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7 Hollywood’s Most Successful African Actresses


Acting is a skill that requires not only talent, but also years of hard work and dedication. Not everyone can change their personality on a whim just because someone said “Lights. Camera. Action”. Hollywood is the Holy Land for actors and actresses of all genders, races, and nationalities, so it’s only fair that African actresses are also well-represented. Some of these beautiful ladies have won more multiple awards for their solid investment into the Cinematic legacy of humankind.


Here are Hollywood’s most successful African actresses!



1. Thandie Newton
Thandie’s full name is Thandiwe Nashita Newton and there’s a high chance you’ve seen her either in “Interview With A Vampire” (1994) or HBO’s hit show “Westworld”. Aside from these she’s starred in “Mission Impossible 2”, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, “The Chronicles of Riddick”, as well as the disaster movie “2012”.


2. Michelle Van Der Water
This talented actress was born in Cape Town, South Africa but soon moved to the Land Down-under – Australia. She used to be a model, before realizing that acting is so much more fun. And acted she did! Her career started in 2000 and today she’s starred in 28 movies and TV shows like Minotaur, Teeth and Blood, Castle, Single Ladies, and more.



3. Ella Thomas
Would you believe that Ella Thomas is half-Eritrean and half-American? Despite her ancestry, she spent many years in Germany, of all places, when she was little, where she learned to appreciate art and even dabbled in performing arts. One thing lead to another, and boom, she became a huge household name in Hollywood! Her most popular roles were in “Entourage”, “Ballers”, “All My Children”, and more.


4. Lupita Nyong’o
One of the hottest actresses in Hollywood right now, Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico. She actually has a double citizenship: Mexican and Kenyan, thanks to her parents. “Black Panther”, “12 Years a Slave”, “Star Wars: Episode 7 and 8” are just the tip of the iceberg that is her acting career. She’s only 35 years old but has already had 56 nominations, 36 of which were crushing wins.



5. Megalyn Echikunwoke
If Megalyn’s mom is German, English, and Irish, her dad – Nigerian, maybe she’s got the best genes of all four nationalities? Sure looks like that. In her teen years an agent notices her talent right away while watching a play at Summer art camp. Probably, her most famous role was in “4400“, but equally as memorable were her appearances in “House of Lies“,“24“, and “Vixen.“


6. Azie Tesfai
Azie Tesfai could have easily become a genius lawyer, with all the acceptance letters from the likes of Yale, Brown, and Columbia. But instead she chose a different path – she got a degree in business administration from UC Berkeley. That’s when she starter preparing for her acting career in Los Angeles. How it seems like she’s in every good TV show: “Ghosted”, “The Real O’Neals”, “Superstore”, “Rosewood”, “Powers” and dozens more.



7. Charlize Theron
Who else would be popular enough to take the #1 spot if not Charlize Theron? Born in 1975, this talented South African-American actress’s career sky-rocketed after she starred in “The Devil’s Advocate” (1990). After that it’s been a hit after hit: “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “Hancock”, “Snow White and the Huntsman”, “Atomic Blonde”, “Dark Places”, Fast and Furious movies, and about 60 more awesome movies.