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Regina Rene King (born January 15, 1971)[1] is an American actress and television director.[2] She is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and three Primetime Emmy Awards. Time magazine named King one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.[3]

Regina King
Regina King by Gage Skidmore.jpg
King in 2018
Regina Rene King

(1971-01-15) January 15, 1971 (age 48)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
  • Actress
  • television director
Years active1985–present
Home townLos Angeles, California, United States
Ian Alexander, Sr.
(m. 1997; div. 2007)

King first gained attention in 1985 as Brenda Jenkins in the NBC television series 227. She would go on to star in both television and film, rising to greater prominence with roles like Dana Jones in Friday (1995), Marcee Tidwell in Jerry Maguire (1996), Riley and Huey Freeman on the hit animated series The Boondocks, and Detective Lydia Adams on Southland. For Southland, she earned two Critics' Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013. In 2018, her performance as Sharon Rivers in the film If Beale Street Could Talk earned her the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

From 2015 to 2017, King starred in the ABC anthology series American Crime, for which she received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning twice, and was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Also from 2015 to 2017, she played Erika Murphy in the HBO drama The Leftovers, for which she received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination. In 2018, she starred in the Netflix miniseries Seven Seconds, for which she won her third Emmy Award. King had a recurring role as Janine Davis in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and has starred in various films, including Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, Legally Blonde 2, Ray and Miss Congeniality: Armed & Fabulous.


Early life and educationEdit

Regina Rene King was born on January 15, 1971, in Los Angeles and grew up in View Park-Windsor Hills. She is the eldest daughter of Gloria (Cain), a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician.[4][5] King's parents divorced in 1979.[6] King's younger sister is former actress Reina King, who appeared on What's Happening Now!! King attended Westchester High School; graduating in 1988[7] and later attended the University of Southern California.[8]


King began her acting career in 1985 playing the role of Brenda Jenkins on the television series 227,[9] a role she played until the show ended in 1990. She went on to appear in the John Singleton films Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning.[10] In 1995, she was featured in the hit comedy film Friday.[10] In 1996, she starred in the Martin Lawrence dark comedy-romance A Thin Line Between Love and Hate as Mia.[11] King gained fame starring in the 1996 blockbuster romantic comedy film Jerry Maguire as Marcee Tidwell, the wife of Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character.[12][10] She played Will Smith's character's wife in Enemy of the State,[13] and was also featured in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Mighty Joe Young, Down to Earth, Daddy Day Care, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, A Cinderella Story, Ray and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.[14][15]

Beginning in the mid-2000s, she had ongoing roles on several TV series, including acclaimed work as the voice of Huey and Riley Freeman for the animated series The Boondocks and Detective Lydia Adams on the TNT police drama Southland.[16] She also appeared in roles on 24, The Big Bang Theory, and Shameless. In 2007 she played Lisa Moore in This Christmas. She was a cast member on ABC's John Ridley-penned ensemble drama American Crime, and played a devout member of the Nation of Islam and sister to a drug addict accused of murder.[17]

In September 2015 and September 2016, King won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie for American Crime.[18][17] In 2018, she played the role of the mother of a murdered black teenager in Netflix original series Seven Seconds, winning her third Primetime Emmy Award.[19] Her performance in the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins, garnered critical acclaim and earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1997, King married Ian Alexander, but they divorced in 2007. They have one son, Ian Alexander Jr., born January 19, 1996. King dated actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner from 2011[21] until March 2013.[22][23]



Regina King in 2010
Year Title Role Notes
1991 Boyz n the Hood Shalika
1993 Poetic Justice Iesha
1995 Higher Learning Monet
1995 Friday Dana Jones
1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate Mia Williams
1996 Jerry Maguire Marcee Tidwell
1998 Rituals N/A Short film
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Vanessa
1998 Enemy of the State Carla Dean
1998 Mighty Joe Young Cecily Banks
1999 Love and Action in Chicago Lois Newton
2001 Down to Earth Sontee Jenkins
2002 Truth Be Told Rayne
2003 Daddy Day Care Kim Hinton
2003 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Grace Rossiter
2004 A Cinderella Story Rhonda
2004 Ray Margie Hendricks
2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Sam Fuller
2006 The Ant Bully Kreela Voice
2007 Year of the Dog Layla
2007 This Christmas Lisa Whitfield-Moore
2010 Our Family Wedding Angela
2013 Let the Church Say Amen Director
2014 Planes: Fire & Rescue Dynamite Voice
2018 If Beale Street Could Talk Sharon Rivers Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress


Year Title Role Notes
1985–1990 227 Brenda Jenkins 107 episodes
1994 Northern Exposure Mother Nature Episode: "Baby Blues"
1994 New York Undercover Marah Episode: "Tasha"
1995 Living Single Zina Episode: "The Shake-Up"
1999 Where the Truth Lies Lillian Rose-Martin Television film
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Allie Television film
2002 Leap of Faith Cynthia 6 episodes
2002 Damaged Care Cheryl Griffith Television film
2005–2014 The Boondocks Riley Freeman / Huey Freeman (voices) 55 episodes
2006 Women in Law N/A Pilot
2007 24 Sandra Palmer 9 episodes
2008 Living Proof Ellie Jackson Television film
2009–2013 Southland Detective Lydia Adams 43 episodes
2012 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (guest judge) Episode: "Dragazines"
2017, 2019
The Big Bang Theory Janine Davis 6 episodes
2014 The Strain Ruby Wain 3 episodes
2014 Shameless Gail Johnson 4 episodes
2014 The Gabby Douglas Story Natalie Hawkins Television film
2015–2017 American Crime Aliyah Shadeed 7 episodes
Terri LaCroix 10 episodes
Kimara Walters 8 episodes
2015–2017 The Leftovers Erika Murphy 6 episodes
2018 Seven Seconds Latrice Butler 10 episodes
2019–present Watchmen Angela Abraham Main role

As directorEdit

Year Title Notes
2013 Southland Episode: "Off Duty"
2015 Being Mary Jane 6 episodes
2015–2016 Scandal 2 episodes
2016 The Catch Episode: "The Princess and the I.P."
2016 Animal Kingdom Episode: "Child Care"
2016 Greenleaf Episode: "Veni, Vidi, Vici"
2016 Pitch Episode: "The Break"
2017 This Is Us Episode: "The 20's"[24]
2017 Shameless Episode: "Fuck Paying It Forward"[25]
2018 The Good Doctor Episode: "Heartfelt"
2018 Insecure Episode: "Ghost-Like"
2020 One Night in Miami Feature Film[26]

As music video directorEdit

Year Song Artist
2010 "Finding My Way Back" Jaheim
2011 "Not My Daddy" Kelly Price featuring Stokley

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Regina King profile at". Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  2. ^ "Regina King IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  3. ^ Davis, Viola (April 17, 2019). "Regina King". Time. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  4. ^ "Regina King Biography (1971-)". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  5. ^ Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, December 17, 2018
  6. ^ "Regina King profile at Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  7. ^ 1988 Westchester High School Yearbook (Los Angeles, California)
  8. ^ "The scene stealer". vulture. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. p. 155.
  10. ^ a b c "Regina King's Most Memorable Roles". Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  11. ^ "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate". March 31, 1996. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "Regina King Has So Many Stories to Tell". New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  13. ^ "Enemy of the State". November 20, 1998. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  14. ^ "Review: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous". Slant magazine. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  15. ^ "Regina King". IMDb. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Regina King is the queen of 'Southland'". newsday. February 25, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Aliyah Shadeed played by Regina King". abc. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (October 25, 2017). "Film News Roundup: Regina King Joins Barry Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk'". Variety. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  19. ^ "Regina King Lands Her Third Emmy; Portrays Mom Whose Son Is Killed By Police". Deadline. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  20. ^ "Regina King wins supporting actress Oscar for 'Beale Street'". Reuters. February 24, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "Malcolm Jamal Warner, Regina King Calls It Quits After Two Year Relationship (UPDATE)". March 21, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2018 – via Huff Post.
  22. ^ Rivera, Zayda. "Regina King shows off bikini bod on girls getaway post-Malcolm-Jamal Warner split - NY Daily News". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  23. ^ "Regina King Hints Ex Malcolm-Jamal Warner Dumped Her on V-Day: "Ass!"". January 15, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "This Is Us Season 2 Episode 6 Review: The 20s". Den of Geek. October 31, 2017.
  25. ^ "Shanola Hampton on Instagram: "The queen has arrived to direct episode 4!!!! Yaaaaassss! #ReginaKing #Shameless"". Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Ramos, Dino. "Regina King To Direct Adaptation Of 'One Night In Miami'". Deadline. Retrieved September 15, 2019.

External linksEdit