A veteran character actress and one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents,
OCTAVIA SPENCER (Papa) has become a familiar fixture on both
television and the silver screen. Her critically acclaimed performance as Minny
in Dream Work's feature film The Help won her the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA
Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critics Choice Award
among numerous other accolades.
Octavia can currently be seen in the highly-acclaimed drama Hidden Figures
alongside Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Kevin Costner. The film tells the
true story of several African-American women who provide NASA with critical
information needed to launch the program's early successful space missions.
Octavia's performance as Dorothy Vaughan has earned her SAG, Golden Globe and
NAACP Image Award nominations to date. Later this year, she will be seen
starring in THE SHACK, a film based off of the best-selling novel of the same
title that follows a man whose daughter is abducted during a family vacation
with evidence found in an abandoned shack leading authorities to believe she was
murdered. She also co-stars in Marc Webb's drama Gifted alongside Chris Evans
and Jenny Slate. The film tells the story of Rank Adler, a deliberate
underachiever who is raising his niece in rural Florida.
Spencer recently wrapped production on Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water,
in which she stars alongside Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg and Sally
Hopkins. The film is an otherworldly love story set against the backdrop of the
Cold War. She also recently finished filming Small Town Crime with John Hawkes
and Anthony Anderson, a film about an alcoholic ex-cop who, through an act of
self-redemption, becomes hellbent on bringing a killer to justice.
Last year, Spencer reprised her role as Johanna in The Divergent Series:
Allegiant, the third installment of Lionsgate's The Divergent Series franchise.
She also voiced the character of Mrs. Otterton in the Disney animated film
Zootopia, one of fastest worldwide grossing films of the year. Last fall, she
co-starred alongside Elisabeth Moss and Boyd Holbrook in The Free World, a drama
focusing on a recently released former convict who becomes involved with a
married woman with an abusive husband that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film
Festival; the drama Fathers and Daughters with Quvenzhane Wallis, Diane Kruger,
Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Aaron Paul and The Great Gilly Hopkins, the
adaptation of Katherine Peterson's young adult Newberry Award-winning novel.
Octavia also reprised her role as Opal in Mark Waters' Bad Santa 2, along with
Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates.
In 2014, Spencer co-starred alongside Kevin Costner in the drama Black or White,
which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews.
Previously, Spencer co-starred in Tate Taylor's Get On Up, a chronicle of
musician James Brown's rise to fame that also starred Viola Davis and Chadwick
Boseman and the sci-fi , action-adventure Snowpiercer opposite Tilda Swinton and
Chris Evans. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the fi lm followed a train that holds all
remaining inhabitants on earth after a climate-change experiment wipes out the
rest of the population, and the class system that emerges.
In 2013, Spencer was seen in the indie-drama Fruitvale Station which follows
the final hours of Oscar Grant's life, a young man whose death sparked national
outrage after video footage of his shooting was released to the public on New
Year's Eve 2009. Fruitvale Station won several prestigious awards including both
the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for US Dramatic films at the 2013
Sundance Film Festival, the Un Certain Regard Award for Prix de l'avenir at the
2013 Cannes Film Festival, was named one of AFI's Films of the Year and received
nominations for the 2014 Spirit Awards and NAACP Image Awards.
Spencer was awarded "Best Supporting Actress" from the National Board of Review
for her performance in the fi lm and received an individual nomination from the
NAACP Image Awards. She also served as a producer on the film.
Additional film credits include Diablo Cody's directorial debut Paradise
alongside Russell Brand and Julianne Hough; Smashed an independent film which
premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Bryce Dallas Howard's directed
segment of Call Me Crazy: A Five Film an anthology of five short films focused
on various stories of mental illness; Blues for Willadean; Fly Paper; Peep
World; Dinner For Schmucks; Small Town \ Saturday Night; Herpes Boy; Halloween
II; The Soloist; Drag Me To Hell; Seven Pounds; Pretty Ugly People; Coach
Carter; Charm School; Win A Date With Tad Hamilton; Bad Santa; Spiderman; Big
Momma's House; Being John Malkovich; Never Been Kissed and A Time to Kill. In
2009, Spencer directed and produced a short fi lm entitled The Captain, which
was a finalist for the coveted Poetry Foundation Prize at the Chicago
International Children's Film Festival.
Spencer was recently seen guest starring in the latest season of the CBS series
"Mom," a comedy that centers on a newly sober mom attempting to pull her life
together. Additionally, she made a memorable guest appearance in the final
season of "30 Rock," starred in the Comedy Central series "Halfway Home" and
appeared in a five-episode arc as the character Constance Grady on the hit
series "Ugly Betty." Spencer has been seen in guest-starring roles on shows
including "The Big Bang Theory," "E.R.," "CSI," "CSI: NY," "Raising The Bar,"
"Medium," and "NYPD Blue."
Among her many other professional achievements, Spencer has co-authored an
interactive mystery series for children called Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective.
The first title in the series, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the
Time- Capsule Bandit was published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in
Fall 2013 and the second book, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: Sweetest Heist in
History is currently in bookstores.
Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from
Auburn University. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
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