A formidable talent to be reckoned with, Uzo Aduba is an award-winning actress whose work spans television, film and theatre.
Aduba stars in FX’s miniseries MRS. AMERICA as Shirley Chisholm. Chisholm not only made history as the first African American Congresswoman, but also became the first African American candidate to run for President from a national political party when she launched her unprecedented 1972 campaign. The series, which launched on April 15th on FX on Hulu, tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Cate Blanchett. The series also stars Sarah Paulson, Rose Byrne, Margo Martindale, John Slattery and more.
Up next, Aduba will begin pre-production for AMERICANAH staring opposite Lupita Nyong’o on HBO Max. AMERICANAH is a 10-episode limited series that is based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. It tells a story of Ifemelu played by Nyong’o who lives in Nigeria and heads to America, where she finds academic success, but is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Aduba will play Aunty Uju, Ifemelu’s young aunt who is a highly intelligent doctor and left Nigeria under tumultuous circumstances to resettle in America to build a better life for herself and her son Dike.
Aduba recently finished her celebrated run as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Her performance garnered a sweep of awards including the 2016 and 2015 SAG Award for “Best Actress in Comedy,” the 2017 SAG Award nomination for “Best Actress in a Comedy,” the 2015 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” and the 2014 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy.” In addition, Aduba was honored as part of the show’s win in the category of “Best Ensemble in a Comedy” at the 2017, 2016 and 2015 SAG Awards. For her Emmy wins, Aduba joined Ed Asner to become only the second actor ever to win Emmys for the same role in the comedy and drama categories. Furthermore, with her SAG and Emmy honors, she became the first African American actress to win the award in each category. She was also nominated for the 2015 and 2016 Golden Globe Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie." The show’s seventh and final season premiered on Netflix on July 25, 2019.
In film, Uzo was last seen in the independent drama MISS VIRGINA. Inspired by a true story, the film follows a struggling inner-city single mother (Aduba) who moves her at-risk son from their dangerous neighborhood school to an expensive one in a safe area. Her additional recent film credits include BEATS (Netflix), CANDY JAR (Netflix), MY LITTLE PONY (Lionsgate and Hasbro), AMERICAN PASTORAL (Lionsgate) opposite Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning and Sian Heder’s TALLULAH (Netflix).
Also, on television, Aduba appeared in NBC’s 2015 musical production of THE WIZ LIVE! as Glinda the Good Witch. Directed by Kenny Leon and produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the production also starred Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, Amber Riley, and David Alan Grier. Aduba made her television debut in 2012 on the hit CBS show BLUE BLOODS.
Before starring on television, Aduba made her Broadway debut in CORAM BOY in 2007 followed by the hit musical revival of GODSPELL in 2011. She discovered her talent for singing at a very early age and became a classical music major at the Boston University School of Fine Arts. Work in theatre quickly followed with critically acclaimed performances at both The Huntington Theatre in Boston and A.R.T. where, under the direction of Dianne Paulus, she won the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress in a Play. She recently made her West End Theatre debut in The Jamie Lloyd Company's contemporary adaptation of Jean Genet's THE MAIDS. Directed by Lloyd, the play which also starred Laura Carmichael and Zawe Ashton.
Aduba was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her work in the Kennedy Center/Olney Theater production of TRANSLATIONS OF XHOSA. Other theater credits include DESSA ROSE at the New Repertory Theatre, TURNADO: RUMBLE FOR THE RING at the Bay Street Theater and ABYSSINIA at the Goodspeed Theatre.
Past films include the independent shorts OVER THERE and NOTES.
In addition to her acting work, Uzo is a fierce advocate for women’s and human’s rights and serves as Heifer International’s Ambassador to Africa as well as an Ambassador for Stand Up To Cancer.
Aduba currently resides in New York City.