8 Popular Hollywood Actresses You Didn’t Know Were Of Nigerian Origin

Nigerians abroad have always been known to excel in their chosen fields and careers of which Hollywood is no exception.

A number of these Hollywood actresses who have made a name of themselves are of Nigerian origin.

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In this post, we will be looking at eight of them

1.Caroline Chikezie

Born on February 19, 1974,  in London, England to Nigerian parents of Igbo origin, Caroline Chikezie is an actress and producer best known for playing Sasha Williams in As If, Elaine Hardy in Footballers’ Wives and the Cyberwoman in Torchwood.

Other television work includes 40Judas KissFree Fall and Brothers and Sisters.

2.Hope Olaide Wilson

Hollywood actress, Hope Olaide Wilson was born on August 16, 1985 in the UK to Nigerian parents.

She shuttled between London and Lagos but moved to the States in 1996 from Nigeria when her mother won the Green card Lottery.

She shot into the limelight when she was cast in Tyler Perry’s 2009 hit movie ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’. She has also featured in ‘After The Dark'(2013) and plays the role of Miranda “Diamond” Collins on the 2017 Freeform drama ‘The Fosters’.

3. Adepero Oduye

Actress Adepero Oduye was born in Brooklyn, the United States to Nigerian parents and is one of seven siblings. She, however, decided to pursue her passion for acting upon graduation although she graduated pre-med from Cornell University,

Her breakout role came in 2011 when she starred in award-winning Pariah, for which she received several awards and a nomination for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards. She also starred in historical drama 12 Years a Slave and 2015 comedy drama ‘The Big Short’

4.Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba Glamour Girl Project Rally

Popular for her role as S Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren in TV Show ‘Orange Is The New Black’, Uzo Aduba, was born February 10, 1981 in Boston to Nigerian parents of Igbo origin from Achi in Enugu State.

She has also featured in movies like Pearly Gates, How to Live Like a Lady amongst others.

Uzo won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015.

5.Sophie Okonedo

Born 11 August 1968, Sophie is the daughter of a Nigerian father and an Ashkenazi Jewish mother.

She was brought up in her mother’s Jewish faith and was raised by her mother after her father left them. She has featured in many movies including Hotel Rwanda, The Secret Life of Bees, After Earth, Aeon Flux, Mrs. Mandela and TV shows including the BBC’s The Escape Artist, The Slap, Oliver Twist, Criminal Justice, Scream of the Shalka, Father & Son, etc.

She was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004) and nominated for a Golden Globe Award for a Lead Actress in a Miniseries for her work in Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006)

6.Carmen Ejogo

Nigerian -British actress, Carmen Ejogo was born on 22 October 1973 in Kensington, London, England, to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father Charles Ejogo.

Her film credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2001), Away We Go (2009), Sparkle (2012), Alex Cross (2012), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), It Comes at Night (2017), and Alien: Covenant (2017). She is also known for her role as Seraphina Picquery in the Fantastic Beasts film series.

7. Annie Ilozeh

Born to a Nigerian father of Igbo descent and an American Mother, Annie made her television debut in an episode of the 2007 CBS series How I Met Your Mother. She also starred in other TV series like Arrow, Drop Dead Diva, Empire and Charlie’s Angels.

She also had bit roles in the movies He’s Just Not That Into YouMiss March and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

However, Ilonzeh had her first major film role,  in the biographical drama All Eyez on Me, about hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur.

8.Toks Oladunjoye

Born Olatokunbo Susan Abeke in Lagos in 1975 to a Nigerian father and a Norwegian mother. As a youth, she was educated in Nigeria, Switzerland, and England. She then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre from Smith College, Massachusetts. She is best known for her role as Hayley Shipton in Castle, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the ABC TV sitcom The Neighbors.


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