Sanaa McCoy Lathan) was born on September 19, 1971. She is an American actress.
Biography and Career :
Sanaa Lathan is the second oldest of five children born to Broadway actress and dancer Eleanor McCoy and director/producer Stan Lathan. Surrounded by show business since day one, Sanaa Lathan began training in dance and gymnastics at an early age. Following her parents' divorce, Sanaa Lathan grew up shuttling between her mother's home in New York and Los Angeles, where her father lived.
Being academically competitive and wanting to attain proficiency to become a successful professional, Sanaa Lathan began her college matriculation attending University of California at Berkley in the liberal arts division studying English. While in undergraduate she
continued to nurture the latent desire to express herself through the arts by performing with the Black Theatre Workshop. Nearing the end of her college days with thoughts of what her next move would be Sanaa Lathan considered the natural progression of an English major law school, but her fate was sealed as she was encouraged to apply to the Masters program at the Yale School of Drama by a recruiter. Through the three years of the training and skill attainment that Yale provided, Sanaa was able to visualize how she could effectively combine her talents, giftedness and intelligence to express herself through this powerfully expressive art form called acting. Sanaa Lathan gained a love for the stage and the drama greats like Shakespeare by performing in school productions such as, 'Othello', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'The Winter's Tale', and 'The Twelfth Night'.During her undergraduate education at U.C. Berkeley, where she studied English and toyed with the idea of becoming a lawyer Sanaa Lathan was encouraged to try out for the Yale School of Drama, where she was ultimately accepted.
Sanaa Lathan - Broadway Star :
Following her training at Yale, where she performed in a number of Shakespeare's plays, Sanaa Lathan earned acclaim both off-Broadway and on the Los Angeles stage. Encouraged by her father to make L.A. her professional base, the young actress found early TV work on episodes of such shows as Family Matters, N.Y.P.D. Blue, and Moesha. During that same period, Sanaa Lathan won raves and a Best Actress nod from the Los Angeles N.A.A.C.P. Theatrical Award Committee for her performance in To Take Arms.
In 1998, Sanaa Lathan earned a degree of big-screen recognition with her role as the mother of Wesley Snipes' title character in Blade. She followed this subsequent year with back-to-back turns in The Best Man and The Wood; the former was a comedic ensemble piece starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau Jr., and Monica Calhoun, and featured Sanaa Lathan as Diggs' girlfriend, while the latter, another ensemble piece starring Diggs, Omar Epps, and Richard T. Jones, cast her as the love interest of Epps, who also happened to be her real-life boyfriend. That same year, Sanaa Lathan played yet another girlfriend, this time Eddie Murphy's, in Ted Demme's comedy Life.
Sanaa Lathan and Epps were reunited onscreen in Prince-Bythewood's Love & Basketball, this time playing a couple as passionate about basketball as they are about each other. The widely lauded film served as a break-out role for Sanaa Lathan, who was finally able to play a leading character instead of the girlfriend of one. Her work in Love & Basketball earned her Best Actress nominations for both the N.A.A.C.P. Image Award and the Independent Spirit Award. That same year, Sanaa Lathan earned additional acclaim for her work in the multicultural comedy Catfish in Black Bean Sauce and for her second collaboration with Prince-Bythewood, Disappearing Acts. Based on a novel by Terry McMillan, the HBO movie cast Lathan as an aspiring singer/songwriter in love with a carpenter, played by her Blade co-star Wesley Snipes; for her work in the film Sanaa Lathan earned an Essence Award for Best Actress, as well as the added assurance of a very busy work schedule.
Loved, admired and supported by her family, friends, fellow actors and fans, in addition to possessing that natural beauty, intelligence and gifted talent Sanaa Lathan has the potential to sail over and above the ranks of other prominent stars. With limited yet growing roles or opportunities for African-Americans in general in film and women specifically, Sanaa Lathan is expected to break the barriers and forge her way into film history at an unprecedented and uninhibited style both before and behind the camera in the business.
Something New (2006) .... Kenya McQueen
The Golden Blaze (2005) (V) (voice) .... Monica
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) .... Alexa Woods
... aka Alien vs. Predator (Germany) (USA: short title)
... aka AVP (USA: promotional abbreviation)
Out of Time (2003/I) .... Ann Merai Harrison
Brown Sugar (2002) .... Sidney 'Syd' Shaw
... aka Seven Days
Disappearing Acts (2000) (TV) .... Zora Banks
The Smoker (2000) .... Roxanne
Love & Basketball (2000) .... Monica Wright
... aka Love and Basketball (USA: closing credits title)
The Best Man (1999/I) .... Robin
The Wood (1999) .... Alicia
Catfish in Black Bean Sauce (1999) .... Nina
Life (1999/I) .... Daisy
Blade (1998) .... Vanessa Brooks
"LateLine" (1998) TV Series .... Briana Gilliam
- You're Under a Rasta (1998) TV Episode .... Shirley Barish
Miracle in the Woods (1997) (TV) .... Young Lilly
"Built to Last" (1997) TV Series
Drive (1997) .... Carolyn Brody
- Revenge of the Nerd (1997) TV Episode .... Allison
- A Concerted Effort: Part 1 (1996) TV Episode .... Ebony
- A Concerted Effort: Part 2 (1996) TV Episode .... Ebony
"In the House"
- The Curse of Hill House (1996) TV Episode .... Charese
Awards and Nominalisations :
In 2001, won the "Rising Star" award at the Acapulco Black Film Festival.
In 2004, won "Best Performance by an Actress" at the American Black Film Festival for her work in the film Out of Time.
In 2001, won the "Best Actress" award at the BET Awards for her work in the film Love & Basketball.
Has won several "Best Actress" awards from the Black Reel Awards.
Has been noninated for several NAACP Image Awards, and won in 2001 for "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" for her work in Love & Basketball.
In 2001, was nominated for "Best Female Lead" at the Independent Spirit Award for her work in Love & Basketball.
She was nominated for a Tony Award in 2004 for stage version of Raisin in the Sun
Sanaa Lathan Lists