Masha Schuster

Masha Schuster

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Kerry Washington is a talented and captivating actress who has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. With her mesmerizing performances and undeniable charisma, Washington has risen to become one of Hollywood’s most revered and respected celebrities. From her breakthrough role in “Save the Last Dance” to her iconic portrayal of Olivia Pope in the hit television series “Scandal,” Washington has consistently showcased her immense talent and versatility.

In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Kerry Washington and uncover 50 fascinating facts about this remarkable actress. From her early days as a theater student to her groundbreaking achievements as a producer and activist, there is so much to discover about this multi-talented star. So grab a cup of coffee and prepare to be amazed as we take a deep dive into the world of Kerry Washington!

Table of Contents

Early Life

Kerry Washington was born on January 31, 1977, in The Bronx, New York.

Educational Background

Washington attended the Spence School in Manhattan before pursuing higher education at George Washington University.

Stellar Academic Achievements

During her time at George Washington University, Washington double-majored in anthropology and sociology and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Broadway Debut

Washington made her Broadway debut in the play “Race,” written by David Mamet in 2009.

Breakthrough Role

Her breakout role was playing Della Bea Robinson, the wife of Ray Charles, in the biographical film “Ray” (2004) alongside Jamie Foxx.

The First African-American Female Lead

Washington became the first African-American female lead in a prime-time drama series since 1974 when she starred as Olivia Pope in the hit series “Scandal.

Award-Winning Performance

For her role in “Scandal,” Kerry Washington received two nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Activism and Philanthropy

Washington actively participates in philanthropic work and is involved in various charitable organizations, including President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

In 2018, Kerry Washington was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, recognizing her contributions to the entertainment industry.

Producer Power

Washington is not only an accomplished actress but also a producer. She served as an executive producer for the critically acclaimed series “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Powerful Speeches

Kerry Washington is known for delivering powerful and inspiring speeches, addressing important social issues, especially regarding representation and diversity in the entertainment industry.

The Perfect Voice

Washington provided the voice for Princess Shuri in the animated film “Black Panther.” Her portrayal was widely praised by audiences and critics.

Magazine Cover Star

Kerry Washington has graced the covers of numerous prestigious magazines, including Vogue, Elle, and Essence, among others.

Time’s 100 Most Influential People

In 2014, Washington was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world.

Business Ventures

In addition to her acting career, Washington is actively involved in various business ventures, including being a brand ambassador for Neutrogena.

Shattering Stereotypes

By portraying complex and multi-dimensional characters, Washington has broken stereotypes and paved the way for greater diversity in Hollywood.

Emmy-winning TV Movie

Washington won an Emmy Award as an executive producer for the TV movie “Confirmation,” which depicted Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Broadway Comeback

In 2018, Kerry Washington returned to Broadway in the play “American Son,” earning critical acclaim for her powerful performance.

Advocate for Gender Equality

Washington is a vocal advocate for gender equality and has spoken out against gender-based discrimination and inequality.

A Family Woman

Kerry Washington is married to former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, and they have two children together.

Cultural Icon

Washington’s contribution to the cultural landscape has made her an icon for many, inspiring young actors and actresses around the world.

Role Model for Girls

Her dedication to her craft and her commitment to social causes make her a positive role model for young girls everywhere.

Collaborations with Talented Directors

Throughout her career, Washington has had the privilege of working with renowned directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Soderbergh.

Trailblazer for Diversity

As a prominent actress of color, Washington has played a significant role in breaking barriers and advocating for greater diversity and representation in the film and television industry.

Master of Disguise

Washington has showcased her versatility by playing characters from various backgrounds and time periods in a range of genres.

Cultural and Political Impact

Her portrayal of Olivia Pope in “Scandal” not only captivated audiences but also sparked important conversations about representation and powerful Black women in media.

Red Carpet Fashionista

Known for her impeccable style, Kerry Washington has become a fashion icon, regularly dazzling on the red carpet.

Voice for the Voiceless

Washington frequently uses her platform to raise awareness for social justice issues, giving a voice to those who are often marginalized.

Cultural Ambassador

As a global celebrity, Washington has become a cultural ambassador, promoting unity and understanding on an international scale.

Grammy Awards Presenter

In 2019, Washington had the honor of presenting at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, showcasing her versatility beyond the realm of acting.

A Respected Name in Hollywood

Her talent and dedication to her craft have earned her the respect of her peers, making her a highly sought-after actress in Hollywood.

Social Media Advocate

Washington actively uses social media to engage with her fans and promote social causes close to her heart.

Philanthropic Partnership with Allstate Foundation

Washington has partnered with the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign, raising awareness and funds to support domestic violence survivors.

Brilliant Stage Performances

In addition to her film and television work, Washington has delivered remarkable performances on the stage, showcasing her versatility as an actress.

Transformational Acting

She is known for her ability to completely immerse herself in a role, often undergoing physical and emotional transformations.

A Symbol of Empowerment

Washington’s characters serve as a symbol of empowerment and resilience, inspiring individuals to overcome obstacles and fight for justice.

Leading Lady

Whether in film or on television, Washington has proven time and again that she is a formidable leading lady, captivating audiences with her performances.

Role in the White House Correspondents’ Association

In 2013, Washington was a guest at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and received widespread attention for her appearance.

Diverse Filmography

Washington has been part of a wide range of film genres, from dramas and thrillers to romantic comedies and biopics.

Voice for Political Change

She actively participates in political campaigns, using her influence to bring about positive social and political change.

Avid Reader

Washington is an avid reader and has shared her love for books and literature in interviews and social media posts.

Powerful Female Roles

She is known for portraying strong, empowered female characters who challenge societal norms and push for change.

Multiple Award Nominations

Throughout her career, Washington has received numerous award nominations from prestigious institutions including the Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Visionary Award

In 2013, Washington received the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Visionary Award, celebrating her contributions to the entertainment industry.

Commencement Speaker

Kerry Washington has delivered commencement speeches at various universities, sharing her experiences and inspiring graduates to pursue their dreams.

Dedicated Human Rights Activist

Washington is actively involved in several human rights organizations, focusing on issues such as women’s rights, racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Collaboration with Shonda Rhimes

Washington developed a close working relationship with renowned showrunner Shonda Rhimes, collaborating on the successful series “Scandal.”

Advocate for Mental Health

She is a vocal advocate for mental health awareness and has openly shared her experiences with anxiety and the importance of seeking help.

The Power of Representation

Washington understands the power of representation and strives to create more opportunities for actors and actresses from underrepresented communities.

Everlasting Legacy

With her remarkable talent, activism, and dedication to humanitarian causes, Kerry Washington has created an everlasting legacy, inspiring generations to come.


In conclusion, Kerry Washington is a remarkable actress who has made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. With her talent, charisma, and dedication, she has captivated audiences across the globe. From her breakthrough role in “Scandal” to her performances in films such as “Django Unchained” and “Ray,” Washington has proven her versatility and depth as an actress.

Aside from her acting career, Kerry Washington is also known for her activism in promoting diversity and inclusivity in Hollywood. She has used her platform to raise awareness about social issues and has been a vocal advocate for marginalized communities.

Overall, Kerry Washington’s talent, beauty, and advocacy work make her a true inspiration. Her compelling performances and commitment to making a difference have solidified her status as one of the most influential celebrities in the industry.


1. What is Kerry Washington’s most famous role?

Kerry Washington is best known for her role as Olivia Pope in the hit TV show “Scandal.”

2. Has Kerry Washington won any awards for her acting?

Yes, Kerry Washington has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards.

3. Is Kerry Washington involved in any philanthropic work?

Yes, Kerry Washington is actively involved in various charitable endeavors. She supports organizations that focus on issues such as racial justice, women’s empowerment, and education.

4. Does Kerry Washington have any upcoming projects?

As of now, Kerry Washington is set to star in the upcoming Netflix drama series “The Prom” and the film “The School For Good and Evil.”

5. Has Kerry Washington ever performed on stage?

Yes, Kerry Washington has showcased her talent on Broadway as well. She made her debut in the play “Race” and has received critical acclaim for her stage performances.

6. Is Kerry Washington involved in any other aspects of the entertainment industry?

Besides acting, Kerry Washington has also ventured into producing and directing. She has worked on projects such as the TV movie “Confirmation” and the documentary series “Five Points.”