Danai Gurira is an American actress and playwright. She is best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC horror drama series The Walking Dead and as Okoye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Gurira is also the playwright of the Broadway play Eclipsed, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

Birth Name

Danai Jekesai Gurira

Nickname

Dede, Megaphone

Profession

Actress, Playwright

Nationality

American

Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

Danai Gurira was born on the 14th of February 1978, in Grinnell, Iowa, United States.

Age

She’s currently 41 years old.

Sun Sign

Aquarius

Ethnicity

Black

She has Zimbabwean ancestry.

Religion

Christianity

Education

Danai attended high school at Dominican Convent High School. Afterward, she returned to the United States to study at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Gurira also earned a Master of Fine Arts in acting from New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts.

Family Details

  • Father – Roger Gurira (Professor with a Department of Chemistry at Grinnell College)
  • Mother – Josephine Gurira (College Librarian)
  • Siblings – Shingai Gurira (Older Sister), Choni Gurira (Older Sister), Tare Gurira (Older Brother)

Marital Status

Single

Boyfriend / Spouse

Danai Gurira has dated –

  • Norman Reedus (2015) – In the summer of 2015, Danai was reported to be going out with actor Norman Reedus. They had first met while working on the TV series, The Walking Dead. The speculation of them being a couple had been sparked by their cozy equation on the sets of the TV series. In fact, they were pictured kissing each other. Plus, they seemed to be delighted to be with each other.

Physical Statistics

Height

  • In feet – 5 feet 7 inches
  • In centimeters – 170 cm
  • In meters – 1.70 m

Weight

  • In Kilograms – 53 kg
  • In Pounds – 117 lbs

Body Measurements

  • Measurements – 34-24-35
  • Bust – 34 inches
  • Waist – 24 inches
  • Hip – 35 inches
  • Bra Size – 32B

Body Build

Slim

Eye Color

Dark Brown

Hair Color

Black

Shoe Size

She wears a size 8 (US) shoe.

Dress Size

Her dress size is 4 (US).

Sexuality

Straight

Professional Statistics

Famous For

Being cast in the role of Okoye in the 2018 superhero movie, Black Panther. She has repriced the same role in other movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Film Debut

In 2007, Danai made her film debut in the movie, The Visitor as Zainab. She won high acclaim for her masterclass in acting in the movie.

Television Debut

In 2004, Danai Gurira made her first TV show appearance in Inert Dwarf episode of the police procedural TV series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Brand Endorsements

Danai Gurira hasn’t done endorsement work for any brand.

Awards & Nominations

YearAwardCategoryWorkResult
2006Obie AwardSpecial CitationIn the ContinuumWon
Outer Critics Circle AwardsOutstanding Off-Broadway PlayNominated
John Gassner Memorial Playwriting AwardWon
2007Helen Hayes AwardsBest Lead Actress, Non-ResidentWon
2008Gotham AwardBest Ensemble CastThe VisitorNominated
Boston Society of Film Critics AwardBest CastNominated
Method FestBest Supporting ActressWon
2012Satellite AwardBest Cast – Television SeriesThe Walking DeadWon
Whiting AwardsWriting in DramaThe ConvertWon
2013Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle AwardBest WritingNominated
Eyegore AwardsBest Ensemble Cast AwardThe Walking DeadWon
Chlotrudis AwardsBest ActressMother of GeorgeNominated
2014Black Reel AwardBest ActressWon
Best Breakthrough PerformanceNominated
American Black Film Festival Hollywood AwardsBest ActressNominated
2016NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesThe Walking DeadNominated
Saturn AwardBest Supporting Actress on TelevisionWon
Tony AwardBest PlayEclipsedNominated
Lilly AwardsOutstanding PlaywritingWon
Drama Desk AwardSam Norkin AwardWon
Lucille Lortel AwardsOutstanding PlayNominated
TCG GalaHonoreeWon
ImageNation Revolution AwardsRevolution Award for Artistic ExcellenceWon
Outer Critics Circle AwardsOutstanding New Off-Broadway PlayFamiliarNominated
Black Girls Rock! AwardStar Power CelebrantHerselfWon
2017Saturn AwardsBest Supporting Actress on a Television SeriesThe Walking DeadNominated
2018Best Supporting ActressBlack PantherWon
Best Supporting Actress on a Television SeriesThe Walking DeadNominated
MTV Movie AwardsBest On-Screen TeamBlack PantherNominated
Best FightAvengers: Infinity WarNominated
People’s Choice AwardsThe Action Movie Star of 2018Black PantherWon
2019Black Reel AwardOutstanding Supporting ActressBlack PantherNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureWon
Saturn AwardsBest Supporting Actress on a Television SeriesThe Walking DeadPending

Danai Gurira Favorites

  • Favorite Special Super Power – Ability to Fly
  • Favorite New York City Restaurant – Café Himalaya (Well known for delicious Tibetan food)
  • Favorite Color – Red
  • Favorite Movie – Hotel Rwanda
  • Favorite Singer – Justin Timberlake, Tasha Cobbs
  • Favorite Food – Lamb and goat-cheese burgers
  • Favorite Dishes – Tibetan Cuisine, Lamb, Goat-Cheese Burgers
  • Favorite Stage Role – Isabella in Measure for Measure (played by her)
  • Favorite TV Shows – Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Modern Family, Veep
  • Favorite Sport – Tennis
  • Favorite City – New York City

Danai Gurira Net worth

Danai Gurira has a estimated net worth of $4 million dollars as of 2019.

Social Media Profiles

Some Lesser Known Facts About Danai Gurira

  • While growing up, she used to participate in competitive swimming.
  • When she was 5 years old, her family moved back to Harare, the capital of the newly independent Zimbabwe.
  • She wrote her first play when she was in 7th grade. The play was titled as My Uncle Grey Bhonzo and she played the lead role in it.
  • She started to write plays in order to use her strengths as an actor in a better way. It also helped her write about strong female characters with which she is able to identify.
  • As a playwright, she has been commissioned by prestigious institutions such as Center Theatre Group, Yale Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Court.
  • She is the co-founder of Almasi Arts Inc., which is an organization that works to promote arts education in her native Zimbabwe. She has been appointed as Executive Artistic Director of the organization.
  • She has given lessons on acting and playwrighting in her native country as well as other African countries such as South Africa and Liberia.
  • Apart from English, she is very fluent in French and Shona. She also has a good control over basic Xhosa.
  • In 2005, she stepped into the theatre and co-wrote as well as co-starred in the off-Broadway play titled In the Continuum.
  • In 2008, Gurira appeared at the Global Green Sustainable Design Awards to read a letter written by a New Orleans native displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
  • In 2009, Gurira made her acting debut on Broadway in August Wilson’s play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone playing Martha Pentecost.
  • In 2011, Gurira co-founded Almasi Arts, an organization dedicated to continuing arts education in Zimbabwe. Gurira currently serves as the Executive Artistic Director.
  • In March 2012, AMC announced on a live broadcast that Gurira would join the cast of their horror-drama series The Walking Dead, the highest rated series in cable television history, in its third season.
  • In 2013, Gurira played a lead role in director Andrew Dosunmu’s independent drama film Mother of George, which premiered at 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
  • In 2015, Gurira signed an open letter begun by the ONE Campaign. The letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively. The following year, Gurira founded the non-profit organization Love Our Girls, which aims to highlight the issues and challenges that specifically affect women throughout the world.
  • In 2016, she launched her non-profit organization Love Our Girls, which works to raise awareness about the challenges and issues that women have to face all over the world.
  • In 2016, Gurira partnered with Johnson & Johnson in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
  • In 2018, she was starred in an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character- Black Panthers as Okoye.
  • In December 2, 2018, Gurira was announced as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Gurira dedicates her support to putting a spotlight on gender equality and women’s rights, as well as bringing unheard women’s voices front and center.
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