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Sophie Okonedo


Sophie Okonedo CBE (born 11 August 1968) is a Nigerian English actress and narrator. Okonedo was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019, both for services to drama.


 The recipient of a Tony Award, she has been nominated for an Academy Award, three BAFTA TV Awards, Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe Award.


Having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art she starred as Cressida in the 1999 Royal National Theatre production of Troilus and Cressida.


 She made her Broadway debut portraying Ruth Younger in the 2014 revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.


 She returned to Broadway as Elizabeth Proctor in the 2016 revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible for which she was nominated for her second Tony Award. 


She returned to the stage portraying Cleopatra from 2018 to 2019 in the National Theatre production of Antony and Cleopatra for which she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress.


She began her film career in the British coming-of-age drama Young Soul Rebels (1991) before appearing in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), and Stephen Frears's Dirty Pretty Things (2002). 


Her breakthrough role was as Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004) for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. 


She continued acting in films such as Æon Flux (2005), Martian Child (2007), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), Skin (2008), Christopher Robin (2018), Wild Rose (2018), and Death on the Nile (2022).


For her television work, she earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for the miniseries Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006), and three BAFTA TV Award nominations for Mrs. Mandela (2010), Criminal Justice (2010), and Criminal: UK (2021). 


She was also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for her guest role in Ratched (2020). She is also known for Father & Son (2009), The Hollow Crown (2016), Wanderlust (2018), and Flack (2019-2020).


Okonedo was born on 11 August 1968 in London, the daughter of Joan (née Allman), a Jewish Pilates teacher who was born in the East End of London, and Henry Okonedo (1939–2009), a British Nigerian who worked for the government.


 Okonedo's maternal grandparents, who spoke Yiddish, were from families that had emigrated from Poland and Russia. Okonedo was raised in her mother's Jewish faith.


Okonedo was raised in the Chalkhill Estate, part of the Wembley Park district in the London Borough of Brent.