We’re counting down the 40 days to NYWIFT’s 40th Anniversary Muse Awards with a look at some of our favorite honorees, all women of vision and achievement who have contributed to the film and television industry. Join us as we look back at #Muse40for40, and buy your tickets for the Muse Awards on Tuesday, December 10th at nywift.org/muse!
#5: Alfre Woodard
By Natascha Bodemann
Oscar nominee, Golden Globe and four-time Emmy Award winner, Oklahoma-born Alfre Woodard had her breakthrough role in 1977 in the legendary off-Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
Ms. Woodard’s illustrious career includes performances in Lawrence Kasdan’s Grand Canyon, John Sayles’ Passion Fish, Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love and Basketball, Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys, Maya Angelou’s Down in the Delta, the ABC drama Desperate Housewives, HBO’s True Blood, and more recently Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Marvel’s Captain America, and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King. Upcoming roles include the Apple+ series See, and a starring role in Juanita, a film she has executive produced.
Woodard received an Oscar nomination for her role in the 1983 drama Cross Creek and won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Miss Evers’ Boys, as well as primetime Emmy Awards for her work in Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Miss Evers’ Boys, and The Practice.
A longtime activist, Woodard cofounded Artists for a New South Africa, and was nominated by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, where she adopted several high poverty and underperforming public schools around the country.
“When I came to L.A. people told me there were no film roles for black actors…I’m not a fool. I know that. But I was always confident that I knew my craft.”
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