Tonya Pinkins (born May 30, 1962) is an American television, film and theater actress and author known for her portrayal of Livia Frye on the soap opera All My Children and for her roles on Broadway. She has been nominated for three Tony Awards (winning one), and has won Obie, Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, AUDLECO, Garland, L.A. Drama Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent, and NAACP Theater Awards. She has been nominated for the Olivier, Helen Hayes, Noel, Joseph Jefferson, NAACP Image, Soap Opera Digest, and Ovation Awards. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jelly's Last Jam.
Pinkins on her YouTube channel in 2017
|Born||May 30, 1962|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Carnegie Mellon University|
Columbia College Chicago (BA)
California Western School of Law
Early life and educationEdit
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Pinkins was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a police officer and insurance salesman, and her mother is a former postal worker. She has two brothers, Eric and Thomas Swoope, and a sister Tamera Swoope.
Pinkins was interested in the arts from a young age. At Whitney Young Magnet High School, she participated in the theater program and also studied acting at the Goodman Theatre Young People's Program. She attended Carnegie Mellon University's BFA Musical Theatre program, but was cast in Merrily We Roll Along and decided to pursue her career, instead.
Pinkins won a Tony Award for her performance as Sweet Anita in Jelly's Last Jam. She was nominated for her roles in Play On! and in Caroline, or Change, where she played the title role. Her additional Broadway credits include Merrily We Roll Along, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Wild Party, House of Flowers, Radio Golf, A Time To Kill, and Holler If Ya Hear Me.
Pinkins has performed in several Off Broadway productions, including the comic role of Mopsa, the Shepherdess, in The Winter's Tale produced by the Riverside Shakespeare Company at The Shakespeare Center in 1983.
In 2011, Pinkins starred in the world premiere of Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar at La Jolla Playhouse, and received a 2012 Craig Noel nomination for Best featured Actress in a Play. She reprised her role in the Playwrights Horizons in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and garnered a 2012 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play.
In 2012, Pinkins starred in Katori Hall's play Hurt Village, the gritty drama about life and change in a Memphis housing project made its world-premiere at Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company as part of the theatre's inaugural season.
In 2014, she appeared in New Federal Theatre's revival of Ed Bullins' The Fabulous Miss Marie opposite Roscoe Orman; in the Broadway production of Holler If Ya Hear Me; and the world premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' War at Yale Repertory. She also made guest appearances on such television shows as Army Wives, 24, Law & Order, The Cosby Show, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and The Guardian among others.
During the mid-1980s Pinkins created the character of "Heather Dalton" on the CBS soap As the World Turns. In 1991, she was cast as Livia Frye in All My Children. Pinkins left All My Children in 1995 but returned to her role in 2003. She was later put on contract with the show from March 2004 until June 2006, when she was downgraded to recurring status.
She played Amala Motobo on 24. Pinkins played Ethel Peabody on the television show Gotham. In 2016, she played Mimi Corcoran on the Hulu science fiction limited series 11.22.63, based on the Stephen King book of the same name, and starring James Franco and Sarah Gadon. On March 16, 2017, she portrayed Sandra in the ABC television series Scandal.
Pinkins has appeared in several films in supporting roles, including Newlyweeds, Home, Fading Gigolo opposite Woody Allen, Enchanted, Premium, Romance & Cigarettes, Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom and Above the Rim among others.
Pinkins has performed in several cabaret shows including Bring On The Men with Brad Simmons, Tonya Pinkins UnPlugged at The National Black Theater Festival and Hurricane Ethel.
Pinkins wrote, directed, and starred as Cassandra in Red Pill, to be released in 2020.
|1980||Growing Up Young||Carol||Short|
|1989||See No Evil, Hear No Evil||Leslie|
|1994||Above the Rim||Mailika|
|2002||Love Hurts||Auntie V|
|2008||Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom||Mrs. Robinson|
|2015||Ori Inu: In Search of Self||Mama Lola||Short|
|2016||Collective: Unconscious||Ripa||Segment: "Everybody Dies!"|
|2016||Fearless Love||Det. Cambridge||Short|
|2017||The Book of Henry||Principal Wilder|
|2017||My Days of Mercy||Agatha|
|2017||An Act of Terror||Mary Church Terrell||Short|
|2018||Write When You Get Work||Roberta Simmons|
|2019||The Artist's Wife||Liza Caldwell|
|2020||Red Pill||Writer, Direct, Cassandra|
|1984–1986||As the World Turns||Heather Dalton||Recurring role|
|1986||Rage of Angels: The Story Continues||Sharon||TV film|
|1990||The Cosby Show||Iris||"Elvin Pays for Dinner"|
|All My Children||Livia Frye||Regular role|
|1993||Strapped||A.T.F. Officer||TV film|
|1994||Against Their Will: Women in Prison||Sondra||TV film|
|1995||University Hospital||Nurse Mary Jenkins||Main role|
|2002||The Guardian||Melinda Tralins||"In Loco Parentis"|
|2005||Sleeper Cell||Anita Al-Sayeed||"Family"|
|2006||Criminal Minds||Det. Nora Bennett||"A Real Rain"|
|2006||Cold Case||Dina Miller||"The River"|
|2006||Law & Order||Angela Young||"Hindsight"|
|2007||Unfabulous||Ms. Best||"The Toot"|
|2008||The Closer||Donna Taft||"Split Ends"|
|2009||24||Alama Matobo||4 episodes|
|2009||Army Wives||Viola Crawford||Recurring role; 5 episodes|
|2013||Hostages||Beth Nix||"2:45 PM"|
|2015||Nurse Jackie||Charlane||"Deal", "Nice Ladies"|
|2015||For Justice||Marian Horn||TV film|
|2016||11.22.63||Mia Mimi Corcoran||TV miniseries; 4 episodes|
|2015–16||Gotham||Ethel Peabody||Recurring role; 11 episodes|
|2016–19||Madam Secretary||Susan Thompson||10 episodes|
|2017||Scandal||Sandra||"Extinction", "A Traitor Among Us"|
|2017||The Strain||Francis||"Belly of the Beast"|
|2018||Random Acts of Flyness||Ripa The Reaper||3 episodes|
|2018||Elementary||Judge Marilyn Whitfield||"Fit to Be Tied"|
|2018||Fear the Walking Dead||Martha||6 episodes|
|2019||NCIS: New Orleans||Julie||"Reckoning"|
|2019||Bull||Judge Maynard||"When the Rains Came"|
|2019||Wu-Tang: An American Saga||Burgess||"Impossible"|
|2020||God Friended Me||Marsha||3 episodes|
Awards and honorsEdit
- 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play - Rasheeda Speaking
- 2015 Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Play - Rasheeda Speaking
- 2014 Audelco Nomination - Best Lead Actress - The Fabulous Miss Marie
- 2012 Craig Noel Nomination - Best Featured Actress in a Play - Milk Like Sugar
- 2010 Helen Hayes Nomination - Best Actress in a Play - Black Pearl Sings
- 2008 Ovation Nomination - Best Actress in a Play - And Her Hair Went with Her
- 2007 What's On Stage Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical in London - Caroline, or Change
- 2007 Audience Choice Award for favorite Featured Actress in a Play - Radio Golf
- 2007 Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2005 NAACP Theater Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2004-2005 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award - Lead Actress for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Backstage “Garland Award” - Outstanding Performance for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Audelco Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Tony Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2004 Drama League Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change
- 2003-2004 Obie Award - Best Actress in a Musical - Caroline, or Change
- 1998 Black Theater Alliance Nomination, Best Featured Actress for Play On!, Goodman Theater, Chicago
- 1998 Joseph Jefferson Nomination, Best Actress in a Musical for Play On!, Goodman Theater, Chicago
- 1997 Tony Award Nomination, Best Actress in a Musical for Play On!, Broadway
- 1992 Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jelly's Last Jam, Broadway
- 1992 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Nomination, Best Actress in a Daytime Drama for All My Children
- 1992 Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jelly's Last Jam, Broadway
- 1992 Drama Desk Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jelly's Last Jam, Broadway
- 1992 Clarence Derwent Award, Most Promising Actress of the Season for Jelly's Last Jam, Broadway
- 1992 Monarch Award, Best Actress in a Musical for Jelly's Last Jam, Broadway
- 1992 Soap Opera Digest Nomination, Best Featured Actress in a Daytime Drama for All My Children
- Tonya Pinkins: A Diva, Absolutely!, edgemedianetwork.com; accessed March 31, 2018.
- Playbill News: Her Shining Hour: Tonya Pinkins Sings Arlen Archived 2012-07-19 at Archive.today
- For a photo of Tonya Pinkins in the role of Mopsa in The Winter's Tale, see Riverside Shakespeare Company
- "Tony Winner Tonya Pinkins to Star in Milk Like Sugar at Playwrights Horizons". Broadway.com, September 23, 2011.
- Blank, Matthew (February 23, 2012). "PHOTO CALL: Tonya Pinkins, Saycon Sengbloh and More in Katori Hall's Hurt Village". Playbill.com.
- Tonya Pinkins on IMDb
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (2020-07-07). "Tonya Pinkins' Thriller 'Red Pill' Puts A Frightening Lens On The 2020 Election". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-07-25.