6 November 1972
Thandie Newton began her life in Zambia with parents Nick, an English artist, and Nyasha,
a Zimbabawean health-care worker who also happens to be a princess of the Shona tribe. When
Thandie [pronounced: Tan-dee] was five, political unrest caused her family to flee Africa to
England where they returned to Nick's hometown of Penzance where she and her brother James
The Cambridge graduate long harbored an interest in the performing arts; dance in particular,
so her parents enrolled her in London's Art Education School where she studied modern dance.
Unfortunately, an injury at age sixteen ended any dreams she had of ever pursuing a career in
But Thandie was determined to perform for a living, and so she turned her attention to acting
and began to do the audition circuit. It wasn't long before she was cast in the lead role in
John Duigan's "Flirting" and with that role Thandie Newton's career was launched.
Moving to L.A., Thandie continued to pursue acting, but found that her accent was often
holding her back. She returned to England and studied anthropology at Cambridge, but between
semesters she continued to act and even landed herself a spot in "Interview With the Vampire"
opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Interestingly, Newton had been friends with Nicole Kidman
since they worked together on "Flirting".
1998 proved to be a good year for Thandie. First, she married screenwriter/director Oliver
Parker, whom she met while working on a BBC tele-drama. And next, she was cast in two important
films, "Besieged", a film by director Bernardo Bertolucci, and "Beloved", the movie version
of Toni Morrison's acclaimed novel, also starring Oprah Winfrey. While neither film was
tremendously successful at the box office, they offered an ideal showcase for Thandie's
Thandie currently lives in London with her husband and child.
Photo © Richard Bailey/US Weekly
Bio written by K. Kamarauskas © 2000 - Please let us know of any errors.
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