Actor’s Spotlight: Sanaa Lathan


Sanaa Lathan was born on September 19, 1971 to New York actress Eleanor McCoy, who was a Broadway performer and father Stan Lathan, who was a director for PBS. At an early age she was introduced to the life of entertainment which had a strong influence on her life and career choices. Growing up she was skilled in athletics, the arts,  gymnastics and dance. When her parents divorced it resulted in her going back and forth between the extremes of New York and the riches of Beverly Hills. Lathan became a humbled spirit with a competitive nature who was fully aware of herself.

She graduated from the University of California-Berkley with a BA in English. While in college, she continued to nurture her desire to express herself in the arts by performing with the Black Theatre Workshop. Nearing the end of her undergraduate days, unsure of which move to make next, she applied to the Master’s program at the Yale School of Drama on the strength of a recruiter. Throughout the three years of training and skill attainment that Yale provided, she was able to visualize how she could effectively combine her talents, giftedness and intelligence to express herself through this powerful art form called acting. She gained a love for the stage and the drama greats, such as William Shakespeare, by performing in school productions such as “Othello”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Winter’s Tale” and “Twelfth Night”.

You might remember her portraying the role as Monica in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s film Love and Basketball, but Lathan got her start when she reluctantly moved to Hollywood to chase her dreams. She was able to make a name for herself without the help of her accomplished father. She was able to get notable appearances in television shows such as Moesha, Family Matters, In the House, NYPD Blue, and the list continues.

Lathan can currently be seen in the long awaited original Netflix film “Nappily Ever After” where she portrays the life of a woman who is overly obsessed with her standards of beauty and fed up with waiting for a proposal from her longtime boyfriend.

She is currently living in Los Angeles, California.