We’re sending some birthday love this morning to the beautiful and talented Sanaa Lathan.

The “Contagion” star, whose first name means “brilliance” in Arabic and “work of art” in Swahili (no surprise there!) turns 40 today. We all know and love her impressive work. Sanaa made us fall for b-ball romance in “Love and Basketball,” then taught us hip-hop could have heart in “Brown Sugar.”

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Black film classics like “The Best Man,” “The Wood” and “Something New” also make the list of movies for which we love Sanaa.

Entertainment runs through Sanaa’s blood. She is the daughter of Broadway actress Eleanor McCoy and former PBS producer Stan Lathan. The formally trained actress attended Yale School of Drama.

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We can always count on Sanaa to be fabulous both on and off screen. We’re looking forward to seeing how she plans to bring in the big 4-0. Happy Birthday, Ms. Lathan!


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