Reel Gems | Cynthia Erivo

by Tim Gordon

Happy Birthday to Black Reel Award-winning actress, singer, and songwriter Cynthia Erivo who was born on this date in 1987. The talented performer is the recipient of several accolades, including a Grammy Award and a Tony Award, in addition to nominations for two Academy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award.

Erivo launched her career in a stage production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She later gained notoriety for starring in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple, for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Erivo made her film debut in the heist film Widows and also starred in the thriller Bad Times at the El Royale. For her portrayal of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet (2019), Erivo received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress; she also wrote and performed the song “Stand Up” on its soundtrack, which garnered her a nomination in the Best Original Song category.

She has also generated positive notes for her work on television, with roles in the British series Chewing Gum and also in the crime drama miniseries The Outsider. Erivo received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for her portrayal of American singer Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s anthology series Genius: Aretha.