Spotlight: Kerry Washington

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    It must be nice to be the star of a new television show that virtually everyone expects to be a ratings bonanza. That kind of buzz has to feel good for all parties involved.

    We speak of Kerry Washington, an actress with few peers when it comes to skill and consistency, and “Scandal,” the new drama airing on ABC in which Washington portrays Olivia Pope, a former crisis management expert to the president of the United States.

    Her character could have stayed there, but opted to leave and start her own company, Olivia Pope and Associates. She is sought by the rich, the powerful and the elite, to protect their images — “a professional fixer” you might say.

    Of course, she and her crisis team have their own lives, complete with “secrets” and more.

    KERRY WASHINGTON has been acting for a substantial number of years, subsequently becoming a familiar face and name to millions of movie-goers and TV viewers. 

    Her résumé is impressive, but no more so than her abilities. Many words come to mind when the subject is Kerry Washington and what she has to offer. For example, “powerful,” “effective,” “memorable,” “captivating,” “strong,” “dynamic,”  “sensitive,” “charming,” “tough,” “charismatic” and we can’t forget “sexy.”

    Although Washington had done many things before and has done many things since, for many her role as Della Bea Robinson, wife of Ray Charles in the monumental film “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx, is a career highlight. She played the part so effectively that she, in essence, “was” Mrs. Robinson, just as Foxx, amazingly, “became” Ray Charles.

    BRONX, NEW YORK-born Kerry Washington got her start on the stage and assures that the stage will always be a part of her life, her love for television and movies notwithstanding. As a teenager she performed with a theater group called Tada.

    She is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  In addition, she studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.

    Washington grew up in a professional environment, so it is no surprise that she has always carried herself and viewed her career with a professional attitude and perspective at all times. She is the daughter of a professor and educational consultant (mother) and a real estate broker (father).

    SHE MADE her screen debut in 1994, in “Magical Make-Over,” an ABC telefilm.

    Since then, Washington has added a long list of acclaimed film performances, por-traying a wide range of characters in such films as “The Last King of Scotland,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Ray,” “Save the Last Dance,” “For Colored Girls,” “I Think I Love My Wife,” “Against the Ropes” and “A Thousand Words.” 

    In production right now is “Django Unchained.”

    In 2005  Washington won an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture category for her performance in “Ray,” and has been nominated for an array of other awards.

    She has appeared on such popular TV programs as “Boston Legal,” “Law & Order” and “NYPD Blue.”

    “What’s important to me,” said Washington, “is to make sure my characters ring true, that they reflect a trueness to society.”

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