Date of Birth
January 15, 1971
Place of Birth
001. Biography (below)
003. Awards List
004. Personal Quotes
006. Official Twitter
007. Official Instagram
Regina and her mom at 2019 Oscars
(photo from 4chionlifestyle)
Regina Rene King was born on January 15, 1971 in Los Angeles, California to Gloria Cain and Thomas King. Her mother was a special education teacher, while her father was an electrician. She has a younger sister, who is a former actress, named Reina. Regina’s parents divorced when she was only 8 years old and she grew up in View Park-Windsor Hills, located in Los Angeles County, with her mother and sister. Regina and her sister were exposed to many talents, including tap dancing, ice skating, and baton twirling. Among the various arts, she began taking acting lessons and joined local theatre productions before breaking into television at age 14. Regina graduated from Westchester High School in 1988 before attending the University of Southern California.
Her acting career began on television, before she could even gratuate from high school, in 1985 with the show 227, playing the role of Brenda Jenkins, which also starred Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs, and Hal Williams. After the show ended in 1990, her next project would be playing Shalika in the 1991 crime drama Boyz n the Hood, starring Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles and it was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Director. Regina’s next role came in the 1993 romantic drama Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, as Iesha. She returned to television in 1994, appearing on the shows Northern Exposure as Mother Nature and New York Undercover as March. In 1995, she played Monet in the Omar Epps crime drama Higher Learning. The film follows people from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.
A Thin Line Between Love And Hate
Later that year, Regina appeared as Zina on the show Living Single, as well as portraying the role of Dana Jones in the film Friday. The next year, she was Mia in A Thin Red Line Between Love and Hate, written and directed by Martin Lawrence about a Lothario who finds himself the object of a wronged woman’s vengeance and later that same year, the incredibly supportive wife of Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), Marcee Tidwell, in the comedic drama Jerry Maguire. She expressed the response she received from the film and her role “from the streets to the industry was just incredible.”
In 1998, Regina appeared in the short film Rituals, starring Isaiah Washington before portraying Vanessa in the romantic comedy How Stella Got Her Groove Back, starring Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs. Next, she played the role of Carla Dean in the Will Smith thriller Enemy of the State; the film follows a lawyer who becomes the target by a corrupt politician and his NSA goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a politically motivated crime. Regina received an NAACP Image Award monition for her performance in the film.
Enemy of the State
Also in 1998, she played Dr. Cecily Banks in the Disney film Mighty Joe Young, an action adventure film starring Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton. 1999 began with the television movie Where the Truth Lies, playing Lillian Rose-Martin. The film is a courtroom drama where an ambitious but inexperienced young lawyer defends a deaf political campaign manager accused of murder. Regina next portrayed Lois Newton in the romantic drama Love and Action in Chicago, also starring Courtney B. Vance and Jason Alexander. She received a nomination for Best Actress at the 2001 DVD Exclusive Awards. In 2000, Regina wasAllie in the segment “2000” of the television movie If These Walls Could Talk 2. The film is a romantic drama following a trio of stories about lesbian couples in three different decades. Her next film came in 2001 playing Sontee Jenkins in Chris Rock’s fantasy comedy Down to Earth. Regina received Best Actress nominations at the BET Awards, Black Reel Awards, and the NAACP Image Awards for her role.
In 2002, Regina starred in the drama Turnaround as Rayne Johnson, which also served as the first producing project as well. In 2002, Regina returned to television, playing Cynthia in the comedy Leap of Faith, which also starred Sara Paulson and Lisa Edelstein, but the show would only last six episodes before being cancelled. She would next play Cheryl Griffith in the television movie Damaged Care, a drama starring Laura Dern. In 2003, Regina took on the role of Kim Hinton in the Eddie Murphy family comedy Daddy Day Care, a film where two men get laid off and become stay-at-home dads, inspiring them to open up their own daycare center. Next, she would portray Grace Rossiter in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, the sequel to Reese Witherspoon’s 2001 comedy hit. In 2004, she played Rhonda in A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff, before portraying the legendary Raelettes singer Mergie Hendrix in Ray, the biopic on famous rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, which brought her several award wins and a few nominations. She would also join Sandra Bullock for Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous as FBI Agent Sam Fuller in 2005. Regina earned the Best Actress awards at the BET Awards for A Cinderella Story, as well as Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous and an NAACP Image Award and Satellite Award for Best Actress in Ray; she also would be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award (Best Ensemble) and Black Reel Award (Best Actress) for Ray. Starting 2005, she voiced the characters of Riley and Huey Freeman for The Boondocks, throughout its four seasons.
In 2006, she continued her voice works with the role of Kreela for the television mini-series, video game, and feature film The Ant Bully before appearing in the pilot episode of the television show Women in Law. She also served as co-executive producer for the documentary Side by Side: The Story of the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone. The next year, she played the role of Layla in the comedic drama Year of the Dog, starring Molly Shannon and John C. Reilly, and would next join the television series 24 for nine episodes as Sandra Palmer, before starring in Last Christmas. In 2008, Regina played Ellie Jackson in the television movie Living Proof, starring Harry Connick Jr. The film is about a doctor devoting his life’s work to finding a cure for breast cancer. The next year, she wore the badge of Detective Lydia Adams in the TNT crime drama Southland and would continue to go on portraying her for five seasons. Regina earned three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role, as well as an award for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for the episode “Off Duty”, a Critics Choice Television Award and three BET Awards nominations for her role throughout the series. In 2010, Regina portrayed Angela in Our Family Wedding, a romantic comedy starring America Ferrera and Lance Gross. The film revolves around the weeks leading up to a young couple’s wedding, including as their fathers try to lay their long-standing feud to rest.
2013 brought Regina back to short films and television, which include Inside the Box where she plays Stephanie Miles, along with Cassandra in Divorce: A Love Story and The Gabby Douglas Story (in 2014), where she played Natalie Hawkins.
The Big Bang Theory
Regina would also start a recurring role on the sitcom the Big Bang Theory, playing Janine Davis. She directed her first film in 2013, a television movie named Let the Church Say Amen, a drama starring Steve Harris and Neturi Naughton. The film received two Black Reel Awards nominations, including Outstanding Director for a TV Movie or Limited Series. The next year, Regina co-directed, produced and starred in the documentary Story of a Village, and continued voicing the character of Dynamite for the film Planes: Fire & Rescue, as well as the video game. Regina also appeared in three episodes of The Strain as Ruby Wain and four episodes of Shameless as Gail Johnson. In 2015, she served as director for six episodes of Gabrielle Union’s drama series Being Mary Jane and starred alongside Lou Diamond Phillips in the television movie Pariah as Karen, before quickly returning to the director’s chair for two episodes of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal. Following would come the roles of Erika Murphy on the television series The Leftovers, Terri LaCroix, Aliyah Shadeed and Kimara Walters on the series American Crime, one for each season. Being gifted with a remarkably intense voice, Regina lent it for the role of mom in the 2016 television short The Snowy Day, which was based on the award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats. The short won two Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Music Direction and Composition and Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Animated Program. She would continue to direct episodes for The Catch, Animal Kingdom, Greenleaf, and Pitch in 2016.
If Beale Street Could Talk
In 2017, Regina portrayed Colonel Rah for the television movie The Adventures of Hooligan Squad in World War III, also starring Ayla Kell and Kiki Sukezane. In the director’s chair, she would take the lead in some episodes for This Is Us and Shameless, as well as The Good Doctor, Insecure, and the film The Finest (also executive producing) in 2018. Regina portrayed Latrice Butler for the television mini-series Seven Seconds’, in which she earned a Primetime Emmy Award and an NAACP Image Award for her performance as well as a Golden Globe nomination. She finally landed on the academy award winning portrayal of Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel by James Baldwin. For the same title Regina earned also a Golden Globe, a BET Award and a Black Reel Award (along with many other win and nominations).
In 2019, a Primetime Emmy Award and a Black Reel Award for Television came to Regina for her portrayal of black masked heroine Sister Night (Angela Abar) in the HBO mini-series Watchmen, which is based on the 1980s DC Comics series). Learning about her role, Regina would comment saying “Wow. I wait ’til I’m almost 50 to be a superhero. Hey, I’m not gonna question the universe”.
Regina and her son Ian Alexander Jr. at LACMA Art + Film Gala
The next year, Regina directed the film One Night in Miami, about a fictional evening where Muhammad Ali, Malcom X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement. The film is set to release on January 15, 2021. Her upcoming projects include the western The Harder They Fall, which is currently in post-production and also stars Idris Elba and Zazie Beetz.
Regina never really separated from her birth city, Los Angeles, where in 1998 she opened a restaurant named “Paio”, featuring nouvelle American Cuisine, and still resides with her son, Ian Alexander Jr. (born 1996).