Octavia Spencer – MovieActors.com


Octavia Spencer: Best Supporting Actress, 2011: MovieActors.com

movie-poster- The Help (Drama – Rated PG-13)

Octavia Spencer won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in The Help.

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view of the white families for whom they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

About Octavia Spencer (1970 – )

Octavia Lenora Spencer was born in Montgomery, Alabama. She has six siblings, including sisters Rosa and Areka. Her mother, Dellsena (1945-1988), worked as a maid. Spencer graduated from Jefferson Davis High School in 1988, spent two years at Auburn Montgomery studying drama (1988–1989), and received a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Auburn University.

At nineteen, she worked as an intern on the set of The Long Walk Home, a film starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Spencer made her film debut as a nurse in Joel Schumacher's A Time to Kill based on the book by John Grisham. She was originally hired to work on casting, but asked Schumacher if she could audition for a small part. Other film credits include: Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House, Bad Santa, Spider-Man, Coach Carter, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and Pretty Ugly People. She has made a number of guest appearances on television series including Raising the Bar, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Big Bang Theory, Wizards of Waverly Place, Grounded for Life, ER, Titus, Becker, 30 Rock and Dharma & Greg, plus a recurring role on Mom. She is best known for her starring roles as Serenity Johnson on Comedy Central's Halfway Home, and Constance Grady, the amorous INS caseworker on Ugly Betty.

In 2003, she made her stage debut in Los Angeles, in Del Shores' play, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, starring opposite veteran actress Beth Grant. It was her first and only play, as she told Back Stage Magazine that she suffers from stage fright. Later that year, she starred opposite Allison Janney in Tate Taylor's critically lauded short feature Chicken Party.

In 2008, Spencer's brief appearance in Seven Pounds as Kate, Rosario Dawson's home care nurse, garnered her high praise and media attention. In April 2009, Entertainment Weekly listed Spencer in its list of 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood. In August 2009, Spencer appeared in Rob Zombie's Halloween II. She also had a role in the American remake of the Danish classic Love at First Hiccup opposite Scout Taylor-Compton. Spencer starred in the hit web series-turned feature film Herpes Boy alongside Beth Grant, Ahna O'Reilly and Byron Lane, and can be heard as the voice of "Minny" on the audio version of The Help, the New York Times Best Seller by Kathryn Stockett. Later that year, Spencer's short film The Captain was honored by the CICFF as a finalist for the coveted REEL Poetry Award.

In August 2010, Spencer joined Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard in Touchstone and DreamWorks' production of The Help, in which she played the feisty and unflappable domestic Minny Jackson. The film was written, produced and directed by Tate Taylor, and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, and Mark Radcliffe. Her role brought her critical acclaim, and stirred up award nomination talk. She won the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Help.

In 2012 she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her Performance in The Help, and on February 26 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same performance, making it both her first Oscar nomination and first win. Spencer was so thrilled she could hardly speak at the ceremony and received a standing ovation and was moved to tears during her acceptance speech. In June 2012, Spencer was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 2013, she appeared alongside Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station, a film chronicling the last day of Oscar Grant, who was killed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in 2009.

In September 2013, it was announced that she would reunite with The Help director Tate Taylor in the biopic on singer James Brown Get On Up opposite her The Help co-star Viola Davis. The film was released in 2014. From September 2014 until February 2015, she starred in Steven Spielberg's Fox drama television series Red Band Society.

Spencer co-starred alongside Kevin Costner in drama film Black or White (2014) and co-starred as Johanna Reyes in the second installment of the Divergent series, Insurgent, which was released on 20 March 2015. She reprised the role in The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016).

Octavia Spencer's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1996 A Time to Kill Roark's Nurse
1997 The 6th Man Nativity Watson
1997 Sparkler Wanda
1999 Never Been Kissed Cynthia
1999 Being John Malkovich Woman in Elevator
1999 Blue Streak Shawna
2000 The Sky Is Falling Nurse No. 2
2000 Everything Put Together Nurse B
2000 American Virgin Agnes Large
2000 What Planet Are You From? Baby Nurse
2000 Auto Motives Rhonda
2000 Big Momma's House Twila
2000 Four Dogs Playing Poker Waitress
2001 Sol Goode Unemployment Clerk
2001 The Journeyman Black Belly
2002 Spider-Man Check-In Girl
2003 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Security Guard
2003 S.W.A.T. Neighbor in Alley
2003 Chicken Party Laqueta Mills
2003 Bad Santa Opal
2004 Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Janine
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Stylist
2005 Coach Carter Mrs. Battle
2005 Pretty Persuasion Woman
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Ayisha Lebaron
2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Octavia – Bookstore
2005 Beauty Shop Big Customer
2005 Wannabe Lady Chanet Janney Jones
2006 Pulse Landlady
2007 The Nines Streetwalker
2008 Next of Kin Grace
2008 Pretty Ugly People Mary
2008 The Spleenectomy Nurse
2008 Seven Pounds Kate (Home Health Care Nurse)
2009 The First Time (Love At First Hiccup) Mrs. Hambrick
2009 Drag Me to Hell Bank Co-Worker No. 1
2009 Jesus People: The Movie Angel Angelique
2009 The Soloist Troubled Woman
2009 Just Peck Detention Room Teacher
2009 Halloween II Nurse Daniels
2009 Herpes Boy Rochelle
2009 Small Town Saturday Night Rhonda Dooley
2010 Dinner for Schmucks Madame Nora
2011 The Help Minny Jackson
2011 Peep World Allison
2011 Flypaper Madge Wiggins
2012 Smashed Jenny
2013 Fruitvale Station Wanda
2013 Snowpiercer Tanya
2013 Paradise Loray
2014 Get On Up Aunt Honey Washington
2015 The Great Gilly Hopkins Miss Harris
2015 Black or White Rowena Jeffers
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Johanna Reyes
2015 Fathers and Daughters Dr. Korman
2016 Zootopia Mrs. Otterton (voice)
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Johanna Reyes

Octavia Spencer's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1998 ER Maria Jones
1999 Lansky Evelyn the Maid
1999 The X-Files Nurse
2000 Malcolm in the Middle Cashier
2000 Missing Pieces Elegant Guest
2001 Follow the Stars Home Hildy
2002 Little John Waitress
The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman Cheryl / Female Security Guard
2007 Halfway Home Serenity Johnson
2007 Ugly Betty Constance Grady
2008 The Big Bang Theory DMV Employee
2008 Wizards of Waverly Place Dr. Evilini
2009 Dollhouse Professor Jackie
2009 Raising the Bar Arvina Watkins
2010 Hawthorne Emily Thomkins
2013 30 Rock Herself
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Dr. Nance
Mom Regina
Red Band Society Nurse Dena Jackson
2015 Drunk History Harriet Tubman

Academy Nominations/Awards won by Octavia Spencer include...

Year Movie Award
2011 The Help Best Supporting Actress

Memorable Quotes by Octavia Spencer

“I was not a Girl Scout, but I try to be very prepared. I triple-Spanx!”

[on 'Smashed'] “To say we did it on a shoestring budget would be putting it mildly. We did it on a dental-floss budget.”

“I was always a closet lover of acting. My mom was very practical. She never, ever restricted our dreams, always told us we could do or be anything. Then I said, 'Maybe I want to be an actor'. And she said, 'Maybe not that'.”

[on her role as an alcoholic teacher in 'Smashed'] “The subject matter is so relevant.People have been having issues with substance abuse since the dawn of time, I imagine, since they started fermenting fruit and vegetables, for God's sake. It was definitely an enlightening part to play. I'll say that I don't think you can throw a stone and not come in contact with someone who knows someone or has problems with substance abuse.”

“You can't rest on your laurels. Because if you go in there and stink up the room, they go, 'They gave that one an Oscar?'”

“Meeting Oprah Winfrey, I cried like a baby. Meeting Steven Spielberg, I cried like a baby. Meeting Denzel Washington, I gushed like a crazy woman.”

Things You May Not Know About Octavia Spencer

In April 2009, Octavia Spencer was named one of the '25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood' by Entertainment Weekly.

She is one of 11 actresses to win the Critic's Choice Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar in the same year, winning for The Help. The others to achieve this are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich, Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain, Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line, Helen Mirren for The Queen, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls, Kate Winslet for The Reader, Mo'Nique for Precious, Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Patricia Arquette for Boyhood and Julianne Moore for Still Alice.

Spencer is one of 7 African-American actresses to win the Oscar in a competitive category. The others in chronological order are Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind, Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost, Halle Berry for Monster's Ball, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls, Mo'Nique for Precious and Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave.

Between 1996 and 2013, Spencer has played a nurse at least 16 different times, including in movies such as A Time to Kill and Seven Pounds, as a regular on the TV show "City of Angels," and in guest spots on shows like "Chicago Hope," "The X-Files," and "Roswell.".

_0000_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic1 _0001_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic2 _0002_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic3 _0003_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic4 _0004_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic5%20-%20with%20Jessica%20Chastain _0005_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic6%20-%20with%20Jessica%20Chastain _0009_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic7 _0010_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20The%20Help%20-%20Pic8
Octavia Spencer in The Help (2011)... with Jessica Chastain in pictures five and six.
Octavia Spencer in Insurgent (2015).
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Octavia Spencer in Allegiant (2016).
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Spencer in Fruitvale Station (2013).
In Never Been Kissed (1999).
Spencer in Halloween II (2009).
Spencer in Flypaper (2011).
_0017_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20Snowpiercer%20-%20Pic3 _0015_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20Snowpiercer%20-%20Pic1%20-%20with%20Chris%20Evans%20%2B%20Tilda%20Swinton _0018_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20Snowpiercer%20-%20Pic4%20-%20with%20Chris%20Evans%20%2B%20Tilda%20Swinton _0016_Octavia%20Spencer%20-%20Snowpiercer%20-%20Pic2
Octavia Spencer in Snowpiercer (2013)... with
Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton in pictures two and three.
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Spencer in Smashed (2012).
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Spencer in Paradise (2013)... with Russell Brand and
Julianne Hough in picture two... with Julianne Hough in picture three.
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Spencer in Get On Up (2014).
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Octavia Spencer in Black or White (2015).... with Kevin Costner in pictures one, two and four... with Anthony Mackie in pictures three and five... with Andre Holland in bottom picture.
Spencer in Fathers and Daughters (2015).
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As Harriet Tubman in Drunk History (2015).
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In Herpes Boy (2009)... bottom picture with Byron Lane.
Spencer in Mom (2013-Present).
Octavia Spencer in Red Band Society (2014-2015).