Uzoamaka Nwanneka "Uzo" Aduba[1] (/ˈz əˈdbə/; born February 10, 1981)[2] is an American actress. She is known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black (2013–2019), for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015.[3] She is one of only two actors to win an Emmy Award in both the comedy and drama categories for the same role, the other being Ed Asner for the character Lou Grant.[4] She also plays Bismuth in the children’s cartoon Steven Universe.

Uzo Aduba
American Pastoral 08 (29694291551).jpg
Aduba in 2016 Toronto Film Festival
Uzoamaka Nwanneka Aduba

(1981-02-10) February 10, 1981 (age 38)
Alma materBoston University

Early lifeEdit

Aduba was born in Boston, Massachusetts to American parents, of Nigerian Igbo origin.

She grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts,[5] and graduated from Medfield High School in 1999.[6] She attended Boston University, where she studied classical voice[7] and competed in track and field.[8][9] She describes her family as a "sports family".[7] Her younger brother, Obi, played hockey at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and went on to play six seasons professionally.[10]


Aduba first garnered recognition for her acting in 2003, when her performance in Translations of Xhosa[11] at the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts earned her a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play.[12] Aduba played the character Amphiarus in 2006 at New York Theatre Workshop and again in 2008 at La Jolla Playhouse. In 2007, she made her Broadway debut, portraying Toby in Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Coram Boy at the Imperial Theatre.[13] From 2011 through 2012, she sang "By My Side" as part of the original revival cast of Godspell at the Circle in the Square Theatre.[14][15] Her first television appearance was as a nurse on Blue Bloods in 2012.[7] She also played the mother of the title character of Venice at The Public Theater in New York.[16][17]

In 2013, Aduba began portraying Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black.[18] On being cast, Aduba said:

I auditioned for the show back in late July or early August of [2012]. I had been auditioning that summer for more television and film [after doing much theater]. I'd read a lot of scripts and I remember reading Orange Is the New Black, and it was at the head of the pack. I remember thinking, 'Wow, that is really good, I would love to be a part of that.' I went in and auditioned for another part, and my representatives called me about a month later and they were like, "Hi, we have some really good news. You remember that audition you went on for Orange Is the New Black? You didn't get it." I go, "So… okay, what's the good news?" They said they wanted to offer me another part, Crazy Eyes. I was like, "What in my audition would make someone think I'd be right for a part called Crazy Eyes?" But to be honest, when I got the script for it, it felt like the right fit.[19]

Casting director Jennifer Euston explains the selection of Aduba for the role thus: "Uzo Aduba...had her hair in those knots for the audition...They saw something amazing in her and were able to connect it to what they were looking for in Crazy Eyes."[20] In joining the series, Aduba obtained her Screen Actors Guild card, about which she says, "I was just like, 'Wow, this means I'm a full actor now.' It was such a big deal, and I remember being so thankful and feeling so proud."[21]

She has been recognized for her performance as "Crazy Eyes": Aduba won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards as well as Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series at the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 18th Satellite Awards for her season one performance.[22][23][24] Aduba's season two performance earned her the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards and a nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.[25][26][27]

Aduba won a second Primetime Emmy at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015, winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. This makes her the first actress to win both a drama and comedy Emmy for the same role.[28] Aduba's performance in the third season also earned another Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series win for the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards.[29] She also earned a Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.[30]

In March 2014, Aduba performed at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert Broadway Backwards.[31] Aduba teamed with Rachel Bay Jones for a rendition of the song "Lily's Eyes" from the musical The Secret Garden.[32]

Aduba plays a major role in My Little Pony: The Movie, where she voices Queen Novo, leader of the Hippogriffs/Seaponies. She is also part of the upcoming independent film, Miss Virginia.[33][34]


In April 2017, Aduba received the Point Courage Award from the Point Foundation for her support of the LGBT community.[35]

In June 2018, Aduba became Heifer International's first-ever celebrity ambassador to Africa. She saw Heifer's impact first-hand on 2016 and 2018 field visits to Uganda. [36]



Year Title Role Notes
2015 Pearly Gates Corrie
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip TSA Officer Cameo
2016 Tallulah Detective Louisa Kinnie
American Pastoral Vicky
Showing Roots Pearl
2017 My Little Pony: The Movie Queen Novo (voice)
2018 Candy Jar Julia Russell
2019 Beats Carla Monroe
Miss Virginia[37] Virginia Post-production
Really Love[38] Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Project Runway: All Stars Herself Episode: "Putting On The Glitz"
Blue Bloods Nurse Episode: "Nightmares"
2013 How to Live Like a Lady Acting Teacher Television film
2013–2019 Orange Is the New Black Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren 82 episodes
2014 Saturday Night Live Daughter Dudley Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Kendrick Lamar"
Hell's Kitchen Herself Episode: "9 Chefs Compete"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Uzo Aduba Wears a White Blouse and Royal Blue Heels"
The Wiz Live! Glinda the Good Witch Television special
2016-2019 Steven Universe Bismuth (voice) 9 episodes
2017 Lip Sync Battle Herself Episode: "Danielle Brooks vs. Uzo Aduba"
2018–2019 3Below: Tales of Arcadia Officer Kubritz (voice) 11 episodes
2018–present Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Nora Césaire/Anansi (voice) 4 episodes
2019 Steven Universe: The Movie Bismuth (voice) Television film
2020 Mrs. America Shirley Chisholm Upcoming miniseries
2020 Fargo Main cast (Season 4)
TBA Steven Universe Future Bismuth (voice)

Stage creditsEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Seven Amphiarus New York Theatre Workshop
2007 Coram Boy Toby Imperial Theatre
2008 The Seven Amphiarus La Jolla Playhouse
2009 Eclipsed Helena Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
A Civil War Christmas Hannah Huntington Theatre
2011 Godspell Company Circle in the Square Theatre
2013 Venice Anna Monroe The Public Theater
2016 The Maids Solange Trafalgar Studios

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Godspell Talk Back – Uzo Aduba". Reviewing The Drama. March 26, 2012.
  2. ^ Wright, Celine (August 12, 2013). "'Orange Is the New Black's' Uzo Aduba on a good road as Crazy Eyes". Los Angeles Times. 32-year-old Aduba
  3. ^ Emmy Awards 2015: The complete winners list.Beats 2019 (September 21, 2015). Retrieved on December 7, 2015.
  4. ^ "Uzo Aduba Watch 'OITNB' actress speak Igbo, reveal her favourite Nigerian dish,". Chidumga Izuzu. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Aduba, Uzo (August 4, 2014). "Uzo Aduba: My Road to ‘Orange Is the New Black'". The Daily Beast
  6. ^ "Medfield Native Uzo Aduba Attends White House Correspondents Dinner". May 5, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Champagne, Christine (June 8, 2014). "Behind the Breakout Role: Orange is the New Black's Uzo Aduba on Creating Crazy Eyes". Co.Create. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  8. ^ "2001–02 Women's Track Roster". Boston University. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  9. ^ "Boston University Meet Results". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  10. ^ "Obi Aduba player profile".
  11. ^ "Translations of Xhosa - Washington, DC - Tickets, Reviews, Info and More". theatermania. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  12. ^ "Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play – 2004". Awards and nominations Theatre Washington. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  13. ^ Isherwood, Charles (May 3, 2007). "Orphans of the Storm, Assailed by Lurid Evildoers". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  14. ^ "Uzo Aduba". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  15. ^ "Meet the Cast: Uzo Aduba". Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  16. ^ Brantley, Ben (June 15, 2013). "Of Shakespeare and Superheroes". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  17. ^ "Venice, review, Off-Broadway, New York Theatre". Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Weber, Lindsey (July 24, 2013). "Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba on Crazy Eyes, Flirting Techniques, and Peeing on the Floor". New York City: New York Media. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  19. ^ Ryan, Maureen (August 23, 2013). "'Crazy Eyes' From 'Orange Is The New Black' Talks Flirting, Jodie Foster And That Infamous Scene". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Loewenstein, Melinda (June 2, 2014). "#1 Reason Seeing Potential Beyond the Audition Created an Outstanding Ensemble for 'Orange Is the New Black'". Backstage.
  21. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 19, 2015). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 8
  22. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards 2014: The winners list". CNN. August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  23. ^ "The International Press Academy Announces Nominations For The 18th Annual Satellite Awards". PR Newswire. December 2, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  24. ^ Atkinson, Kate (June 19, 2014). "Critics' Choice TV Awards: The winners list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  25. ^ Leeds, Sarene (January 26, 2015). "SAG Awards: The Complete 2015 Winners List". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  26. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (January 26, 2015). "SAG Awards 2015: 'Birdman' feathers its nest as Oscars nears". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  27. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 11, 2014). "Golden Globes: Fargo, True Detective Lead Nominations; Jane the Virgin, Transparent Score Multiple Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  28. ^ "Uzo Aduba Is 'Grateful' After Tearful Emmy Win". Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  29. ^ "SAG Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. January 30, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  30. ^ "Golden Globes 2016: Complete list of winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 20, 2014). "Uzo Aduba and Rachel Bay Jones Join Lineup for Broadway Backwards; Rush Tickets Will Be Available Day of Performance". Playbill.
  32. ^ "BROADWAY BACKWARDS" Archived January 28, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. March 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  33. ^ Polus, Sarah (May 9, 2018). "Uzo Aduba films at the Capitol Building". Washington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  34. ^ McNary, Dave (April 2, 2018). "Matthew Modine Joins Uzo Aduba in Drama 'Miss Virginia' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  35. ^ Sweeney, Emily (April 5, 2017). "Uzo Aduba honored in New York". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  36. ^ "Uzo Aduba Announced as Heifer International's First Ever Celebrity Ambassador to Africa | Heifer International | Charity Ending Hunger And Poverty". Uzo Aduba Announced as Heifer International’s First Ever Celebrity Ambassador to Africa | Heifer International | Charity Ending Hunger And Poverty. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  37. ^ McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (November 3, 2017). "'Orange Is the New Black's' Uzo Aduba to Star in Drama 'Miss Virginia' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  38. ^ N'Duka, Amanda; N'Duka, Amanda (July 26, 2018). "Uzo Aduba, Naturi Naughton, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing & More Round Out Cast For MACRO's 'Really Love'". Deadline. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  1. ^ Year in which awards ceremony was held.

Further readingEdit

  • "Aduba, Uzo". Current Biography. 77. August 8, 2016.
  • Widdicombe, Lizzie (December 7, 2015). "On Ice". The New Yorker.

External linksEdit