- Date of Birth:
- February 14, 1978
- 5' 7"
Danai Gurira (born Danai Jekesai Gurira in Grinnell, Iowa on February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She currently plays Michonne on the AMC drama series The Walking Dead. Danai began writing plays in an effort to better utilize her strengths as an actor, and to tell stories that convey ideas about strong women with whom she identifies. She actually co-wrote and co-starred in the off-Broadway play In the Continuum, which won her an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress. In 2009 Danai debuted on Broadway in August Wilson’s play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. After continuing to act on the stage as well as writing shows, Lupita Nyong’o was actually cast as the starring role in one of Danai’s plays in 2015. It was also announced the play would move to Broadway from Off-Broadway. Danai has also had roles in multiple films and on multiple television shows such as Law & Order and the HBO drama series Treme. In January 2016, it was announced Danai had been cast as Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, in All Eyez on Me, a biopic about the rap star. Danai caught her biggest break in 2012, when AMC announced on a live broadcast that she would join the cast of their horror-drama series The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable television history, in its third season.
Best Known For:
Danai Gurira is best known for being an actress, specifically in the television series The Walking Dead.
Danai Gurira’s parents came to the United States from Zimbabwe in 1964 and she is the youngest of four siblings. When she was five years old, her and her family moved back to Zimbabwe once the country had gained independence. After high school however she returned to the United States to study at Macalester College in Minnesota. Danai is a Christian who currently lives in Los Angeles and speaks four languages: French, Shona, basic Xhosa, and English. She has taught playwriting and acting in Liberia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. She also regularly spends time in New York City while maintaining an active lifestyle to keep physically fit.