Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo

About Cynthia Erivo

Actress and singer Cynthia Erivo made her West End debut in 2011 before collecting Grammy and Tony Awards for her portrayal of Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of the musical The Color Purple. She made her big-screen debut in 2018's Widows, directed by Steve McQueen. Quickly taking Hollywood by storm, Erivo became an Oscar nominee, garnering nods for both actress and best song ("Stand Up") for 2019's Harriet.
Born Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo to Nigerian parents in South London, Erivo started out on a path to study music psychology at university but ultimately graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After appearing on smaller stages, her first role in the West End was as Madeleine in the 2011 production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She went on to tour the U.K. in Sister Act and star off-West End in the musical version of The Color Purple, playing Celie. Back on the West End, at the London Palladium, she was cast in I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical. While continuing to find work in London theater, she branched into television with a guest spot on the comedy Chewing Gum in 2015. That October, she released the collaborative album Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett Sing Scott Alan with her fellow stage actor. A month later, a Broadway revival of The Color Purple with Erivo as Celie began previews. It opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on December 10, 2015.
Early in 2016, the Broadway label released The Color Purple [New Broadway Cast Recording], featuring Erivo alongside castmates Danielle Brooks and, in her Broadway debut, Jennifer Hudson. That year, Erivo also appeared on the British TV shows Mr. Selfridge and The Tunnel, and in 2017, she introduced a recurring character on Broad City. The Steve McQueen film Widows marked Erivo's film debut in 2018.
In 2019, Erivo starred as Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet. Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, and she got a second one for Best Original Song for "Stand Up," which she co-wrote for the film with Joshuah Brian Campbell. She next appeared in the HBO crime miniseries The Outsider and played Aretha Franklin on the National Geographic anthology series Genius. ~ Marcy Donelson

  • HOMETOWN
    Stockwell, London, England
  • BORN
    January 8, 1987

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