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Friday, May 12, 2006

Alfre Woodard as Betty Appelwhite

Alfre Woodard has starred in Beauty Shop, opposite Queen Latifah, The Forgotten with Julianne Moore, Radio with Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris and Deborah Winger, The Core, The Singing Detective with Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr., Showtime's Holiday Heart (for which she was nominated for a 2000 Best Actress Golden Globe Award), Universal's K-PAX, opposite Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges, and in New Line Cinema's Love 'N Basketball. Other credits include the Wesley Snipes production of Down in the Delta, directed by Dr. Maya Angelou, Gurinder Chadha's What's Cooking and Lawrence Kasdan's Mumford. Always the versatile performer, Woodard has lent her voice to animation too, portraying the cheetah mother in Paramount/Nickelodeon's feature, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, and providing the voice of a lemur named "Plio" in the summer blockbuster, Dinosaur. A four-time Emmy Award winner, Woodard was first honored in 1984 for her performance as the grieving mother of a child killed by a police officer on the acclaimed NBC series Hill Street Blues. She won her second Emmy for her portrayal of a rape victim on the pilot of L.A. Law, and that same year was also nominated for her role in the John Sayles telefilm, Unnatural Causes. Her third Emmy was for her role in HBO's Miss Evers' Boys (for which she also received a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a CableACE Award). More recently Woodard received a 2003 Emmy Award for her guest-starring role in The Practice. Previous nominations include two in consecutive years for the PBS production Words by Heart and for her continuing role on the popular series "St. Elsewhere." She was nominated again in 1988 for St. Elsewhere and in 1990 for the Disney Channel telefilm, A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story. In addition she was honored with a CableACE Award for her portrayal of Winnie Mandela in the HBO presentation, Mandela, starring Danny Glover. Woodard also starred in the ensemble film How to Make an American Quilt and in Spike Lee's family drama, Crooklyn. She starred in the USA Cable telefilm The Member of the Wedding, which aired in January 1997, in Star Trek: First Contact and in the thriller Primal Fear, opposite Richard Gere. She co-starred in the NBC-TV adaptation of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Her performance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of August Wilson's play, The Piano Lesson, earned her a Best Actress Award from the Screen Actors Guild and an Emmy nomination. In 1984 she received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Martin Ritt's Cross Creek. Other starring film projects include John Sayles' Passion Fish, Morgan Freeman's South African drama, Bopha!, also starring Danny Glover, Bruce Beresford's Rich in Love, William Friedkin's Blue Chips, Ron Underwood's comedy, Heart and Souls, director Lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon, the comedy Scrooged, Miss Firecracker, opposite Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter, and Robert Altman's Health. She made her motion picture debut in Alan Rudolph's Remember My Name. Always drawn to the theater, Woodard counts among her stage credits Broadway's Drowning Crow, the New York Shakespeare Festival production of David Hare's Map of the World in 1985, and the 1989 production of A Winter's Tale. She starred in A Christmas Carol and Leander Stillwell at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Horatio and Edward Bond's Saved at the Arena Stage in Washington DC, Me and Bessie on Broadway and at San Francisco's Act, and Split Second at the Mayfair Music Hall. She also appeared in the long-running Los Angeles production of Love Letters, and executive-produced East Texas Hot Links at the Met Theatre. Woodard has recently wrapped NBC's upcoming one-hour drama, Inconceivable, New Line's Take the Lead, with Antonio Banderas, and Focus Features' Something New. She currently resides in Santa Monica with her husband and two children.