Young Actresses on the Rise

Young Actresses on the Rise
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 21, 2011

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By no means a newbie to Hollywood, and no longer a child star, in 2011 Symone is set to make her primtetime mark with a buzzed about ABC series called “The Great State of Georgia.”

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As Mercedes Jones on “Glee” Riley always knows how to deliver unbelievable episode performances on the hit television musical series, “Glee.” She’s also helping change the way Hollywood respects physical differences.

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You’ve seen her in “Gossip Girl,” “One Life to Live” and “The Game.”

Not every beauty can go from the soaps to being one of the first in Black Hollywood to land a reoccurring role on the hit TV series “Gossip Girl,” causing a real buzz. We can’t wait to see she’ll do next.

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You’ve seen her in “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Kids Are Alright.”

This ANTM Season 3 runner-up has been working hard to make her mark. After a long stint on “All My Children,” DaCosta is working on two major films in 2011.

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You’ve seen her in “For Colored Girls,” “Veronica Mars.”

Not only did Thompson deliver a stellar performance in Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” she shined as Jack Cook on the primetime show “Veronica Mars.” Catch her in the upcoming film, “South Dakota,” later this year.

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You’ve seen her in “The L Word,” “Mission Impossible 3.”

Rollins landed her first gig as a model but instead chose to take acting classes. The New Yorker has made acting her full time career, and we can’t wait to see more.

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You’ve seen her in “Precious” and “Cadillac Records.”


Called the young Diahann Carroll by some, Layne has some really big shoes to fill. She’s set to star in “We Are Family,’ releasing late this year.

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You’ve seen her in “Lincoln Heights,” “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Let’s Stay Together.”

The cheerful and bright Hubbard started her career doing voice overs for McDonald’s, but today has three upcoming films in post production, one of which she takes the lead role.

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You’ve Seen Her in “Couples Retreat,” “Get Him to the Greek,” and “Are We There Yet”

The quirky Kali Hawk is best known for her role as the young girlfriend of Faizon Love in “Couples Retreat.” Labeled a child prodigy after starting high school at the age of 12, we can catch this genius’ newest film, “Bridesmaids,” out this May.

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You’ve seen her in “Fringe,” “She’s Out of My League,” and “Take the Lead.”

This Southern belle got her start on TV with cameos on the hit crime show, “Law and Order,” back in 2005. Six years later Jasika plays Fox’s sci-fi thriller ’Fringe,’ and has become a very open activist for gay rights.

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You’ve seen her in “Mercy,” “Just Legal.”

Kirchner has had more than few successful runs on TV dramas, but the most well known is on NBC’s medical drama, “Mercy.” We have a strong feeling we’ll always see Kirchner considering she can act, sing, and dance.

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You’ve seen her in “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” (she played a young Tina Turner) and “A Time To Kill.”

With more than 41 television and movie titles under her belt, Kelly is already a veteran in her mid-20s. With four film projects on the pipeline, we’re sure this young talent is about to make her mark.

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You’ve seen her on “The Bernie Mac Show” and “The Secret Life of a American Teenager.”

Winbush represents for the brown skinned cuties in Hollywood, and while she has kept a low profile in the last two years, we look forward to seeing her grow.

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You’ve seen her in “Notorious,” “Mad Men” and “Lottery Ticket.”

Many forget Naturi really got her start as a member of the R&B group, 3LW. However, when door closes another one opens and her run as a actress has been more than amazing. Look out for Naughton in three film projects in 2011.

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You’ve seen her in “High School Musical 1, 2, and 3”

The former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant has said, “As an African American actress there are people who have been staples in my life that opened a door that I can walk through. I hope that I can have that impact.” We hope so too.

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You’ve seen her in “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and “General Hospital.”

Nigerian-American actress Annie Ilonzeh has come a long way since she was canceled off “General Hospital.” IIonzeh will be the first African American to play an angel on a ABC action/drama TV series, “Charlie’s Angel.”

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You’ve seen her in “Nikita,” “Bones” and “Beyond the Break.”

Hines has all the ingredients and talent to turn into a megastar. The actress currently is working on a film with actor Kadeem Hardison.

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