Sanaa McCoy Lathan
September 19, 1971
|Education||University of California, Berkeley (BA)|
Yale University (MFA)
|Occupation||Actress, voice actress|
Sanaa McCoy Lathan (born September 19, 1971) is an American actress. As a voice actress, from 2009 to 2013, she voiced Donna Tubbs in The Cleveland Show and in all concurrent and subsequent Family Guy appearances. She has starred in many films, including The Best Man (1999) and its 2013 sequel, The Best Man Holiday. Her other film credits include Love & Basketball (2000), Brown Sugar (2002), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Something New (2006), The Family That Preys (2008), Contagion (2011), and Now You See Me 2 (2016).
On stage, Lathan was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun and starred in 2010 in the all-black performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London.
Lathan was born in New York City. Her first name means "art" in Swahili and "piece of art" in Arabic. Her mother, Eleanor McCoy, was also an actress and dancer who performed on Broadway with Eartha Kitt. Her father, Stan Lathan, worked behind the scenes in television for PBS, as well as a producer on shows such as Sanford & Son and Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. Her brother is Tendaji Lathan, a well known DJ. She attended Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics.
She graduated from UC Berkeley, with a bachelor's degree in English. Lathan then attended Yale University, and earned a master's degree in drama.
Following her training at Yale, where she studied with Earle R. Gister and performed in a number of Shakespeare plays, Lathan earned acclaim both off-Broadway and on the Los Angeles stage. Encouraged by her father to make Los Angeles her professional base, she found early television roles in episodes of such shows as In the House, Family Matters, NYPD Blue, and Moesha.
In 1998, Lathan earned a degree of recognition with her role as the mother of Wesley Snipes' title character in Blade. She followed this the subsequent year with a role in Life with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy and back-to-back turns in The Best Man and The Wood. The Best Man was a comedic ensemble film, starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau Jr., and Morris Chestnut. The Best Man went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing African American films in history and Lathan received a NAACP Image Award nomination for her performance. The Wood, another ensemble film starring Diggs and Omar Epps, cast her as the love interest of Epps.
Lathan and Epps were reunited onscreen in Gina Prince-Bythewood's Love & Basketball, this time playing a couple as passionate about basketball as they are about each other. Her performance in Love & Basketball earned her the 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, as well as an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress and a BET Award. In 2000, Lathan appeared in the Off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues along with Teri Garr and Julianna Margulies.
In 2001, Lathan earned additional acclaim for her work in the multicultural comedy film Catfish in Black Bean Sauce. Next was her second collaboration with Prince-Bythewood: Disappearing Acts; it is based on a novel by Terry McMillan. In the HBO film, Lathan is cast as an aspiring singer/songwriter in love with a carpenter, played by her Blade co-star Wesley Snipes. For her work in the film, Lathan earned an Essence Award for Best Actress. That year, she was named by Ebony magazine as one of its 55 Most Beautiful People and was honoured by Essence magazine and Black Entertainment Television. In 2002, Lathan starred in the romantic comedy film, Brown Sugar, alongside Diggs, Queen Latifah, and Mos Def. Lathan's performance earned an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. The film also received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture.
In 2004, Lathan starred on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, and Phylicia Rashad. Lathan received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her portrayal of Beneatha Younger. Several years later, Lathan reprised the role in an ABC Network production of A Raisin in the Sun.
In 2003, she co-starred with Denzel Washington in Out of Time. The following year, she was cast in the lead role in Alien vs. Predator. The film was a major success grossing over $171 million worldwide.
In 2006, she co-starred with Simon Baker in Something New, a romantic comedy; as Michelle Landau, the much younger wife of a Texas businessman (Larry Hagman) during the fourth season of the television series, Nip/Tuck; and in 2008 as Andrea in Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys. The film also features Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates; it was released in the U.S. on September 12, 2008. In an interview with NPR, Lathan said the script took a fresh approach to telling an interracial love story, by describing the internal conflict some African-American women confront when it comes to dating interracially. "I feel like with black women, in a way, I feel like it has been harder for us to go there just in terms of culturally. I know that there's this statistic that says that like 13 percent of black men are in interracial relationships. And don't quote me on this, but it's like four percent or three percent of black women are in interracial relationships; and I think that says a lot about, you know, either black women's loyalty to her black man or her guilt about stepping outside of the race."
In 2009, Lathan co-starred with Matthew Broderick in the drama Wonderful World. From 2009 to 2013, she voiced the character Donna Tubbs on The Cleveland Show. In 2011, Lathan co-starred in the Steven Soderbergh thriller Contagion alongside Matt Damon, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne. In 2011, Lathan starred with Anthony Mackie and Forest Whitaker in Repentance, a psychological thriller directed by Phillipe Caland. Lathan played series regular Mona Fredricks in the second season of Starz' original series Boss, starring Kelsey Grammer.
In 2013, Lathan reprised her role in The Best Man′s sequel, The Best Man Holiday. In 2016, she was cast with the ensemble of the sequel of Now You See Me entitled Now You See Me 2, which was a box-office success, and she was cast in the Sci Fi movie Approaching the Unknown. In 2017, Lathan returned to TV in a lead role in the series Shots Fired, and also appeared in the movie American Assassin. Lathan was then added to the main cast of The Affair, appearing in its fourth and fifth seasons, and starred in the Netflix film Nappily Ever After.
|1997||Miracle in the Woods||Young Lilly|
|1999||The Best Man||Robyn|
|1999||Catfish in Black Bean Sauce||Nina|
|2000||Love & Basketball||Monica Wright|
|2002||Brown Sugar||Sidney "Sid" Shaw|
|2003||Out of Time||Ann Merai Harrison|
|2004||Alien vs. Predator||Alexa "Lex" Woods|
|2005||The Golden Blaze||Monica (voice)|
|2006||Something New||Kenya McQueen|
|2008||The Family That Preys||Andrea Pratt-Bennett|
|2013||The Best Man Holiday||Robyn Stewart|
|2015||The Perfect Guy||Leah Vaughn||Also executive producer|
|2016||Approaching the Unknown||Captain Emily Maddox|
|2016||Now You See Me 2||Natalie Austin|
|2017||American Assassin||Deputy Director Irene Kennedy|
|2018||Nappily Ever After||Violet Jones||Also producer|
|2019||Native Son||Trudy Thomas|
|2021||With/In: Volume 1||Segment: "Leap"; also director|
|1996||In the House||Charese||Episode: "The Curse of Hill House"|
|1996||Moesha||Ebony||Episodes: "A Concerted Effort" (Parts 1 & 2)|
|1997||Family Matters||Allison||Episode: "Revenge of the Nerd"|
|1998||NYPD Blue||Shirley Barish||Episode: "You're Under a Rasta"|
|1998–1999||LateLine||Briana Gilliam||Regular role|
|2000||Disappearing Acts||Zora Banks||Television film|
|2006||Nip/Tuck||Michelle Landau||Recurring role|
|2008||A Raisin in the Sun||Beneatha Younger||Television film|
|2009–2013||The Cleveland Show||Donna Tubbs (voice)||Regular role|
|2010–present||Family Guy||Donna Tubbs (voice)||Recurring role (season 8–13)|
Regular role (season 14–present)
|2011||Tilda||Sasha Litt||Unsold HBO pilot|
|2012||Boss||Mona Fredricks||Regular role|
|2014||Real Husbands of Hollywood||Herself||Episode: Rolling with my Roomie|
|2017||Shots Fired||Ashe Akino||Lead role; 10 episodes|
|2018–2019||The Affair||Janelle||Regular role (season 4–5)|
|2019||The Twilight Zone||Nina Harrison||Episode: "Replay"|
|2020||Harley Quinn||Selina Kyle / Catwoman (voice)||Recurring role (3 episodes)|
|2021||The Best Man: The Final Chapters||Robyn||Recurring role (10 episodes)|
|2001||Love & Basketball||BET Award||Best Actress||Won|
|2001||Love & Basketball||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Female Lead||Nominated|
|2001||Love & Basketball||Black Reel Award||Best Actress||Won|
|2001||Disappearing Acts||Black Reel Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2001||Love & Basketball||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Won|
|2003||Brown Sugar||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2003||Brown Sugar||Black Reel Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2003||A Raisin in the Sun||Tony Award||Best Featured Actress in a Play||Nominated|
|2004||Out of Time||Black Reel Award||Best Actress||Won|
|2004||Out of Time||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2004||A Raisin in the Sun||Theatre World Award||Best Female Lead||Won|
|2006||Something New||Black Movie Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2006||Something New||Black Reel Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2007||Something New||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2007||Nip/Tuck||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2008||The Family That Preys||Black Reel Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2009||A Raisin in the Sun||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie/Mini-Series||Nominated|
|2012||By The Way, Meet Vera Stark||Lucille Lortel Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress||Won|
|2012||By The Way, Meet Vera Stark||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actress in a Play||Nominated|
|2016||The Perfect Guy||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Won|
|2019||Nappily Ever After||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2019||The Affair||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|