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Who is Regina King?

The Inspiring Career of Regina King


I guarantee that you have seen Regina King throughout her 30-year acting career in either movies like Daddy Daycare from 2003 or shows, like her voice acting in The Boondocks from 2005 to 2014. Of course, she is very famous in Hollywood, but let us take a deeper look and learn more specific details of her career.


Regina King was born on January 15, 1971, in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria King and Thomas King, and later have a younger sister Reina King in 1975. She married Ian Alexander Sr. (m. 1997–2007) and had Ian Alexander, Jr. (1996) with her husband.

Starting of:

When King was 11, she took acting

classes in which she presented a natural

ability to act, and at 14 she received the main

casting as the teenage daughter, Brenda

Jenkins, of the main character in the sitcom

227 (1985–90). King would later appear in

movies directed by John Singleton such as

Boyz n the Hood (1991), Poetic Justice (1993),

and Higher Learning (1995), and followed

with the comedy Friday (1995) directed by F.

Gary Gray. After her performance as Marcee

Tidwell, the wife of a football player, Cuba

Gooding, Jr., in the well-received movie Jerry

Maguire (1996) with Tom Cruise, she received

much more notice which led her to get more

notable roles in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Enemy of the State (also 1998), among others.

Still rising high:

So far King has earned a total of 4 Emmy Awards. Two Emmy

Awards (2015 and 2016) for her portrayals of a different character

in each story arc, in the drama anthology series American Crime (2015–17). The third Emmy for her performance as Latrice Butler,

a grieving mother in the 10-episode miniseries Seven Seconds

(2018), is about a 15-year-old African American boy who was accidentally run over by a white policeman who tries to cover up

the incident. Finally, in 2019 she starred in the TV miniseries Watchmen (2019), for which she won her fourth Emmy Award. However not only did she earn 4 Emmy Awards, but King also

earned an Academy Award for the best-supporting actress after

her masterful role as Sharon Rivers, Tish’s mother, in the Romance Drama If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), adapted from the 1974

novel by the esteemed James Baldwin. She also directed the TV

movie Let the Church Say Amen (2013) and One Night in Miami (2020), which was critically praised.


Pushing through with Impacts:

In a Backstage Interview, King expressed her insecurities as a child as she gave advice for new actors “When I was younger, this feeling, whether it was being not pretty or not good enough of an actor or not having the vocabulary to express something or being the only black person or not being light enough.” However, her biggest struggle came on the tragic day of January 21, 2022, when King’s son, Ian Alexander, Jr., died at the young age of 26 of suicide, just days before officially starting his music career.

When King was at the University of Southern California she discovered James Baldwin, a Black writer during the civil rights movement that discussed the Black experience, and social and racial issues in America during the time. She was overjoyed and ready to bring his writing to the big screen. She was able to accomplish this task in If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). “This movie was able to be told from a place that’s rooted in love as opposed to fear or hate,” she says in a BAZAAR interview, “It keeps me hopeful that there will continue to be stories that really share the complexities of being a Black human being in America,” and she would strive to be in such a narrative.

Article written by : Ayane Castro

BFE spring 2022 intern


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