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Kerry Washington            

Author, Actress, Producer & Activist Known for Starring as Olivia Pope in ABC's "Scandal"

Kerry Washington is a versatile and fearless actress best known for starring as Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert, in the ABC drama series "Scandal" which ran from 2012 to 2018. For her role as Olivia, she received nominations for two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Her portrayal of Anita Hill in the HBO television film Confirmation, earned her another Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

Some of Washington's notable film roles were in 2004's Ray, 2006's The Last King of Scotland, the Fantastic Four films, and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012).

In 2018, Forbes named her the eighth highest-paid television actress.

Washington reprised her role in the film adaptation of the Broadway play American Son in 2019, which she also executive produced, for Netflix.

In 2020, Washington served as an executive producer on The Fight, a documentary film revolving around legal battles lawyers for the ACLU face during the Trump administration. She also starred and served as an executive producer in the Hulu adaption of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere alongside Reese Witherspoon.

In addition to her acting career, Washington is an activist. She is a member of V-Day, a global movement that brings awareness to violence against women and girls.

Washington is also a supporter of LGBTQ rights. In August 2013, she was named an honorary chairperson of the GLSEN Respect Awards; and she received the GLAAD Vanguard Award on March 21, 2015. In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Washington and others told the stories of the people killed there.

In September 2012, Washington spoke at the Democratic National Convention in favor of re-electing Barack Obama, with her speech focusing on addressing voter apathy. In March 2016, Washington appeared in a commercial endorsing Hillary Clinton for President.

Originally from The Bronx, New York, Washington is a graduate of The Spence School. In 1998, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from The George Washington University. On May 19, 2013, she was the commencement speaker for her alma mater. Before giving her commencement address, she was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts.

Speech Topics

The Power of One: How Activism and Active Voices Can Change the Lives of Many

Womens Health: Our Ongoing Battle Against Cancer and Our Journey To Better Health

Victory Day: Working To End Violence Against Women and Girls


Kerry Washington Is Turning Star Power Into Political Change | TIME
5 days ago ... Kerry Washington was an activist long before she became a star. She's best known for her roles onscreen—particularly D.C. fixer Olivia Pope on Shonda ...
First Look: 'In the Sun' Documentary Exec Produced by Kerry ...
'In the Sun' Trailer: Kerry Washington Helps Shine Spotlight on Skin Cancer ( EXCLUSIVE). By Jazz Tangcay ...
Kerry Washington talks Adweek cover scandal on TODAY: 'It felt altered'
Kerry Washington is the leading lady of the prime-time hit "Scandal," the main focus in HBO's political drama "Confirmation" and the star on this week's cover of Adweek. And one of those roles has caused quite a controversy — with the actress herself.
Fashion media tries to embrace diversity, and fails
Fashion magazines came under fire Tuesday for imposing restrictive labels and beauty standards on some of Hollywood’s most in-demand celebrities, including “Trainweck” star Amy Schumer and “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington.
Kerry Washington Discusses Diversity, Women and Movado
Movado brought a dash of glamor to a morose edition of Baselworld by inviting Kerry Washington, celebrating her 10th year as ambassador to the brand, to its annual cocktail party at the watch and jewelry fair.
Celebrities celebrate International Women's Day on Twitter
Celebrities, politicians and noted names are taking to Twitter to celebrate International Women's Day and bring awareness to its importance.
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Kerry Washington and Anita Hill talk 'Confirmation' at Brandeis
Actor Kerry Washington visited the Brandeis campus Sunday to sit down for a talk with University Professor Anita Hill, whom she portrays in the upcoming HBO film "Confirmation."
Kerry Washington stars as Oklahoman Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation'
Kerry Washington, Wendell Pierce and Greg Kinnear star in the new HBO film "Confirmation," premiering April 16 on cable 1541.
‘Scandal’ Stars Kerry Washington & Katie Lowes To Produce Nanny Dramedy For Shondaland & ABC
Scandal stars Kerry Washington and Katie Lowes are among the executive producers of an untitled comedic drama from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland, which has been set up at ABC through ABC Studios where Shondaland is based.
Kerry Washington: Olivia Pope inspired me to become a mother
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