Laverne Cox is an Emmy-nominated actress who can be seen in the Netflix original series Orange is The New Black where she plays the ground breaking role of Sophia Burset. The critically acclaimed show returns for its third season on Netflix June 12. Laverne is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.
Laverne is expanding her presence on the small screen with the CBS pilot Doubt, a legal drama from Grey’s Anatomy producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan. She will play ‘Cameron Wirth’, a trans Ivy League-educated lawyer who’s both competitive and compassionate. On the silver screen, Laverne can next be seen as ‘Deathy,’ a supporting role in the Lily Tomlin film Grandma from acclaimed writer and director Paul Weitz. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it was acquired by Sony Picture Classics and will show at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
Laverne’s work as an actress and advocate landed her on the cover of TIME Magazine as well as an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.” Laverne continues to break boundaries and make history with accolades including a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series,” a Critic’s Choice nomination for “Best Supporting Actress,” and a NAACP Image Awards nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.”
This past year, Laverne has had stand out appearances on several TV shows including; the hit Fox comedy The Mindy Project, Bravo’s Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce and MTV’s Faking It. She also appeared as a guest judge on Project Runway All Stars and hosted #GoBold brought to you by Revlon, an empowering web series that celebrates bold, provocative women setting out to accomplish their goals. Her documentary Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word aired on MTV & Logo to impressive ratings. The hour-long documentary explored the lives seven transgender youth from across the country and their determination to lead their lives as the people they are meant to be. Laverne was the host and executive producer of the ground breaking documentary which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
Laverne is also producing another documentary titled Free CeCe in order to heighten visibility and awareness surrounding CeCe McDonald, a transgender woman who was controversially sentenced to 41 months in prison for second degree manslaughter after allegedly defending herself against a racist and transphobic attack. The documentary will focus on McDonald’s case, her experiences while incarcerated in a men’s prison and the larger implications of her case for the transgender community.
In 2013 Laverne won Best Supporting Actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her work in the critically acclaimed film Musical Chairs directed by Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan). Laverne’s other acting credits include Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, Bored to Death, and the independent films Carla and The Exhibitionists.
Laverne is the first trans woman of color to produce and star in her own television show, VH1’s TRANSForm Me which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. Laverne is also the first trans woman of color to appear on an American reality television program, VH1’s I Wanna Work for Diddy for which she accepted the GLAAD media award for “Outstanding Reality Program.” She also received The Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
In addition to her acting, Laverne is a renowned speaker and has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country. Her work as an advocate landed her a coveted spot as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. She is the recipient of the Dorian Rising Star Award for her work in Orange is the New Black, the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, The Community Leader Award from the LGBT Center of New York City, received the Reader’s Choice Award from “Out” Magazine, was named one of The Grio’s 100 Most Influential African Americans, was named one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, one of Out magazine’s Out 100, Metro Source magazine’s 55 People We Love and ranked number 5 on the 2014 Root 100 list.