Aunjanue Ellis is a well-known American film, stage, and TV actress. Ellis is popularly known for her roles in Abducted: The Carline White Story, The Help, and Ray among others. She appeared in many other TV series and movies like The Mentalist, High Incident, Quantico and The Book of Negroes among others. Her performance helped her to win several awards like Satellite Awards, Screen Actor Guild Awards and National Board of Review Awards. Ellis performed in several theater acts and plays before pursuing her big screen career. She worked in Broadway revival of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Early Life and Education
Aunjanue Ellis was born Aunjanue L. Ellis on 21st February 1969 in San Francisco, California under the birth sign Pisces. Ellis is American by nationality and as far as her ethnicity is concerned, she is African-American. Her parents raised her with her sibling, Sasha Ellis in her grandmother’s farm in McComb, Mississippi.
Ellis attended Tougaloo College and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in African-American studies from Brown University. She also learned acting in Graduate Acting Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She studied acting with John Emigh and Jim Barnhill.
Aunjanue Ellis at the initial phase of her career acted in a Broadway revival of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest opposite to Patrick Stewart.
Ellis made her movie debut in 1996 from Jim McKay’s directed movie, Girls Town. She then worked in several movies, Side Streets, In Too Deep, A Map of the World, The Opponent, Freedomland, Notorious and Motherhood among others.
She, however, is popular for her roles in the movies like
1. The Cavemen’s Valentine (2001)
- IMDB rating = 5.9
- Role = Lulu
- Cast Members = Samuel L. Jackson, Colm Feore, Ann Magnuson and Tamara Tunie among others.
2. The Express (2008)
- IMDB rating = 7.3
- Role = Marie Davis
- Cast Members = Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown, Chadwick Boseman and Darrin Henson among others.
3. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
- IMDB rating = 6.4
- Role = Therese
- Cast Members = Denzel Washington, John Travolta, James Gandolfini and John Turturro among others.
4. Of Mind and Music (2014)
- IMDB rating = 7.0
- Role =Una Vida
- Cast Members = Ruth Negga, Joaquim de Almeida, Bill Cobbs and Sharon Lawrence among others.
5. Get on Up (2014)
- IMDB rating = 6.9
- Role = Vicki Anderson.
- Cast Members = Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Nelsan Ellis, Octavia Spencer and Jill Scott among others.
As of 2018, Ellie will be seen in the movie, If Beale Street Could Talk.
Below, in teh video, Aunjanue Ellis talks about her series, Abducted: The Carlina White Story:
In 1995, Ellis made her TV debut from Fox’s police drama, New York Undercover created by Kevin Arkadie and Dick Wolf. The following year, she acted in ABC’s TV series, High Incident.
Ellis then appeared in numbers of TV series, Disappearing Acts, MDs, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Border, True Blood, Blue Bloods, Sleepy Hollow, and Quantico among others. But she is popular for her roles in the TV series like
1. True Blood (2008)
- IMDB rating = 7.9
- Role = Diane
- Cast Members = Anna Paquin, Nelsan Ellis, Alexander Skarsgard, and Stephen Moyer among others.
2. Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2012)
- IMDB rating = 6.8
- Role = Ann Pettway
- Cast Members = Keke Palmer, Sheri Shepard, Roger Cross and Afton Williamson among others.
3. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009)
- IMDB rating = 7.8
- Role = Candy
- Cast Members = Cuba Gooding Jr., Kimberly Elise, Tajh Bellow, and Angela Dawe among others.
4. High Incident (1996)
- IMDB rating = 7.6
- Role = Off. Leslie Joyner
- Cast Members = David Keith, Cole Hauser, Timothy Olyphant and Matt Craven among others.
5. The Mentalist (2010-11, 2013)
- IMDB rating = 8.1
- Role = Madeleine Hightower
- Cast Members = Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Amanda Righetti and Tim Kang among others.
As of 2018, Ellis is working in a TV series, Chiefs as Kendra.
Awards and Nominations
Aunjanue Ellis has been nominated by various awards and won some of them. Some of her won awards include
- National Board of Review Awards, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, Hollywood Film Festival Awards, Women Film Critics Awards, Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards for The Help.
- Newport Beach Film Festival Awards and American Black Film Festival Awards for Of Mind and Music.
- Black Reel Awards for Abducted: The Carline white Story.
- Canadian Screen Awards, Gracie Awards for The Book of Negroes.
Some of her nominated awards are NAACP Image Awards, MTV Movie Awards, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards and Satellite Awards among others.
According to some online sources, Aunjanue Ellis has an estimated net worth of million dollars. Ellis did several hit movies that made a good collection at the box office.
Here is the list of her hit movies:
1. In Too Deep (1999)
- Budget = $ 7 million.
- Box Office Collection = $14,011,454
- IMDB rating = 6.2
- Cast Members = Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Nia Long and Stanley Tucci among others.
2. Men of Honor (2000)
- Budget = $ 32million.
- Box Office Collection = $82,343,495
- IMDB rating = 7.2
- Cast Members = Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron and Hal Holbrook among others.
3. Undercover Brother (2002)
- Budget = $ 25million.
- Box Office Collection = $41.6 million.
- IMDB rating = 5.8
- Cast Members = Eddie Griffin, Denise Richards, Dave Chappelle and Chris Kattan among others.
4. Ray (2004)
- Budget = $ 40 million.
- Box Office Collection = $124.7 million.
- IMDB rating = 7.7
- Cast Members = Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King and Clifton Powell among others.
5. The Help (2011)
- Budget = $ 25 million.
- Box Office Collection = $216.6 million.
- IMDB rating = 8.1
- Cast Members = Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain among others.
Aunjanue Ellis, the talented actress, is confidential about her dating life and relationship. Ellis prefers to hide her dating life far from the limelight. So, only limited information about her dating life is available.
As per some gossip mongers, Ellis has married her longtime boyfriend whereas some other claimed that she is dating her secret boyfriend for years. She, however, has not revealed anything regarding her relationship.