29 Black UK Actresses Who Are Killing The Game Across The Pond

There is a ton of talent coming out of the UK, with many actresses crossing the pond and appearing in some of our favorite American television shows and movies. Truthfully, there are far too many talented actresses to name, but we had to at least share some of our favorites with you. From well-known names and recognizable faces to those just bursting onto the scene, here are 26 of our favorite Black UK actresses

She’s starred in Bond films and the recent critically-acclaimed Moonlight. Harris also appeared opposite Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, in which she portrayed Winnie Mandela. After viewing the film, Mandela told Harris it was the “first time she felt her story had been captured on film.”

Newton currently stars in HBO’s Westworld. You’ll also know her from The Pursuit of Happyness, For Colored Girls, and won a BAFTA for her role in Crash.

The White Collar star has appeared in a number of US shows including Lost, General Hospital, Make It or Break It, and 2 Broke Girls. She also starred opposite Martin Lawrence in Black Knight and Eddie Murphy in The Haunted Mansion.

Adedayo nailed her role as Viva Bennett in the coming of age comedy Some Girls and had a recurring role in Law & Order: UK. She currently has a film lined up called Unlocked, where she’ll star opposite Michael Douglas, Orlando Bloom, and Toni Collette. 

Negga has a big year ahead with critically-acclaimed Loving. She also stars in AMC’s Preacher and played Raina in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Nominated for an Oscar for her role in Hotel Rwanda, Okonedo is a familiar face to many. She’s had roles in Aeon Flux and The Secret Life of Bees. She also won a Tony for her role as Ruth Younger in 2014’s Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun.

Crichlow’s role as Annie in the UK’s Being Human introduced her to American fans of the hit show. Later she appeared in NBC’s A to Z. You might also recognize her from Black Mirror’s “White Bear” episode and you can currently catch her in the movie The Late Bloomer

This year has turned out to be the year for Mbatha-Raw. She’s working with Ava DuVernay on the highly-anticipated A Wrinkle in Time and appeared in Black Mirror’s third season. She also has a number of big projects coming up including Beauty and the Beast and God Particle.

The Oscar-nominated actress starred in the 1997 film Secrets & Lies, she received praise for performance in the stage production of James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner, and had one of the most talked about moments on TV in NBC’s Blindspot.

She made her debut in the UK soap Casualty and has since made fans laugh in Uncle and landed a recurring role in UK series Emmerdale

You can catch Agyeman in Netflix’s hit show Sense8, where she helps her girlfriend Nomi and the other sensates fight and survive. Prior to Sense8 the actress played Larissa in The Carrie Diaries and Martha Jones in Doctor Who.

Thomas immediately caught our attention the much-loved series Misfits. Now, she stars in Netflix’s Lovesick, which takes the best part of rom-coms and rolls it up with a fresh idea.

Ashton played fan favorite, Vod, on UK series Fresh Meat, which you should definitely add to your Netflix queue. The playwright and actress also starred opposite Uzo Aruba in the Trafalgar Studios’ production of The Maids

Madekwe was a pretty ruthless social climber on the ABC hit Revenge, but the style blogging actress isn’t anything like her character. Madekwe currently plays Tituba on WGN America’s Salem

She made her debut in the UK soap Casualty and has since made fans laugh in Uncle and landed a recurring role in UK series Emmerdale

Many of us at the ESSENCE office have been glued to our screens watching Coel’s Chewing Gum. And, if you’ve been keeping up with Black Mirror, you’ll also notice the actress in the third season’s first episode.

The actress starred opposite Idris Elba in Luther and starred in the NW, based on Zadie Smith’s 2012 novel. 

The Selma actress, who’s actually played Coretta Scott King twice, is in the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them. She’s also set to work with Ridley Scott in Alien: Covenant.

Wokoma stars opposite Michaela Coel in Chewing Gum as hyper-religious uptight older sister Cynthia. She’s also one of the leads in horror-comedy Crazyhead, and American audiences can also catch her in Crashing, which streams on Netflix. 












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