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Birth Name: Thandiwe (pronounced Tan-dee) Adjewa Newton
Date of Birth: November 6, 1972
Place of Birth: Zambia
Height: 5' 2"
Best Known For: Mission: Impossible 2, Crash
|Thandie Newton Biography
Thandie Newton was born on November 6, 1972, in Zambia. She was raised in Penzance, Cornwall, England, from the age of 5, by her Zimbabwean mother and British father. At age 11, Newton began attending the London's Art Educational School, where she studied modern dance. She later attended Downing College, University of Cambridge, where she earned a degree in anthropology. Though dance was her first desired profession, Newton experienced a back injury which left her unable to continue dancing. She then turned to acting and began auditioning for films.
Newton's first film role was a significant part in 1991's Flirting, opposite Nicole Kidman. After getting a taste of professional acting, Newton made the move to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time. Unfortunately, her British accent severely narrowed the roles she was considered for and she was not receiving the work she had hoped to find. She then returned to England to attend Cambridge University.
While in school, Newton continued auditioning and received some roles including a part in The Young Americans starring Harvey Keitel in 1993, and the highly successful film Interview With the Vampire in 1994, playing the first victim of Brad Pitt's character. In 1995 Newton was cast in the Jefferson in Paris, which gave her some additional exposure.
After completing school, Newton's first acting gig was in The Journey of August King in 1995, as a runaway slave in 1815. In 1996, she was seen in Anna Campion's mystery thriller Loaded playing one of a group of tragedy-prone high school graduates. She then appeared in the film The Leading Man that same year, in which she played an actress dallying with a movie star played by Jon Bon Jovi. In 1997, Newton was praised for her performance in GRIDLOCK'd, followed by an appearance in Beloved in 1998, opposite Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.
Newton's big break came in 2000 when she starred opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 2. Though the role launched Newton into the spotlight, it took two years before she landed another major leading role. That role was appearing opposite Mark Walhberg in the romantic thriller The Truth About Charlie, a remake of the 1963 film Charade.
In 2004, she was seen in the independent feature Shade, playing a seductive con artist, followed by an appearance in the sci-fi sequel The Chronicles of Riddick as the sultry scheming Dame Vaako on the hunt for the fugitive Riddick, played by Vin Diesel. The following year, she acted alongside and all-star cast in the race-themed drama Crash. She played an upper-middle-class black woman who is molested by a white police officer. Newton was honored with a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006, and the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2005.
Between 2003 and 2005 Newton appeared in 11 episodes of the medical drama ER as Makemba 'Kem' Likasu, the love interest of Noah Wyle's character. In 2006, she voiced a character for the animated series American Dad!. In 2006, Newton was seen in the film based on the autobiographical book of the same name, The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. The following year, she starred opposite Eddie Murphy in the comedy Norbit, and appeared in the David Schwimmer-directed film, Run, Fat Boy, Run, a comedy written by and starring Simon Pegg. In 2008, Newton will be seen in the Guy Ritchie film RocknRolla with Gerard Butler and Jeremy Piven.Newton married British writer and director Oliver Parker in 1998. The couple have two daughters: Ripley, born in 2000, and Nico, born in 2004.
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