Aunjanue Ellis is an American actress who was born in San Francisco, California on February 21, 1969. She grew up in her grandmother's farm in Mississippi. She obtained her bachelor's degree in African-American studies from Brown University. She also took acting classes in the Graduate Acting Program of New York University. She debuted in Broadway via the Shakespeare in the Park Production of "The Tempest". She was first noticed in the ABC television series "The Practice" which made way for more television appearances in shows like "Third Watch", "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", "Numb3rs", "E-Ring", "Fox's Justice", "New York Undercover", and most recently "True Blood". She also appeared in films including "Lovely and Amazing", "Undercover Brother; Freedomland", "Men of Honor", "Cover", "The Express", and the biopic "Ray" where she portrayed her most memorable role as Mary Anne Fisher. Aunjanue was nominated for a Black Reel award as Best Actress for her work in "Undercover Brother" in 2003 and for an Image award as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Movie for "Men of Honor" in 2001."