One On One: Patina Miller
Jan06

One On One: Patina Miller

South Carolina native Patina Miller is an award winning tipple threat. The singer-dancer-actress first got noticed on the theater scene in 2009 as the star of Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy. She earned rave reviews for playing the accidental nun and then took center stage again in the Broadway revival of Pippin, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The 30-year-old Carnegie Mellon University alum’s TV and film credits include “All My Children,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part & 2” as Commander Paylor and can now seen on primetime starring as press coordinator Daisy Grant on the CBS drama “Madame Secretary.”

One On One: Tessa Thompson
Dec04

One On One: Tessa Thompson

Los Angeles native Tessa Thompson has been living the dream ever since being discovered as a child walking down Hollywood Blvd. with her father, Marc Anthony Thompson—singer/songwriter of the group Chocolate Genius. The 31-year-old, who studied drama at Santa Monica High and also grew up part time in New York (where her father’s group is based), won a NAACP Award in 2003 for her role as Juliet in a New Orleans production of Romeo & Juliet. Other credits include “Veronica Mars,” “When A Stranger Calls,” Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls," and several guest spots on TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Heroes” and “Private Practice.” These days, Thompson is getting her best film roles yet with a starring role in the indie satire “Dear White People,” which premiered in October, and playing a civil rights activist in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming film, “Selma,” based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.

One On One: Nate Parker
Nov04

One On One: Nate Parker

Growing up poor in Virginia, Nate Parker had one goal: a college education that would bring a job he could support his family on. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, fate took over when an agent approached Parker, which prompted Parker to move to L.A. In less than a week he acquired representation with one of the top ten agencies in the city and three months later, he’d landed his first job—a guest stint on CBS’ “Cold Case”—and he hasn’t stopped working. From his role of troubled star debater in “The Great Debaters,” to Alicia Keyes’ love interest in “The Secret Life Of Bees,” to portraying the first NAACP President Ben Chavis in “Blood Done Sign My Name,” and starring in George Lucas’ film “Red Tails,” the married father of three leans toward playing strong black characters that provide a positive male image. This month, Parker stars alongside up-and-coming British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw in “Beyond The Lights.”

One On One: Laurence Fishburne
Oct13

One On One: Laurence Fishburne

If there’s one word to describe Laurence Fishburne, it’s versatile. From single father in Boyz N The Hood to Morpheus in the blockbuster science fiction movie series The Matrix, Fishburne has built a diverse resume of stellar performances on stage, screen and TV – proving along the way that he can master almost any role. Among his notable screen credits are Clint Eastwood's Mystic River; Oliver Parker's Othello, for which he was the first African-American actor to play the title character in a major film version; John Singleton's Higher Learning; & Francis Ford Coppola's classic Apocalypse Now. In 1992, he earned an Emmy Award for his performance in the HBO-series Tribeca. But it was his role as Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It that earned him his biggest honor – an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. For Fishburne, who began acting when he was 12, success is no patent formula. These days the Georgia native is doing a lot more primetime as a regualar cast member on NBC’s Hannibal and a co-starring role in the new ABC series Black-ish.

One On One: Tracee Ellis Ross
Sep10

One On One: Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross, who’s best known role came fifteen years ago as attorney Joan Carol Clayton on UPN’s “Girlfriends,” which ran for eight seasons, and made her TV debut hosting on “The Dish,” is returning to primetime television this fall. The 41-year-old actress and three-time NAACP Image Award winner—who also just happens to be the daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross, will star opposite Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne in “Blackish,” an ABC comedy series about an upper middle class family struggling with identifying their culture.

One on One: Viola Davis
Aug05

One on One: Viola Davis

Born into poverty on a Southern plantation, Viola Davis “escaped” her environment by acting, writing scripts and skits—which paid off handsomely for the two-time Tony Award winner and Oscar, SAG and Golden Globe nominee, who also holds a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Honored by Time as one of the most influential people in the world in 2012, Davis is known for her brief but strong performances in “Traffic,” “Antwone Fisher,” “Doubt,” “Eat Pray Love,” her stint on TV series “City of Angels” and her turn as maid Aibileen Clark in “The Help.” This month the 48-year-old plays James Brown’s mother in “Get On Up” and next month will star in Shonda Rhimes new ABC show “How to Get Away with Murder” premiering September 25.

First Ladies High Tea
November will mark the 20th Anniversary of our Annual First Ladies High Tea, honoring the contributions of female leaders and women of faith to the Los Angeles community. For more information, visit www.firstladieshightea.com
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