Brooks at the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards in 2014
|Born||September 17, 1989|
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||Juilliard School (BFA)|
Danielle Brooks (born September 17, 1989) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. She received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in the 2015 Broadway production of The Color Purple.
Brooks was born in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in South Carolina, in a Christian family; her father was a deacon, and her mother, a minister. She began acting at the age of six in a nativity play put on by her church. For her final two years of high school, she attended South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, a selective arts high school. She studied drama at the Juilliard School and graduated in 2011.
After graduating from Juilliard, Brooks won roles in two theater productions: the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Servant of Two Masters, and Blacken the Bubble. She left both productions in 2013 to join the cast of the Netflix-produced television series Orange Is the New Black, a show about a women's prison, based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name. Brooks played as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson. Her character originally was intended to be featured in the show for only two episodes, but was written into the rest of the first season and subsequent seasons. Taystee's onscreen best friend Poussey is played by Samira Wiley, with whom Brooks has been friends since they met while studying together at Juilliard. Brooks' performance on the show has been favorably reviewed by TV critics, with one writer calling her "the breakout actress of the show and one of the most refreshing and exciting new talents of 2013." Brooks was upgraded from a recurring cast member to a series regular for the show's second season. She competed against co-star Uzo Aduba in an episode of Spike's Lip Sync Battle that aired on June 28, 2017. Brooks won with performances of Ciara's "1, 2 Step" and Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer".
Brooks made her Broadway debut in the 2015 revival of The Color Purple as Sofia. The musical opened on December 10, 2015, at the Bernard B. Jacobs. Brooks received good notices for her performance,[by whom?] and received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. In June 2019, she played Beatrice in The Public Theater's production of Much Ado About Nothing.
|2015||I Dream Too Much||Abbey|
|2016||The Angry Birds Movie||Olive Blue/Monica the Crossing Guard (voice)|
|The Day Shall Come||Venus|
|All the Little Things We Kill||Claire Soto|
|The Public's Much Ado About Nothing||Beatrice||post-production|
|2012||Modern Love||Raimy||TV movie|
|2013||Black Girls Rock! 2013||Herself||TV movie|
|2013-2019||Orange Is the New Black||Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson||Main cast|
|2014||Girls||Laura||Episode: "Females Only"|
|2015-2017||Master of None||Shannon||3 episodes|
|2016||Lasso & Comet||Comet (voice)||Pilot|
|2017||Tangled: The Series||Ruthless Ruth (voice)||Episode: "The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth"|
|Lip Sync Battle||Herself||Episode: "Danielle Brooks vs. Uzo Aduba"|
|2018||Project Runway All Stars||Herself||Episode: "Damsels in Distress"|
|High Maintenance||Regine||Episode: "Namaste"|
|Elena of Avalor||Charica (voice)||Episode: "A Lava Story"|
|2020||Close Enough||Pearle Watson||Recurring Role|
|2013||Young Hollywood Award||Breakthrough Actress||Orange is the New Black||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Won|
|2016||Tony Award||Best Featured Actress in a Musical||The Color Purple||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||Honoree|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Orange is the New Black||Won|
|2017||Grammy Award||Best Musical Theater Album||The Color Purple||Won|
I'm happily pregnant!