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Celebrate Regina King’s birthday with her best work in films and TV

The prolific actor has an Academy Award, two Emmys and a Golden Globe Award to her name

  • Shilpa S

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 06.15 AM, Jan 15, 2022


Regina King has made a name for herself as one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood at present, her formidable acting skills rendering her an immovable force in the industry. Beginning her career in television in 1985, her segue into film came through supporting roles. But she remained a stalwart presence on TV, earning her first Emmy for her work on the series American Crime. She has also earned an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe for her performance in the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk. But not one to be limited, she has donned the director’s hat as well a few times, directing both TV episodes of shows such as Scandal and films.

As the actor-director turns another year around the sun, here is a list of some of her best work both in front of the camera and behind it.

King channels her inner superhero in this series adaptation of the popular comic book series of the same name. This 2019 series follows an original story different from the comics, although its characters and premise are set in the same universe as the comics. The series sees King essay the role of Angela Abar, or Sister Night, a police officer who wears a costume to hide her identity to prevent being targeted by white supremacists. When she investigates the murder of a person close to her, she unravels some closely guarded secrets that lead her to become entangled in a dangerous situation. King received her third Emmy for her impeccable performance on the show.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Set in the 1970s, If Beale Street Could Talk is a gut-wrenching tale of a couple victimised by the rampant racism prevalent in the United States. It tells the story of a young woman’s efforts to prove the innocence of her jailed partner in time for the birth of their first child. King stars as Sharon Rivers, the worried yet supportive mother of the young woman, her layered and nuanced performance earning her critical acclaim and her first Academy Award.
Seven Seconds
This gripping crime drama tells the story of a police detective who covers up a gruesome accident he caused to a young black teen with the help of his corrupt colleagues. King essays the role of the teen’s distraught mother. Her performance in the riveting drama stands out from the pack and is one of the highlights of the series, which hits some very real issues of racism that the world is grappling with in the present day.
One Night in Miami
With this film, King proved that she was a force to be reckoned with when it came to filmmaking as well. Based on a play of the same name, One Night in Miami is a fictional story involving a meeting between some of the most notable African American icons in history: Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke. The film tells the story of a meeting between the groups that took place in 1964 when they got together to celebrate a major win in Ali’s career and ended up discussing subjects like race, inequality, protests, and religion. The film marked King’s debut as a film director, and she was lauded for her direction and tackling of some complex and hard-hitting topics. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for direction.
American Crime
The series that earned King her first Emmy award, American Crime, is an anthology show where each season follows a standalone story. Through its various crime stories, the critically acclaimed series also addresses issues such as racism, sexual assault, classism and more. King has appeared in all three seasons of the show, essaying different characters with complex narratives. Her performance in the series received widespread adulation, being nominated for Emmy awards thrice and winning two for the first two seasons.

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