Anika Noni Rose Biography

Anika Noni Rose photo

Born: September 06, 1972


Date of Birth: September 6, 1972

Anika Noni Rose won the 2004 Tony Award for her role in Caroline, or Change, and was seen weekly as Grace Makutsi on HBO's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. On the big screen, Rose starred in the feature film Dreamgirls.

Classically trained at the San Francisco American Conservatory Theater, Rose wasted no time transitioning to the Broadway stage when she was hired for the production of Footloose. Her theater repertoire also includes Eli's Comin', for which she received an Obie Award, the role of Lutiebelle in the Encores! production of Purlie, The Threepenny Opera, and Tartuffe, which played at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater. She also workshopped Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's Caroline, or Change, which was directed by George C. Wolfe. In 2003, the musical opened at New York's Public Theater, with Rose playing the role of Emmie Thibodeaux. Caroline, or Change moved to Broadway, taking Rose with it. In 2007, Rose starred again on Broadway as Maggie in the revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opposite James Earl Jones, Terrence Howard, and Phylicia Rashad, directed by Deborah Allen. Rose was also a featured vocalist at the Vatican in Leonard Bernstein's Mass.

After Broadway, Rose played a role in the independent comedy feature Just Add Water, directed by Hart Bochner and co-starring Danny DeVito and Justin Long. Rose was later cast in the original television adaptation of Gigi Levangie Grazer's New York Times best seller, The Starter Wife. From director Jon Avnet, the series premiered to record ratings and received several Emmy nominations.

After pursuing her drama career in New York City, Rose quickly realized her potential when she was cast in the critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls. Rose portrayed Lorrell Robinson, the third member of the legendary trio, and mistress to Eddie Murphy's James "Thunder" Early. She also spent time in Africa, portraying Grace Makutsi in Anthony Minghella's production of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Based on the Alexander McCall Smith novels, and produced by The Weinstein Company for the BBC and HBO, she co-starred with Jill Scott.

To date, Rose has received a Drama-Logue Ensemble Award for her role in Insurrection: Holding History, a Garland/Drama-Logue Award for Valley Song at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and was honored in 2004 with a Tony Award win for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, for her role in the widely acclaimed Broadway show Caroline, or Change as well as a Drama Desk Award nomination.

Rose has also achieved the Lucille Lortell Award, a Theatre World Award, and a Clarence Derwent Award. When she reprised her role in the West-Coast productions of Caroline, or Change in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Rose won both the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award and an Ovation Award. She was also nominated for two NAACP Image Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and shared a Grammy nomination with Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson for the soundtrack of Dreamgirls. She performed the nominated Best Original Song from Dreamgirls at the 79th Annual Academy Awards, along with Knowles and Hudson.

Rose hosts AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, an innovative documentary series on contemporary life, art and pop culture in the African Diaspora. The series is produced by the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and co-presented by American Public Television (APT).

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