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Thandie Newton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Newton at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Melanie Thandiwe Newton

(1972-11-06) 6 November 1972 (age 47)
Alma materDowning College, Cambridge
Years active1991–present
(m. after 1998)
Children3, including Nico Parker

Melanie Thandiwe Newton OBE (born 6 November 1972), known professionally as Thandie Newton (/ˈtændi/), is an English actress. Newton is known for her starring roles, such as the title character in Beloved (1998), Nyah Nordoff-Hall in Mission: Impossible 2 (2000), Christine in Crash (2004), for which she received a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Linda in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Stella in RockNRolla (2008), Condoleezza Rice in W. (2008), Laura Wilson in 2012 (2009), and Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

Since 2016, Newton has played the sentient android, the madam Maeve Millay, in the HBO science fiction-western series Westworld, for which she earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and two Critics Choice Awards, as well as Golden Globe Award, Saturn Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. In 2017, she portrayed DCI Roz Huntley in the BBC drama series Line of Duty, which earned her a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress.

Newton was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to film and to charity.[1]

Early life

Newton was born in Westminster, London, England, the daughter of Nyasha, a Zimbabwean princess of the Shona people (according to Newton),[2][3][4] and Nick Newton, an English[5] laboratory technician and artist.[6] Her birthplace has been incorrectly reported to be Zambia in some biographies,[7] but she has confirmed in interviews that she was born in London.[8][9] The name Thandiwe means "beloved" in the Nguni languages, and "Thandie" is pronounced /ˈtændi/ in English.

Regarding her childhood, Newton remarked at a TED conference, "From about the age of five, I was aware that I didn't fit. I was the black, atheist kid in the all-white, Catholic school run by nuns. I was an anomaly."[10] Newton was brought up in London and Penzance, Cornwall and studied dance at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. Between 1992 and 1995, Newton won a place at Downing College, Cambridge, where she obtained a degree in social anthropology.[11]


Newton in 2007
Newton in 2007

After the film Flirting (1991), Newton played the slave "Yvette" in the Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise film Interview with the Vampire (1994). Newton appeared in the Merchant Ivory production of Jefferson in Paris as Sally Hemings, followed by Jonathan Demme's drama Beloved, based on Toni Morrison's novel (1998), in which she played the title character, the ghost of a young slave girl whose mother murders her to save her from slavery. The film also starred Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Newton then starred as Nyah Nordoff-Hall, again opposite Cruise, in Mission: Impossible 2. Her next role was in the low-budget film It Was an Accident, written by her husband, screenwriter Ol Parker.[12]

Between 2003 and 2005, Newton played Makemba "Kem" Likasu, love interest of John Carter on the American television series ER. She reprised the role for the series finale in 2009. In 2004, she also appeared in The Chronicles of Riddick and Crash. Newton won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for her role in Crash. She played Chris Gardner's wife, Linda Gardner, in The Pursuit of Happyness. Also in 2006, Newton performed on radio in a pantomime version of Cinderella.[13]

In 2007, Newton co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the comedy Norbit as his love interest, and then opposite Simon Pegg as his ex-girlfriend in the 2008 comedy Run Fatboy Run. Newton next portrayed US National Security Advisor-turned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in W., Oliver Stone's biography of President George W. Bush. The film was released 17 October 2008.

Newton was an introducer at Wembley Stadium on 7 July 2007, for the UK leg of Live Earth. She was due to introduce Al Gore to the concert, but he was delayed, leaving Newton to tell jokes in an attempt to entertain the audience.[14] Newton next portrayed fictional US First Daughter Laura Wilson in 2012, a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and released 13 November 2009.

In July 2011, Newton delivered a TED Talk on "Embracing otherness, embracing myself." She discussed finding her "otherness" as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and as an actress playing many different selves.[15] In 2012, she starred alongside Tyler Perry in the romantic drama film Good Deeds. In 2013, Newton starred in Rogue, the first original drama series for DirecTV's Audience Network.[16] She left Rogue during the third season. In 2015, she starred in the US miniseries The Slap.

In 2016, Newton began portraying Maeve Millay in HBO science fiction drama series Westworld, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, among other accolades. In 2017, she served as a narrator for the documentary entitled Bill Cosby: Fall of an American Icon, an exposé on the sexual assault charges laid against Cosby, which aired on BBC One. Newton appeared as Val in the Star Wars film Solo: A Star Wars Story, which was released in May 2018.

Personal life

Newton married English writer, director, and producer Ol Parker in 1998. They have three children: daughters Ripley (b. 2000) and Nico (b. 2004), and son Booker Jombe (b. 2014). Newton had home births with all three of her children.[17] She is vegan and was named PETA's "Sexiest Vegan of 2014" in the UK.[18]

In 2006 Newton contributed a foreword to We Wish: Hopes and Dreams of Cornwall's Children, a book of children's writing published in aid of the NSPCC. In it, she wrote vividly about her childhood memories of growing up in Cornwall, and the way in which the county's cultural heritage made it easy for her to "enrich every situation with layers of magic and meaning."[19]

In 2007 Newton sold her near-new BMW X5 and replaced it with a Toyota Prius after Greenpeace stuck a "This gas-guzzling 4x4 is causing climate change" sticker on her BMW.[20] In 2008 Newton visited poverty-stricken Mali, describing it as a "humbling experience." She visited the village of Nampasso in the Ségou Region of the country.[21] In 2013 Newton led the One Billion Rising flash mob in London, for an end to violence, and for justice and gender equality.[22]

David Schwimmer (who directed Run Fatboy Run) called the actress "the queen of practical jokes."[23] Newton has expressed an affinity for Buddhism.[24][25]

In 2016, Newton stated she had been the victim of a director who repeatedly showed his friends a video of her in a sexually-graphic audition which she made as a teenager.[26][27] Newton cited this experience as being a part of why she had taken the Westworld role, which involved substantial nudity, as it mirrored the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse while also asking moral questions about the meaning of humanity and what it means to be humane.[27] In 2018, Newton said she was disappointed not to have been invited to participate in Time's Up, a movement against sexual harassment, considering that she had experienced being "ostracised" for speaking out about alleged sexual abuse by a director.[28]

She was ranked one of the best dressed women in 2018 by fashion website Net-a-Porter[29] and later that year it was announced that Newton was included in the 2019 edition of the Powerlist, ranking the 100 most influential Black Britons.[30]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Flirting Thandiwe Adjewa
1993 The Young Americans Rachael Stevens
1994 Loaded Zita
Interview with the Vampire Yvette
1995 Jefferson in Paris Sally Hemings
The Journey of August King Annalees Williamsburg
1996 The Leading Man Hilary Rule
1997 Gridlock'd Barbara "Cookie" Cook
1998 Besieged Shandurai Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Beloved Beloved Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
2000 Mission: Impossible 2 Nyah Nordoff-Hall Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Female - Newcomer
Nominated – Empire Award for Best British Actress
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
It Was an Accident Noreen Hurlock
2002 The Truth About Charlie Regina Lambert Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
2003 Shade Tiffany
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick Dame Vaako
Crash Christine Thayer BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Empire Award for Best Actress
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year
London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – BET Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
2006 The Interrogation of Leo and Lisa The Mona Lisa Short film
The Pursuit of Happyness Linda Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
2007 Norbit Kate Thomas
Run Fatboy Run Libby
2008 RocknRolla Stella
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Herself
W. Condoleezza Rice
2009 2012 Laura Wilson
2010 Huge Kris
Vanishing on 7th Street Rosemary
For Colored Girls Tangie Adrose Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Actress
2011 Retreat Kate Kennedy
2012 Good Deeds Lindsey Wakefield
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun Olanna
2018 Gringo Bonnie Soyinka
Solo: A Star Wars Story Val
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Audrey Newhouse
2021 Reminiscence Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Pirate Prince Becky Newton Television film
1997 In Your Dreams Clare Television film
2003–2009 ER Makemba "Kem" Likasu Recurring role
2006 American Dad! Makeva (voice) Episode: "Camp Refoogee"
2013–2015 Rogue Grace Travis Main role
2015 The Slap Aisha Main role
2016–present Westworld Maeve Millay Main role
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2016, 2018)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2018)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2016, 2018)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2017, 2020)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2016)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2016)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television (2016)
2017 Line of Duty DCI Roseanne "Roz" Huntley Main role
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2019 Big Mouth Mona the Hormone Monstress (voice) Recurring role; 2 episodes
2020 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Season 12, episode 2: guest judge

Music video

Year Artist Song Ref.
2017 Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé "Family Feud"


  1. ^ "New Year Honours List 2019". The London Gazette. 29 December 2018. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Stern, Marlow (11 October 2018). "Thandie Newton on the Tragedy of Trump..." The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 10 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  4. ^ O'Toole, Lesley (12 January 2007). "Thandie Newton's Discovery of Gaiety". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  5. ^ Barton, Laura; "'I was so incredibly self-conscious'" Archived 4 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian, 28 May 2008
  6. ^ Lewis, Sian; "Thandie Newton: 'Condi was my hardest role ever'" Archived 29 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 31 October 2008
  7. ^ "Thandie Newton Biography" Archived 21 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine Yahoo! Movies
  8. ^ Williams, Kam; "Sweet as Thandie" Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 24 March 2008
  9. ^ A Taste of My Life, Series 4 (BBC Two, 4 June 2008) Thandie Newton – Quote: "Nigel Slater (host): You were born in London but you didn't stay here for long did you? You went down to Cornwall? Thandie Newton (answers): Actually I don't know how my mum and dad managed to do this. But we lived in Zambia, and my mum was pregnant with me. And I was born on a two-week trip back to London, and then we went back to Zambia and my brother was born there. And we ended up coming to England finally when I was three years old. So my dad could help out with the family antique business."
  10. ^ "Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself". July 2011. Archived from the original on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  11. ^ "News and Events: Downing alumna Thandie Newton wins BAFTA award" Archived 22 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Thandie's Mission, Evening Standard, she also starred in the Guy Ritchie film Rock n' Rolla as a michivious accountant. 22 July 2005. Quote: "...but turned down the Lucy Liu role in Charlie's Angels in favour of making It Was An Accident, a minor film by her scriptwriter husband Ol Parker."
  13. ^ "Doctor Who poised for radio panto" Archived 7 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 15 December 2006
  14. ^ Needham, Alex; "Live Earth: The live blog, part 2" Archived 24 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian, 7 July 2007
  15. ^ Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself, TED, 15 July 2011'
  16. ^ "Rogue to Debut on AUDIENCE Network in April". 7 January 2013. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  17. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (5 March 2014). "Thandie Newton welcomes baby boy Booker Jombe Parker in home birth". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Thandie Newton named PETA's sexiest vegan". Toronto Sun. 23 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  19. ^ "We Wish – Hopes and dreams of Cornwall's children". 30 November 2006. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006.
  20. ^ McLean, Craig (7 January 2007). "Telling it like it is". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
  21. ^ "Thandie Newton humbled by Mali trip". Contact Music. 4 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  22. ^ "Thandie Newton joins women's protest". CNN. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  23. ^ "Actress Newton admits to pranks". BBC News Online. 4 September 2007. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  24. ^ "Buddha Buzz: Mindfulness and Being a Buddhist Woman". Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  25. ^ "A Body in Motion: The For Colored Girls Interview with Kam Williams". Pittsburgh Urban Media. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  26. ^ "Thandie Newton on Why She's Drawn to Tough Roles". W magazine. 5 July 2016. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  27. ^ a b Nededog, Jethro (2 October 2016). "Westworld star Thandie Newton defends her decision to play a brothel madam". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  28. ^ Oppenheim, Maya (25 April 2018). "Thandie Newton explains why she thinks the Time's Up movement didn't want her involved". The Independent. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Best Dressed 2018". Net a. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  30. ^ Hicks, Amber (23 October 2018). "List of 100 most influential black people includes Meghan Markle for first time". mirror. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 September 2020, at 03:00
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