Camara DaCosta Johnson (born November 15, 1982), better known as Yaya DaCosta, is an American actress and model. She was the runner-up in Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model. DaCosta eventually went to star in ABC's daytime drama series All My Children (2008), ABC's comedy-drama Ugly Betty (2009), and NBC's medical drama Chicago Med (2015–2021). DaCosta starred in the Lifetime television film Whitney (2015) as singer Whitney Houston and received praise for her performance.
Camara DaCosta Johnson
November 15, 1982
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||Brown University|
|Partner(s)||Joshua Bee Alafia (2012–2015)|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Hair color||Dark Brown|
DaCosta was born on November 15, 1982, in New York City, and is of Brazilian and Black-American descent. She was raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. In addition to English, she speaks Portuguese, French, Spanish and conversational Japanese. She attended the elite Northfield Mount Hermon School during her high school years before attending college where she majored in Africana Studies and International Relations at Brown University.
After finishing second on Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model, DaCosta went on to have a successful career. DaCosta only appeared once in the bottom two during the competition. She has appeared in advertisements for Garnier Fructis, Lincoln Townhouse, Oil of Olay, Radioshack, Seda, Sephora and Dr. Scholl's. She has graced the covers of numerous magazines, including W, Hype Hair, Splash and Global Modeling. In 2014, she landed a spot in Tom Ford’s Fall/Winter advertising campaign. DaCosta began acting in 2005 after guest-starring in an episode of the UPN sitcom Eve. She then starred opposite Rob Brown, Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard in the 2006 dance film Take the Lead. DaCosta had supporting roles in the independent films Honeydripper (2007) and The Messenger (2009).
She appeared in the ABC soap opera All My Children in 2008 as Cassandra Foster, the daughter of Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan). According to an interview with All My Children's new head writer, Charles Pratt, Jr., DaCosta left the role some time in August 2008, less than four months after joining the show, to join the cast of The First Breeze of Summer on Broadway. The First Breeze of Summer was presented from 2008 to 2009 by the historic Negro Ensemble Company. In 2009, she had a recurring role as Nico Slater, the daughter of Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams) in the fourth and final season of the ABC comedy-drama series Ugly Betty.
In 2010, DaCosta had supporting roles in the comedy-drama film The Kids Are All Right and the science fiction action-adventure film Tron: Legacy. Later, she appeared in the magazines, including on the cover of W (September 2010), in L'Officiel (in November 2010), and in Vogue (in January 2011 by Patrick Demarchelier). In 2013, she also appeared as Carol in the historical drama film The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
In 2015, it was announced in an interview with actress Angela Bassett on CNN that DaCosta would star as musical icon Whitney Houston in a Lifetime television film about her life, which was Bassett's directorial debut. DaCosta received high praise for her performance. Also from 2015 to 2021, DaCosta has starred in the NBC medical drama Chicago Med as April Sexton, an ED nurse. On May 14, 2021, DaCosta announced that she is leaving Chicago Med after six seasons and before her exit she has joined Fox's drama series Our Kind of People as Angela.
DaCosta was in a long-term relationship with independent film producer and director Joshua Bee Alafia from 2012 to 2015. In September 2013, she gave birth to their son, Sankara. In November 2015, it was reported that DaCosta and Alafia broke up. Contrary to popular reports, DaCosta and Alafia were never officially married.
|2006||Take the Lead||LaRhette|
|2008||Racing for Time||Vanessa||TV Movie|
|2009||The Messenger||Monica Washington|
|2010||The Kids Are All Right||Tanya|
|Lost and Found||Short|
|Whole Lotta Sole||Sophie|||
|Weekends at Bellevue||Vanessa||TV Movie|
|The Shanghai Hotel||Kendra|
|2012||Dark Horse||Amy||TV Movie|
|2013||Mother of George||Sade|
|The Butler||Carol Hammie|
|2014||And So It Goes||Kennedy|
|2015||Whitney||Whitney Houston||TV Movie|
|2016||The Nice Guys||Tally|
|2018||Faith Under Fire||Kendra||TV Movie|
|2005||Eve||Ms. Jenkins||Episode: "Prom Night"|
|2008||All My Children||Cassandra Foster||Regular Cast|
|2009||Ugly Betty||Nico Slater||Recurring Cast: Season 4|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Audrina||Episode: "Anchor"|
|2010||Mercy||Brooke Sullivan||Episode: "There Is No Room for You on My Ass"|
|Army Wives||Specialist Amber Stiles||Episode: "AWOL"|
|2011||Body of Proof||Holly Bennett||Episode: "Helping Hand"|
|2011-12||House||Anita||Recurring Cast: Season 8|
|2014||Unforgettable||Molly McGinty||Episode: "Cashing Out"|
|2015||The Simpsons||Princess Kemi (voice)||Episode: "The Princess Guide"|
|2015–21||Chicago Med||April Sexton||Main Cast: Season 1-6|
|Chicago Fire||April Sexton||Crossover Cast: Season 3-6, 8-9|
|2017–19||Chicago P.D.||April Sexton||Crossover Cast: Season 4-5, 7|
|2021||Our Kind of People||Angela Vaughn||Main Cast|
|2005||"Gold Digger"||Kanye West|
|2006||"Pullin' Me Back"||Chingy|
|2007||"Beautiful Girls"||Sean Kingston|
|2011||"Good Man"||Raphael Saadiq|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2006||Teen Choice Award||Movies – Choice Breakout (Female)||Take the Lead||Nominated|
|2008||Black Reel Awards||Best Ensemble||Honeydripper||Nominated|
|2010||Gotham Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||The Kids Are All Right||Nominated|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards||Best Ensemble Acting||Nominated|
|Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|2011||Black Reel Award||Best Breakthrough Performance||Nominated|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||Best Ensemble||Nominated|
- "Critics express faith in lifetimes upcoming Whitney Houston biopic". Clutch magazine. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Yaya Dacosta at Fashion Model Directory
- News, ABC. "5 Things About Yaya DaCosta, Star of Whitney Houston Biopic".
- "yata slams nigerian roots".
- "Getting Even Better". www.brownalumnimagazine.com. Retrieved 2021-07-30.
- "Top Model Contestants We Can't Forget". AOL Entertainment Canada. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18.
- "Yaya DaCosta and Zoe Kravitz Cover W Magazine's September "New It Girls" Issue – Fashion Bomb Daily Style Magazine: Celebrity Fashion, Fashion News, What To Wear, Runway Show Reviews". fashionbombdaily.com. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
- "Digital Cover: Yaya DaCosta On Celebrating Her Natural Tresses On & Off The Big Screen". Retrieved 2019-09-05.
- "Yaya DaCosta Stars in new Tom Ford Ad". Essence. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
- "Where are the models of ANTM now?". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Antonio Banderas and Katya Virshilas in 'Take the Lead'". LA Times. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "All My Children's Next Top Model". ABC.com. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "The First Breeze of Summer". variety.com. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "'Ugly Betty' recast: 'Top Model' alum is Willie's daughter!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Magazine, W (1 September 2010). "Film: Young Actresses".
- Sulmers, Claire. "Snapshot: Yaya DaCosta for L'Officiel Paris November 2010". 30 November 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- Sulmers, Claire. "Snapshot: Yaya DaCosta by Patrick DeMarchelier for Vogue US January 2011". Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Yaya DaCosta On 'The Butler' & Maintaining Those Gorgeous Locks". latina.com. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Lifetime's 'Whitney': What the Critics Are Saying". hollywood reporter. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Yaya DaCosta Says 'Chicago Med' Opened Her Eyes on Beauty and Western Medicine". essence.com. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 14, 2021). "'Chicago Med': Yaya DaCosta & Torrey DeVitto Exit NBC Drama, Remaining Original Cast Members To Return". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 14, 2021). "Yaya DaCosta To Headline 'Our Kind Of People' Fox Drama Series Following 'Chicago Med' Exit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
- Yoonsoo Kim, Kristen (2016-05-13). "Yaya DaCosta's Journey From 'America's Next Top Model' to Top Billing". Complex. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "TFF 2012: Spotlight". tribecafilm.com, Inc. March 8, 2012. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-28.