Regina King

Regina King
Regina King by Gage Skidmore.jpg
King at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Regina Rene King

(1971-01-15) January 15, 1971 (age 50)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
  • Actress
  • director
Years active1985–present
Ian Alexander
(m. 1997; div. 2007)
RelativesReina King (sister)
AwardsFull list

Regina Rene King (born January 15, 1971[1]) is an American actress and director. She is the recipient of several awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and four acting Primetime Emmy Awards, the most for an African-American performer.[2] Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.[3]

King first gained attention for her role as Brenda Jenkins in the television series 227 from 1985 to 1990. Notable roles followed in the films Friday (1995) and Jerry Maguire (1996), and the crime television series Southland (2009–2013). From 2015 to 2017, King starred in the ABC anthology series American Crime, for which she won two Primetime Emmy Awards, and in 2018, she starred in the Netflix miniseries Seven Seconds, for which she won her third Emmy Award. She starred Barry Jenkins' film adaptation of the James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). For her performance she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. King won her fourth Emmy Award for starring in the dystopian superhero limited series Watchmen. (2019)

King has also played supporting roles in the films Boyz n the Hood (1991), Poetic Justice (1993), Ray (2004), as well as in the comedies Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005). Her other television roles include the drama series The Leftovers from 2015 to 2017 and the sitcom The Big Bang Theory from 2013 to 2019.

King has directed episodes for several television shows, including Scandal in 2015 and 2016 and This Is Us in 2017. She has also directed the music video for the 2010 song "Finding My Way Back" by Jaheim. Her feature film directorial debut came with the drama One Night in Miami... (2020), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director and a Director Guild of America Award for First Time Feature Film. She became the second black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director.

Early life and education

King was born in Cincinnati and grew up in View Park–Windsor Hills. She is the eldest daughter of Gloria (Cain), a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician.[4][5] King's parents divorced in 1979.[6] King's younger sister is former actress Reina King, who appeared on What's Happening Now!! King attended Westchester High School; graduating in 1988[7] and later attended the University of Southern California.[8]


Early work in television and film

King began her acting career in 1985 playing the role of Brenda Jenkins on the television series 227,[9] a role she played until the show ended in 1990. She went on to appear in the John Singleton films Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Higher Learning.[10] In 1995, she was featured in the hit comedy film Friday.[10] In 1996, she starred in the Martin Lawrence dark comedy-romance A Thin Line Between Love and Hate as Mia.[11] King gained fame starring in the 1996 blockbuster romantic comedy film Jerry Maguire as Marcee Tidwell.[10][12] She had a role in Enemy of the State[13] and was also featured in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Mighty Joe Young, Down to Earth, Daddy Day Care, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, A Cinderella Story, Ray, and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.[14][15]

Beginning in the mid-2000s, she had ongoing roles on several TV series, including acclaimed work as the voice of Huey and Riley Freeman for the animated series The Boondocks and Detective Lydia Adams on the TNT police drama Southland.[16] She also appeared in roles on 24, The Big Bang Theory, and Shameless. In 2007 she played Lisa Moore in This Christmas.

Breakthrough and critical success

King was a cast member on ABC's John Ridley-penned ensemble drama American Crime, playing three roles, including a devout member of the Nation of Islam and the sister of a drug addict accused of murder.[17] In September 2015 and September 2016, King won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie for American Crime.[18][17] In 2018, she played the role of the mother of a murdered black teenager in the Netflix original series Seven Seconds, winning her third Primetime Emmy Award.[19] Her performance in the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins, garnered critical acclaim and earned her the Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[20]

King starred in the 2019 series Watchmen, for which she won her fourth Primetime Emmy Award. In July 2019, it was announced King would direct One Night in Miami... based upon the play of the same name.[21] Principal photography began in January 2020.[22] The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2020, the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected in the festival's history.[23]

In May 2021, it was announced that King would direct race-themed monster movie Bitter Root for Legendary Entertainment.[24]

Personal life

King was married to Ian Alexander from 1997 to 2007.[25] They have a son.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Boyz n the Hood Shalika
1993 Poetic Justice Iesha
1995 Higher Learning Monet
1995 Friday Dana Jones
1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate Mia Williams
1996 Jerry Maguire Marcee Tidwell
1998 Rituals N/A Short film
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Vanessa
1998 Enemy of the State Carla Dean
1998 Mighty Joe Young Cecily Banks
1999 Love and Action in Chicago Lois Newton
2001 Down to Earth Sontee Jenkins
2002 Truth Be Told Rayne
2003 Daddy Day Care Kim Hinton
2003 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Grace Rossiter
2004 A Cinderella Story Rhonda
2004 Ray Margie Hendrix
2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Sam Fuller
2006 The Ant Bully Kreela Voice
2007 Year of the Dog Layla
2007 This Christmas Lisa Whitfield-Moore
2010 Our Family Wedding Angela
2013 Let the Church Say Amen Director
2014 Planes: Fire & Rescue Dynamite Voice
2018 If Beale Street Could Talk Sharon Rivers Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress[26]
2021 The Harder They Fall Post-production[27]


Year Title Role Notes
1985–1990 227 Brenda Jenkins Main role (seasons 1–5)
1994 Northern Exposure Mother Nature Episode: "Baby Blues"
1994 New York Undercover Marah Episode: "Tasha"
1995 Living Single Zina Episode: "The Shake-Up"
1999 Where the Truth Lies Lillian Rose-Martin Television film
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Allie Television film
2002 Leap of Faith Cynthia Main role (season 1)
2002 Damaged Care Cheryl Griffith Television film
2005–2014 The Boondocks Riley Freeman / Huey Freeman Voice; Main role (seasons 1–4)
2006 Women in Law N/A Pilot
2007 24 Sandra Palmer Main role (season 6)
2008 Living Proof Ellie Jackson Television film
2009–2013 Southland Detective Lydia Adams Main role (seasons 1–5)
2012 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (guest judge) Episode: "Dragazines"
2013–2019 The Big Bang Theory Janine Davis 6 episodes
2014 The Strain Ruby Wain 3 episodes
2014 Shameless Gail Johnson 4 episodes
2014 The Gabby Douglas Story Natalie Hawkins Television film
2015–2017 American Crime Aliyah Shadeed Recurring role (season 1)
Terri LaCroix Main role (season 2)
Kimara Walters Main role (season 3)
2015, 2017 The Leftovers Erika Murphy Main role (season 2); guest role (season 3)
2018 Seven Seconds Latrice Butler Main role
2019 Watchmen Angela Abar / Sister Night Main role
2021 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Regina King/Nathaniel Rateliff"

As director

Year Title Notes
2013 Southland Episode: "Off Duty"
2015 Being Mary Jane 6 episodes
2015–2016 Scandal 2 episodes
2016 The Catch Episode: "The Princess and the I.P."
2016 Animal Kingdom Episode: "Child Care"
2016 Greenleaf Episode: "Veni, Vidi, Vici"
2016 Pitch Episode: "The Break"
2017 This Is Us Episode: "The 20s"[28]
2017 Shameless Episode: "Fuck Paying It Forward"[29]
2018 The Good Doctor Episode: "Heartfelt"
2018 Insecure Episode: "Ghost-Like"
2020 One Night in Miami... Feature film;[30] also executive producer

As music video director

Year Song Artist
2010 "Finding My Way Back" Jaheim
2011 "Not My Daddy" Kelly Price featuring Stokley

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Regina King Biography at". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  2. ^ Sep. 20, Tracy Brown Digital Editor; Pm, 20206:15 (September 21, 2020). "Regina King ties record for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Davis, Viola (April 17, 2019). "Regina King". Time. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  4. ^ "Regina King Biography (1971-)". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  5. ^ Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, December 17, 2018
  6. ^ "Regina King profile at Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  7. ^ 1988 Westchester High School Yearbook (Los Angeles, California)
  8. ^ "The scene stealer". Vulture. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. p. 155.
  10. ^ a b c "Regina King's Most Memorable Roles". Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  11. ^ "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate". Variety. March 31, 1996. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  12. ^ Morris, Wesley (March 6, 2016). "Regina King Has So Many Stories to Tell". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  13. ^ "Enemy of the State". November 20, 1998. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  14. ^ "Review: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous". Slant magazine. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  15. ^ "Regina King". IMDb. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Regina King is the queen of 'Southland'". Newsday. February 25, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Aliyah Shadeed played by Regina King". ABC. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (October 25, 2017). "Film News Roundup: Regina King Joins Barry Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk'". Variety. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (September 17, 2018). "Regina King Lands Her Third Emmy; Portrays Mom Whose Son Is Killed By Police". Deadline. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  20. ^ "Regina King wins supporting actress Oscar for 'Beale Street'". Reuters. February 24, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  21. ^ Day-Ramos, Dino (July 9, 2019). "Regina King To Direct Adaptation Of One Night In Miami". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  22. ^ Fleming Jr (January 7, 2020). "Regina King Directing Debut One Night In Miami Underway With Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge & Leslie Odom Jr As '60s Icons". Mike. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  23. ^ Bakare, Lanre (September 7, 2020). "Regina King makes history at Venice film festival with One Night in Miami". The Guardian. Venice. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  24. ^ Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (May 11, 2021). "Regina King to Direct Race-Themed Monster Movie Bitter Root for Legendary". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  25. ^ a b Tillet, Salamishah (January 15, 2021). "Regina King: Speaking Truth to Power Through Her Art". The New York Times.
  26. ^ "Regina King wins Oscar for best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk". the Guardian. February 25, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  27. ^ N'Duka, Amanda; N'Duka, Amanda (September 11, 2020). "Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Oscar Winner Regina King, More Join Idris Elba & Jonathan Majors In 'The Harder They Fall' Western At Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  28. ^ Williams, Kendall (October 31, 2017). "This Is Us Season 2 Episode 6 Review: The 20s". Den of Geek. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  29. ^ Hampton, Shanola (September 18, 2018). ""The queen has arrived to direct episode 4!!!! Yaaaaassss! #ReginaKing #Shameless"". Instagram.
  30. ^ Ramos, Dino. "Regina King To Direct Adaptation Of One Night In Miami". Deadline. Retrieved September 15, 2019.

External links

Awards and achievements
BET Award
Preceded by
Halle Berry
Best Actress
for Ray
Succeeded by
Taraji P. Henson
NAACP Image Award
Preceded by
Alfre Woodard
for Radio
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
for Ray
Succeeded by
Cicely Tyson
for Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Satellite Award
Preceded by
Patricia Clarkson
for Pieces of April
Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical
for Ray
Succeeded by
Rosario Dawson for Rent


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