Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Dawn-Lyen Gardner (born August 30, 1981) is an American actress. She is best known for her leading role as Charley Bordelon West in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series Queen Sugar.

Dawn-Lyen Gardner
Dawnlyen Gardner[1]

(1981-08-30) August 30, 1981 (age 38)[1]
Years active1994–present

Early LifeEdit

Gardner was born in Los Angeles, California. Gardner is of mixed-racial heritage and has a black father and a Chinese mother.[2]

After graduating from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in 1999, Gardner later moved to New York City and attended Juilliard School with actress Rutina Wesley who she would later go on to work with in the TV show Queen Sugar.[3][4] Gardner graduated from Juilliard in 2003.


She began acting on television at an early age, appearing in a recurring role on Viper and guest starred on ER. While attending Juilliard,[citation needed] Gardner began acting on stage, appearing in such productions like For Colored Girls, The School of Night, and The Seagull. She also has appeared in a number of regional productions.[5] She also had number of guest-starring roles on television shows such as Crossing Jordan, Bones, Heroes, and Castle. Gardner also worked as voice actress playing Steela Gerrera in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars.[6]

In 2016, Gardner is cast as a lead character alongside Rutina Wesley in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar created and produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey.[7][8] On October 7, 2018 she guest starred in the CBS new series God Friended Me.


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Viper Ronnie Wilkes Recurring role, 4 episodes
1994 ER Sandy Rochon Episode: "Into That Good Night"
2004 Invisible Scream Andi Short film
2004 Married to the Kellys Shannon Episode: "The Other Sister"
2004 Crossing Jordan Leever Episode: "After Dark"
2005 Summerland Tess Episode: "Where There's a Will There's a Wave"
2006 Art School Confidential Coed
2007 Bones Court Reporter Episode: "The Man in the Mansion"
2007 Cane Melissa Episode: "The Exile"
2009-2010 Heroes Elizabeth Episodes: "Chapter Nine 'Brother's Keeper'" and "Chapter Thirteen 'Let It Bleed"
2011 Castle Simone Jenkins Episode: "Cops & Robbers"
2012 Prototype 2 Collette Heller Voice
2012 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Steela Gerrera Voice, 4 episodes
2015 The Mysteries of Laura Samantha Williams Episode: "The Mystery of the Watery Grave"
2016 Unforgettable Erica Campbell Episode: "Breathing Space"
2016–present Queen Sugar Charley Bordelon West Series regular
2016 Luke Cage Megan McLaren Recurring role, 4 episodes
2016 The Dunning Man Alice


  1. ^ a b California Birth Index, 1905-1995 (Report). Ancestry.com. 2005.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Bastién, Angelica Jade. "Queen Sugar's Dawn-Lyen Gardner on How Playing a Biracial Woman Informs Her Acting Choices". Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  3. ^ TV News Desk (January 27, 2016). "Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe & Omar J. Dorsey Join Cast of OWN's QUEEN SUGAR". Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena. "Queen Sugar's Dawn-Lyen Gardner on the Pilot's 'Maury Povich Moment,' Black-Brown Tension, and Tonight's Pivotal Episode". Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  5. ^ https://www.osfashland.org/artist-biographies/acting-company/dawn-lyen-gardner.aspx
  6. ^ "Interview: Dawn-Lyen Gardner -- Steela Gerrera on The Clone Wars - StarWars.com". StarWars.com. October 25, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (January 27, 2016). "'Queen Sugar' Adds Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Omar J. Dorsey - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Tambay A. Obenson (January 27, 2016). "Omar J. Dorsey, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe Join 'Que - Shadow and Act". Shadow and Act. Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.

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