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Danielle Brooks
American actress

Danielle Brooks

Danielle Brooks
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
Is Actor Film actor Television actor Stage actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 17 September 1989, Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, USA
Age 32 years
Star sign Virgo
Juilliard School
Theatre World Award 2016
The details (from wikipedia)


Danielle Brittany Brooks (born September 17, 1989) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black and the voice of Officer Pearle Watson on the HBO Max animated series, Close Enough. She received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in the 2015 Broadway production of The Color Purple.

Early life and education

Brooks was born in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in South Carolina, in a Christian family; her father was a deacon, and her mother, a minister. She began acting at the age of six in a nativity play put on by her church. For her final two years of high school, she attended South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, a selective arts high school. She studied drama at the Juilliard School and graduated in 2011.


After graduating from Juilliard, Brooks won roles in two theater productions: the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Servant of Two Masters, and Blacken the Bubble. She left both productions in 2013 to join the cast of the Netflix-produced television series Orange Is the New Black, a show about a women's prison, based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name. Brooks played as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson. Her character originally was intended to be featured in the show for only two episodes, but was written into the rest of the first season and subsequent seasons. Taystee's onscreen best friend Poussey is played by Samira Wiley, with whom Brooks has been friends since they met while studying together at Juilliard. Brooks' performance on the show has been favorably reviewed by TV critics, with one writer calling her "the breakout actress of the show and one of the most refreshing and exciting new talents of 2013." Brooks was upgraded from a recurring cast member to a series regular for the show's second season. She competed against co-star Uzo Aduba in an episode of Spike's Lip Sync Battle that aired on June 28, 2017. Brooks won with performances of Ciara's "1, 2 Step" and Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer".

In September 2013, Brooks was cast in a third season episode of the HBO series Girls, becoming the first African-American actress on the show.

Brooks made her Broadway debut in the 2015 revival of The Color Purple as Sofia. The musical opened on December 10, 2015, at the Bernard B. Jacobs. Brooks received good notices for her performance, and received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. In June 2019, she played Beatrice in The Public Theater's production of Much Ado About Nothing, receiving a Drama League Award nomination for her performance.

It has also been announced that Brooks would star in a Broadway revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson in 2022 alongside Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington and directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson. It is also planned that this cast will then star in a film adaptation of the play, with a director still to be named.

Personal life

On July 2, 2019, Brooks announced that she was pregnant with her first child. On November 16, 2019, she gave birth to a girl, Freeya Carel Gelin.



Year Title Role Notes
2014 Time Out of Mind Receptionist
2015 I Dream Too Much Abbey
Phenomenal Woman, a Short Film Woman Short film
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Olive Blue/Monica the Crossing Guard (voice)
2018 Sadie Carla
2019 Clemency Evette
The Day Shall Come Venus
The Public's Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
All the Little Things We Kill Claire Soto
2020 Eat Wheaties! Wendy
2021 Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Mahalia Jackson


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Modern Love Raimy TV movie
2013 Black Girls Rock! 2013 Herself TV movie
2013–2019 Orange Is the New Black Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson Main cast
2014 Girls Laura Episode: "Females Only"
2015–2017 Master of None Shannon 3 episodes
2016 Lasso & Comet Comet (voice) Pilot
2017 Tangled: The Series Ruthless Ruth (voice) Episode: "The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth"
Lip Sync Battle Herself Episode: "Danielle Brooks vs. Uzo Aduba"
2018 Project Runway All Stars Herself Episode: "Damsels in Distress"
High Maintenance Regine Episode: "Namaste"
Elena of Avalor Charica (voice) Episode: "A Lava Story"
2020–present Close Enough Pearle Watson Recurring role (season 1); main (season 2)
2020 Social Distance Imani
Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine Jordana Bachman Netflix TV Special
2022 Peacemaker Leota Adebayo HBO Max's TV series

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2013 Young Hollywood Award Breakthrough Actress Orange is the New Black Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2015 Won
2016 Won
Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical The Color Purple Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Theatre World Award Honoree
2017 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
2020 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Much Ado About Nothing Nominated
2021 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Television Movie Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Nominated
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 14 Jan 2022. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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