Home   >   Movie Stars   >   S   >   Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith
  • Biography

Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith is a Tony nominated playwright, performance artist and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, as well as a film actress and star on television's The Practice and The West Wing. She is also an author and a tenured professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with an additional affiliation at the NYU School of Law.

Smith's film credits include Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks, Ivan Reitman's Dave starring Kevin Kline and Rob Reiner's The American President starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.

Over the past 18 years, Smith has created a collective body of work which she calls On the Road: Search for the American Character. She won a 1993 Obie for her performance and was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for writing the one-woman play "Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities" in which she inherits the identities of men and women, black and white, in telling the story of a headline-making cultural clash in New York that came to represent the larger racial conflict in American society. She later examined some of the same issues in her show Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 for which she received two Tony nominations, as well as another Obie, the Drama Desk Award and two NAACP Theatre Awards, among numerous others. Her most recent play entitled House Arrest explored the American presidency throughout history.

In 1996, Smith was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for having created a new form of theatre. She serves as an Artist in Residence at MTV Networks.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Anna Deavere Smith Facts

BirthdaySeptember 18, 1950 (73)
BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.