Melanie Thandiwe “Thandie” Newton (born 6 November 1972) is an English actress. She has appeared in several British and American films, and is known for roles such as Linda in The Pursuit of Happyness, Nyah Nordoff-Hall in Mission: Impossible II and Christine in Crash, for which she received a number of awards, including a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Between 2003 and 2005, Newton played Makemba “Kem” Likasu, the love interest, and later on wife of Dr. John Carter on the American television series ER. She reprised the role once more for the series finale in 2009. In 2004, she also appeared in The Chronicles of Riddick and Crash. Newton won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for her role in Crash.
She also played Chris Gardner’s wife, Linda Gardner, in The Pursuit of Happyness. Also in 2006, Newton appeared on the radio in a pantomime version of Cinderella.
In 2007, Newton co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the comedy Norbit, as his love interest, and then opposite Simon Pegg as his ex-girlfriend in the 2008 comedy Run Fatboy Run. Newton next portrayed U.S. National Security Advisor-turned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in W., Oliver Stone’s film biography of President George W. Bush. The film was released 17 October 2008.
Newton was an introducer at Wembley Stadium on 7 July 2007 for the UK leg of Live Earth. She was due to introduce Al Gore to the concert, but he was delayed, leaving Newton to tell jokes in an attempt to entertain the audience. Newton next portrayed the United States President’s First Daughter Laura Wilson in 2012, a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and released 13 November 2009.
In July 2011, Newton delivered a TED Talk on “Embracing otherness, embracing myself”. In it, she discussed finding her “otherness” as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and as an actress playing with many different selves. In 2012, she starred alongside Tyler Perry in the romantic drama film Good Deeds. In 2013, Thandie starred in Rogue, the first original drama series for DirecTV’s Audience Network. She left Rogue during the third season. In 2015, she starred in the U.S. miniseries The Slap.