Carmen Ejogo

Active - 1986 - 2019  |   Born - Jan 1, 1974 in London, England  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Nathan Southern

The daughter of a Nigerian businessman and a Scotch tour guide, exotically beautiful British actress Carmen Ejogo grew up in London and won her first part at age 11, but only broke through to international acclaim in 1997, as Eddie Murphy's onscreen paramour in the comic actioner Metro. Later, Ejogo disclosed the full extent of her dramatic range with a skilled portrayal of Sally Hemings -- Thomas Jefferson's mistress -- (a part she inherited from Thandie Newton and others) in the acclaimed television miniseries Sally Hemings: An American Scandal (2000). The crime comedy What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001), with Danny DeVito and Martin Lawrence, represented a low point, but Ejogo saved face via exemplary supporting work in such pictures as Lackawanna Blues (2005) and The Brave One (2007). In the coming years, Ejogo would find additional success on the small screen, on series like Kidnapped and Chaos.

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Factsheet

  • Born to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father; he died in a car crash when she was young.
  • As a child, was recruited to appear in a music video and was subsequently discovered by a casting agent for a children's modeling agency.
  • Was a year ahead of Kate Beckinsale while attending the Godolphin and Latymer School.
  • Started her TV career as the host of a 1990s kids' show, Saturday Disney.
  • By age 16 she had her own show, The Carmen Ejogo Video Show, on the satellite channel BSB; she left school to focus on her career.
  • Met her future husband, actor Jeffrey Wright, when they costarred in the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Boycott (2001).