Howard University alumni

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  1. Taraji P. Henson

    Taraji P. Henson


    Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is an American actress and singer. Henson studied acting at Howard University and began her Hollywood career in guest-roles on several television shows before making her breakthrough in Baby Boy (2001). In 2005, she starred in Hustle & Flow and played Queenie in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2010, she appeared in the comedy Date Night and co-starred in the remake of The Karate Kid. In 2012, Henson was in the large ensemble cast film Think Like A Man and reprised her role in its sequel.

  2. Sean Combs

    Sean Combs


    Sean John Combs (born November 4, 1969), also known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy, and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. Combs was born in Harlem and grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. He worked as a talent director at Uptown Records before founding Bad Boy Records in 1993. He signed The Notorious B.I.G. and profited from the success of the artists he signed. He released his debut album No Way Out in 1997, which has been certified seven times platinum and was followed by successful albums such as Forever (1999), The Saga Continues... (2001) and Press Play (2006). In 2009 Combs formed the musical group Diddy – Dirty Money and released the critically well-reviewed and commercially successful album Last Train to Paris (2010).

  3. Laz Alonso

    Laz Alonso


    Lazaro "Laz" Alonso (born March 25, 1974) is an American film and television actor. He is known for playing Tsu'tey in James Cameron's science fiction film Avatar and Fenix "Rise" Calderon in the film Fast & Furious. Alonso has had roles in other films such as Jarhead, This Christmas, and Miracle at St. Anna.

  4. Debbie Allen

    Debbie Allen


    Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen (born January 16, 1950) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series' principal choreographer. She plays Catherine Avery on Grey's Anatomy. She is the younger sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashād.

  5. La La Anthony

    La La Anthony


    Alani Nicole "La La" Anthony (née Vázquez) (born June 25, 1979) is an American radio and television personality, New York Times best-selling author, business woman and actress.

  6. Ananda Lewis

    Ananda Lewis


    Ananda Lewis (born March 21, 1973) is an American television personality, model and social activist. She was an MTV veejay from the late 1990s until 2001, when she left the network to host her own broadcast syndicated television talk show, The Ananda Lewis Show.

  7. Marlon Wayans

    Marlon Wayans


    Marlon Lamont Wayans (born July 23, 1972) is an American actor, model, producer, comedian, writer, and director of movies, beginning with his role as a pedestrian in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka in 1988. He frequently collaborates with his brother Shawn Wayans, as he was on The WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. and in the comedic films Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, White Chicks, Little Man, and Dance Flick. However, Wayans had a dramatic role in Darren Aronofsky's critically acclaimed Requiem for a Dream, which saw his departure from the usual comedies.

  8. Roberta Flack

    Roberta Flack


    Roberta Cleopatra Flack (born February 10, 1937 or 1939) is an American singer and musician. She is best known for her classic #1 singles "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Killing Me Softly with His Song" and "Feel Like Makin' Love", and for "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You", two of her many duets with the late Donny Hathaway.

  9. Phylicia Rashad

    Phylicia Rashad


    Phylicia Rashad (born Phylicia Ayers-Allen; June 19, 1948) is an American actress, singer and stage director, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for this part in 1985 and 1986.

  10. Karen Malina White

    Karen Malina White


    Karen Malina White (born July 7, 1965) is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her roles as Kaneesha Carter, the high school student in the 1989 film, Lean on Me, as Charmaine Brown during the two final seasons on The Cosby Show and the final season of A Different World, Nicolette Vandross on Malcolm & Eddie and the voice of Dijonay Jones on the Disney Channel animated comedy, The Proud Family.

  11. Tracie Thoms

    Tracie Thoms


    Tracie Nicole Thoms (born August 19, 1975) is an American television, film, and stage actress. She is best known for her roles in Rent, Cold Case, The Devil Wears Prada, Death Proof, and the short-lived Fox television series Wonderfalls.

  12. Lynn Whitfield

    Lynn Whitfield


    Lynn Whitfield (née Butler—Smith; born May 6, 1953) is an American actress and producer. She began her acting career in television and theatre, before progressing to supporting roles in film. She won an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and received Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance as Josephine Baker in the HBO biographical drama film The Josephine Baker Story (1991).

  13. Wendy Raquel Robinson

    Wendy Raquel Robinson


    Wendy Raquel Robinson (born July 25, 1967) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as high school principal Regina Grier on The WB comedy sitcom The Steve Harvey Show (1996–2002), and as sports agent Tasha Mack on The CW/BET comedy series The Game (2006–2015).

  14. Kenny Lattimore

    Kenny Lattimore


    Kenny Lattimore (born April 10, 1970) is an American R&B singer.

  15. Roxie Roker

    Roxie Roker


    Roxie Albertha Roker (August 28, 1929 – December 2, 1995) was an American actress, best known for her role as Helen Willis on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons (1975–85), half of the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time television.

  16. Fredricka Whitfield

    Fredricka Whitfield


    Fredricka Whitfield (born May 31, 1965) is a news anchor for CNN. She hosts the weekend daytime edition of CNN Newsroom. She is the daughter of Olympian Mal Whitfield and has a younger half-brother named Edward Whitfield Wright. She became famous for her unexpectedly hostile interview with Joan Rivers, who died two months later, and for her referring to the Dallas police shooters as, "brave and courageous."

  17. Omarosa Manigault

    Omarosa Manigault


    Omarosa (born Omaroseonee Manigault, February 15, 1974) is a reality game show and reality show personality. She was a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's original American version of The Apprentice. She later returned for the TV series sequel, Celebrity Apprentice, and the All-Stars edition of the show. TV Guide included her in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.

  18. Donny Hathaway

    Donny Hathaway


    Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was an American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, "The Ghetto, Part I" in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine "marked him as a major new force in soul music." His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the duet, "Where Is the Love" in 1973. At the height of his career Hathaway was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was known to not take his prescribed medication regularly enough to properly control his symptoms. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway's body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.

  19. Paula Jai Parker

    Paula Jai Parker


    Paula Jai Parker (born August 19, 1969) is an American actress, comedian and director. She had number of supporting roles in films, including Friday (1995), Sprung (1997), Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998), Phone Booth (2002), Hustle & Flow (2005), and Idlewild (2006). Parker also known for her voice of Trudy Proud in the Disney Channel animated comedy series, The Proud Family (2001-2005).

  20. Isaiah Washington

    Isaiah Washington


    Isaiah Washington IV (born August 3, 1963) is an American-Sierra Leonean actor. A veteran of several Spike Lee films, Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy from 2005 until 2007. Washington currently plays Thelonius Jaha on The CW's The 100.

  21. Anthony Anderson

    Anthony Anderson


    Anthony Anderson (born August 15, 1970) is an American actor and writer, and the star of ABC's Black-ish. He has also starred in his own sitcom, All About the Andersons, as well as the Fox sitcom The Bernie Mac Show during the fifth and final season of the show. He is also known for his leading roles in television dramas such as K-Ville, The Shield and as NYPD Detective Kevin Bernard on the television legal drama Law & Order. He has also had supporting roles in films such as Me, Myself & Irene, Transformers, The Departed, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, Scream 4, and Kangaroo Jack. Anderson is also is a regular judge on the Food Network's hit show, Iron Chef America. Anderson currently stars as Andre Johnson on the sitcom Blackish.

  22. Zora Neale Hurston

    Zora Neale Hurston


    Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

  23. Carl Anthony Payne II

    Carl Anthony Payne II


    Carl Anthony Payne II (born May 24, 1969) is a stage and television actor, producer, and director. Payne studied acting at the First All Children's Theater, an off-Broadway repertory theatre company. He attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York and Howard University.

  24. Wendy Davis

    Wendy Davis


    Wendy Davis (born June 30, 1966) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Colonel Joan Burton in Lifetime television series Army Wives (2007–2013).

  25. Chadwick Boseman

    Chadwick Boseman


    Chadwick Aaron Boseman (born November 29, 1976) is an American actor, screenwriter, and playwright. He is best known for portraying Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013) and James Brown in Get on Up (2014). He also had roles in the television series Lincoln Heights (2008) and Persons Unknown (2010), and the films The Express (2008) and Draft Day (2014). He is set to play Black Panther in the films Captain America: Civil War, scheduled for release in 2016, and Black Panther, scheduled for 2018.

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