Octavia Spencer – MovieActors.com

Octavia Spencer in HIDDEN FIGURES (2016).

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
1996A Time to KillRoark's Nurse
1997The 6th ManNativity Watson
1999Never Been KissedCynthia
1999Being John MalkovichWoman in Elevator
1999Blue StreakShawna
2000The Sky Is FallingNurse No. 2
2000Everything Put TogetherNurse B
2000American VirginAgnes Large
2000What Planet Are You From?Baby Nurse
2000Auto MotivesRhonda
2000Big Momma's HouseTwila
2000Four Dogs Playing PokerWaitress
2001Sol GoodeUnemployment Clerk
2001The JourneymanBlack Belly
2002Spider-ManCheck-In Girl
2003Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & BlondeSecurity Guard
2003S.W.A.T.Neighbor in Alley
2003Chicken PartyLaqueta Mills
2003Bad SantaOpal
2004Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!Janine
2004Breakin' All the RulesStylist
2005Coach CarterMrs. Battle
2005Pretty PersuasionWoman
2005Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm SchoolAyisha Lebaron
2005Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and FabulousOctavia – Bookstore
2005Beauty ShopLady Chanet Janney Jones
2007The NinesStreetwalker
2008Next of KinGrace
2008Pretty Ugly PeopleMary
2008The SpleenectomyNurse
2008Seven PoundsKate (Home Health Care Nurse)
2009The First Time (Love At First Hiccup) Mrs. Hambrick
2009Drag Me to HellBank Co-Worker No. 1
2009Jesus People: The MovieAngel Angelique
2009The SoloistTroubled Woman
2009Just PeckDetention Room Teacher
2009Halloween IINurse Daniels
2009Herpes BoyRochelle
2009Small Town Saturday NightRhonda Dooley
2010Dinner for SchmucksMadame Nora
2011The HelpMinny Jackson
2011Peep WorldAllison
2011FlypaperMadge Wiggins
2013Fruitvale StationWanda
2014Get On UpAunt Honey Washington
2015The Great Gilly HopkinsMiss Harris
2015Black or WhiteRowena Jeffers
2015The Divergent Series: InsurgentJohanna Reyes
2015Fathers and DaughtersDr. Korman
2016ZootopiaMrs. Otterton (voice)
2016The Divergent Series: AllegiantJohanna Reyes
2016The Free WorldLinda Workman
2016Bad Santa 2Opal
2016Hidden FiguresDorothy Vaughan
2017The ShackPapa
2017Small Town CrimeKelly Banks
2017GiftedRoberta Taylor
2017The Shape of WaterZelda Fuller
2018A Kid Like JakeJudy
2019Instant Family
2019The Voyage of Doctor DolittleDab-Dab (voice)

Octavia Spencer's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1998ERMaria Jones
1999LanskyEvelyn the Maid
1999The X-FilesNurse
2000Malcolm in the MiddleCashier
2000Missing PiecesElegant Guest
2001Follow the Stars HomeHildy
2002Little JohnWaitress
The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie WoodmanCheryl / Female Security Guard
2007Halfway HomeSerenity Johnson
2007Ugly BettyConstance Grady
2008The Big Bang TheoryDMV Employee
2008Wizards of Waverly PlaceDr. Evilini
2009DollhouseProfessor Jackie
2009Raising the BarArvina Watkins
2010HawthorneEmily Thomkins
201330 RockHerself
2013Call Me Crazy: A Five FilmDr. Nance
Red Band SocietyNurse Dena Jackson
2015Drunk HistoryHarriet Tubman
2017Saturday Night LiveHerself (host)

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

Year Movie Award
2011The HelpBest Supporting Actress (won)
2017The Shape of WaterBest Supporting Actress (nominated)

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.".

Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water (2017).
In Hidden Figures (2016)... top picture with Taraji P. Henson, Ron Clinton Smith, and Janelle Monáe... second picture with Henson and Monáe... bottom picture with Alkoya Brunson.
In The Help (2011)... with Jessica Chastain in pictures five and six.
Octavia Spencer in Insurgent (2015).
Octavia Spencer in Allegiant (2016).
Spencer in Fruitvale Station (2013).
In Never Been Kissed (1999).
Spencer in Halloween II (2009).
Spencer in Flypaper (2011).
Octavia Spencer in Snowpiercer (2013)... with
Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton in pictures two and three.
Spencer in Smashed (2012).
Spencer in Paradise (2013)... with Russell Brand and
Julianne Hough in picture two... with Julianne Hough in picture three.
Spencer in Get On Up (2014).
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).
As Harriet Tubman in Drunk History (2015).
In Herpes Boy (2009)... bottom picture with Byron Lane.
Spencer in Mom (2013-2015).
Octavia Spencer in Red Band Society (2014-2015).