Alfre Woodard is the youngest of three children born to her parents in Oklahoma. She was named by her godmother, who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name in written out in gold letters. A former high school cheerleader and track star, she got the acting bug after being pursuaded to audition for a school play by a nun at her school. She went on to study acting at Boston University and enjoyed a brief stint on Broadway before moving to LA. She got her first break in Remember My Name (1978) which also starred Jeff Goldblum. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband, writer Roderick Spencer, and their two adopted children: Mavis and Duncan. She was named one of the Most Beautiful People in America by People Magazine.