Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira

Highest Rated: 96% Black Panther (2018)

Lowest Rated: 10% My Soul to Take (2010)

Birthday: Feb 14, 1978

Birthplace: Grinnell, Iowa, USA

Actress and playwright Danai Gurira won critical acclaim with her first play, "In the Continuum" (2006), which addressed social and political issues in her parents' home country of Africa. She would pen two more well regarded works - 2009's "Eclipsed" and 2011's "The Convert, both of which concerned African issues - while enjoying a second career as an actress on television and in features like "The Visitor" (2009). Two years later, Gurira would enjoy her most prominent acting turn as the flinty zombie fighter Michonne on "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 2010- ). The positive response to her performance, in addition to her growing profile in the theater world, indicated that Gurira was poised for stardom in both mediums. Born Danai Jekesai Gurira on Feb. 14, 1978 in Grinnell, IA, she was the second of two children born to academic parents from Zimbabwe, who moved the family back to Africa when she was five years old. There, she enjoyed a happy childhood that soon became focused on performing. After high school, she returned to the United States, where she attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota before earning her masters degree in acting from the Tisch School at New York University. With Nikkole Salter, she wrote the off-Broadway play, "In the Continuum" (2006), about the lives of two women infected with HIV, which won the Obie and Outer Critics Circle Awards for writing, while Gurira herself claimed the Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress in 2007. That same year, she made her feature film debut in "The Visitor" (2007) as a young Senegalese woman who helped a widowed economics professor (Richard Jenkins) find joy and purpose in his life. Minor roles in "Ghost Town" (2008) and Wes Craven's "My Soul to Take" (2010) soon followed, as did Gurira's Broadway debut as an actress in a production of August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" in 2009. That same year, she premiered her second play, "Eclipsed" (2009), about a quartet of women held captive by a rebel leader during the war in Liberia in 2003. The production won Best New Play at the 2010 Helen Hayes Awards as well as Best Playwright for Gurira from the NAACP Theater Awards that same year. In 2011, she appeared in William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" with the New York Shakespeare Festival, and then premiered her third play, "The Convert," about a teenage girl in 19th century Zimbabwe who turned to Christianity to evade an arranged marriage. Like its predecessors, the play won several major theater awards, including the 2011 Stavis Award and Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award. After enjoying a supporting role in a six-episode story arc on "Treme" (HBO, 2010-13), Gurira earned her breakout screen role as Michonne, a tough, resourceful new character on the third season of "The Walking Dead"; Michonne immediately became not only a fan favorite, but one of the series' most important characters Gurira was subsequently cast as the lead in "Mother of George" (2013), an independent drama with an African setting. In addition to her acting and playwrighting careers, Gurira was co-founder of Almasi, an organization devoted to supporting arts education in Zimbabwe. In 2015, Gurira's fourth play, "Familiar," was produced. After playing the mother of iconic rapper Tupac Shakur in the biopic "All Eyez on Me" (2017), Gurira joined the cast of another international phenomenon with her role as Okoye in the blockbuster "Black Panther" (2018). She reprised the role later the same year in "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018).

Highest rated movies




94% 90% Avengers: Endgame Okoye (Character) $858.4M 2019
85% 91% Avengers: Infinity War Okoye (Character) $678.8M 2018
96% 79% Black Panther Okoye (Character) $700.2M 2018
No Score Yet 83% The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking Unknown (Character) - 2017
18% 53% All Eyez on Me Afeni Shakur (Character) $44.9M 2017
91% 65% Mother of George Adenike Olumide Balogen (Character) $142.5K 2013
45% 26% Restless City Sisi (Character) - 2011
10% 26% My Soul to Take Jeanne-Baptiste (Character) $14.6M 2010
76% 30% 3 Backyards Woman in Blue Dress (Character) - 2010
90% 84% The Visitor Zainab (Character) $9.4M 2007


No Score Yet No Score Yet The Walking Dead: Episode Diaries Michonne (Character) 2020-2021
80% 78% The Walking Dead Michonne (Character) 2012-2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter Guest 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live! Guest 2018-2019 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Good Morning America Guest 2019 2015-2016
No Score Yet 20% The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Guest 2019
No Score Yet 56% The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Guest 2019 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Breaking Big Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet q Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Ellen DeGeneres Show Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Live with Kelly and Ryan Guest 2017-2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Pop Life Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet The View Guest 2018 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Marilyn Denis Show Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet etalk Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Social Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tavis Smiley Guest 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet LIVE with Kelly Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Charlie Rose Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Theater Talk Guest 2016
No Score Yet 44% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Live! With Kelly and Michael Guest 2016 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Inside the Actors Studio Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Meredith Vieira Show Guest 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Conan Guest 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Katie Guest 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Larry King Now Guest 2013
97% 95% Treme, New Orleans Jill (Guest Star) 2010-2011
No Score Yet 87% Lie to Me Michelle Russo (Guest Star) 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 2009
77% No Score Yet Life on Mars Unknown (Guest Star) 2009


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