Thandiwe Newton is a popular and well-established film actress and television star from the United Kingdom. She first earned her fame by playing several roles depicting the troubled black community in disarray across the United States and Europe.
While these roles earned her popularity, it was her role of a faithful and loyal house slave in the movie “Interview with the Vampire” that made her famous. After hitting the hot spot as one of the most promising black actresses, she played a few more roles in popular movies like “Beloved,” “In Your Dreams,” and the most popular medical drama series “ER.”
She earned a couple of awards for the popular, ground-breaking sci-fi series “Westworld,” as well as the BAFTA Award for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” for the movie “Crash.” Let’s review her early life, career, relationships, and gossip.
Born Melanie Thandiwe Newton on 6 November 1972 in Westminster, London, Thandiwe is a child of an English father and a Zimbabwean mother. Her mother’s name is Nyasha, and her father’s name is Nick Newton. Thandiwe’s father worked as an artist and a laboratory technician. The family lived in Zambia during Thandiwe’s early childhood.
When political unrest set Zambia on fire, the family decided to move to England. Thandiwe was attracted to dancing from an early age, and she learned dancing at the “Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.” However, she had to quit dancing due to suffering a back injury. She got a degree in social anthropology by graduating from “Downing College.”
At the age of 16, Thandiwe was cast in John Duigan’s movie “Flirting” alongside Noah Taylor. This was her first breakthrough before she moved to Los Angeles, California. While Thandiwe continued pursuing her acting career in the States, she later returned to London.
Thandiwe’s role of “Thandiwe Adjewa” in “Flirting” earned her the right of passage in the film industry. However, her name was misspelled as Thandie, and that name appeared in most movie credits up until last year when she decided to reclaim her real name. After her success in 1991, she got a few minor roles in films like “Loaded” and “The Young Americans.”
These roles helped her earn recognition as a black actress, but her role in the television film “Pirate Prince” was the one that sealed the deal for her and allowed her to establish herself as a prominent actress in show business.
After that, Thandiwe landed a role of a loyal house slave in “Interview with the Vampire,” where she had the chance to appear next to featured stars like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. From that moment on, things started working out for young Thandiwe.
Her ethnicity was the biggest reason why she continually kept getting roles that involved her representing the oppressed black community. Finally, she got her chance for the next big breakthrough when she appeared alongside Tom Cruise in the blockbuster movie “Mission: Impossible 2.”
The movie was a huge success, and it earned her a couple of more prominent roles in movies like “It Was an Accident” – a film which was scripted by her husband, Ol Parker. The next film, “The Truth About Charlie,” raised Thandiwe to world fame and earned her a nomination for “Best Actress” at “Black Reel Awards.”
She appeared in numerous movies since then, including 1997 “In Your Dreams,” “Crash,” which won her multiple awards, 2007 “Norbit,” 2018 “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” and 2018 “The Death & Life of John F. Donovan.”
Thandiwe Newton Relationships
Thandiwe’s first relationship was with Australian director John Duigan when she was 16 years old. The relationship lasted for six years. After the breakup, Thandiwe married director, producer, and writer Ol Parker in 1998. Thandiwe and Ol are happily married and have three children.
In the news
The actress”s stage name was a misspelling of her middle name Thandiwe, which means “beloved.” She was named “Sexiest Vegan of 2014” in the UK. Since humor is one of her biggest strengths, the actress also earned the title “The Queen of Practical Jokes.”
Thandiwe was a victim of sexual exploitation and has been actively engaged in activities and initiatives against sexual violence and rape against women. “Black Man” magazine named her one of “The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year 2000”. According to the actress, her mother is the princess of the Shona Tribe of Zimbabwe.
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