Kerry Washington has shot to super-stardom as Olivia Pope, a powerful Crisis Manager, in ABC’s presidential drama, Scandal. This may be her first lead role on a television show, but Kerry is no stranger to the screen. First appearing on an ABC afterschool special as a teenager, Kerry then graduated with a theatre degree from George Washington University. Starting with small rolls on television shows such as Law & Order and Deadline, her acting career developed in movies like Save the Last Dance, Ray, The Last King of Scotland, and Fantastic Four. Recently, Kerry has been featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained and has played the lead, opposite Craig Robinson, in Peeples. Kerry’s role in Scandal has gained her an Emmy nomination, a win for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series at the 44th NAACP Image Awards, and she was presented with the NAACP President’s Award, as well. She was also named TV Guide’s favorite Actress of 2013 and Scandal won favorite drama of the year. In her personal life, Kerry married NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha in June 2013.
Kerry Washington is an advocate for politics, cancer research, and women’s rights and education. Just this month, a documentary called Girls Rising—which tracks the paths of nine girls trying to get education in nine developing countries— was released, with Kerry narrating part of the film. On the importance of women’s education, Kerry has said, “it really is a life-or-death issue…if a child is born to a woman who can read, they are 50 percent more likely to live above the age of five. So this is about saving children’s lives.” She also supports women by being on the board of directors of V-DAY, an anti-violence-against-women organization and in 2007 she organized a team for Lee National Denim Day, to support the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Finally (if she wasn’t busy enough!), Kerry is part of Americans for the Arts, which supports the arts and arts education.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
To get involved with Girls Rising, the new documentary Kerry narrates, visit the Girls Rising website at: http://girlrising.com/