Octavia Spencer

Active - 1996 - 2018  |   Born - May 25, 1972 in Montgomery, Alabama, United States  |  

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Alabama native Octavia Spencer was working as part of the crew for the 1996 thriller A Time to Kill when she was handed the chance of a lifetime: Director Joel Schumacher thought she was right for a small role in the film, and Spencer's acting career was born. In addition to honing her craft on the professional stages of Los Angeles, Spencer continued to act on screen, appearing in a multitude of projects, including Never Been Kissed, Blue Streak, Big Momma's House, Dinner for Schmucks, and Peep World. Spencer also became a familiar TV face, with starring and recurring roles on LAX, Ugly Betty, Halfway Home, and Raising the Bar. A major boon for Spencer arrived in 2011 when, after 15 years in the industry, her performance in the critically acclaimed period movie The Help earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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Factsheet

  • Had aspirations of pursuing a career in film production.
  • Big-screen debut was in the 1996 drama A Time to Kill.
  • Coauthored children's mystery book The Rock Holler Gang: Jr. Detectives in 2002.
  • In 2003, made stage debut in the Los Angeles production of The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife
  • Included on Entertainment Weekly's 2009 list of 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood. 
  • Went on a 2009 book tour with the author of The Help and gave voice to the black characters in the tome. A few months later, she was cast as Minny Jackson in the film adaptation of the novel.