Top Black British Actresses

black british actresses

Some of the best Black actresses working today aren’t African-American– they’re British and Black! These leading ladies from across the pond are featured in many Hollywood films, indie projects, and TV shows. Do you know who these Black British actresses are? You very well might, but you might not know that they’re from the UK!

Naomie Harris

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom,” the James Bond series (“Skyfall,” “Spectre,” and “No Time to Die”), “Moonlight”

Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris is a renowned dramatic actress, known for playing challenging emotional roles with authenticity and heart. Winnie Mandela deemed her performance in “Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom” as the “the first time she felt her story had been captured on film.”

Letitia Wright

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Black Mirror,” “Dr. Who,” the Black Panther series

There were a lot of great moments in 2018’s “Black Panther,” but Letitia Wright’s performance as Shuri stole the show. With her memorable lines and incredible charm and charisma, Wright stole the audience’s hearts and minds. Her memorable acting turns earned her the BAFTA Rising Star award in 2019.

Thandiwe Newton

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Crash,” “Westworld,” “Big Mouth”

Thandiwe Newton is known for her wide dramatic range– she’s played everything from the lead character in “Beloved” to the first major female Black character in a Star Wars film (seriously, why did it take until 2018 for there to be a Black woman in Star Wars who wasn’t an alien?). She is also well-known for her voice acting skills, having narrated a documentary and voiced characters for Netflix animated comedies.

Sophie Okonedo

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Hotel Rwanda,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Death on the Nile”

This star of screen and stage won her first (of three!) Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her turn as Ruth in the 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” She brings a gentle gravitas to all of her roles, including the sweet voice role of Kanga in 2018’s “Christopher Robin.”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Belle,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Loki”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw first caught American audience’s attention in “Belle,” a historical period piece about Dido Elizabeth Belle, one of the first Black British noblewomen. She is known for her dramatic roles, although her role as Hannah Schoenfeld on Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” demonstrates that she can play comedic roles just as well.

Golda Rosheuvel

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Luther,” “Bridgerton,” “Dune”

All hail Queen Charlotte! Golda Rosheuvel is best-known for originating this regal role in Shondaland’s first Netflix series, “Bridgerton,” and its spinoff, “Bridgerton: Queen Charlotte.” Her royal demeanor and the life she brings to the role have made her a fan favorite.

Susan Wokoma

Where You’ve Seen Her: “Enola Holmes,” “Enola Holmes 2,” “Crazyhead,” “Cheaters”

Susan Wokoma is an actress, writer, and director who was listed as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in 2017. She is known for her comedic roles and writing. If you’re a gamer, you might know her from the 2017 World of Warcraft expansion “Battle for Azeroth”– she voiced Princess Talanji.

Find More Stellar Black Actresses

Are you familiar with these British Black actresses? If you’d like to see their work or find out about more Black actresses, check out’s catalog of movies, TV shows, and original programming. We have all the best Black excellence!

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