Opelika, Alabama, USA
Warren's parents - her father is a policeman, her mother is an administrator at the Tuskegee Institute - steeped her in literature and theater when she was growing up. After leaving Auburn University, she decided to pursue acting. For a couple of months, she had to live in a car. Then she got her breakthrough role as Ray Charles' mother, Aretha, in Ray (2004/I). Before Oscar nominations were announced, Entertainment Weekly fought for Warren to be recognized as Best Supporting Actress, assuming she would be overshadowed by her co-stars, Kerry Washington and Regina King. Unfortunately, none of the actresses were nominated, and Warren has remained under the radar. Nevertheless, she's comfortable with her anonymity.