Thandie Newton is an English actress best known for her role as Christine Thayer, a wealthy black woman who, along with her husband, finds herself the target of a racist policeman who sexually assaults Thayer but then later saves her life, in the 2004 feature film Crash.
Newton is the daughter of a Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) mother from the Shona people and a British father. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK.
She then lived in Cornwall in the southwest of Britain until the age of 11. At that time she enrolled in London's Art Educational School, where she studied modern dance. However, a back injury forced her to quit dancing.
This led to her auditioning for films and receiving her first role in John Duigan's Flirting (1991). She then moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue acting and her then-boyfriend.
However, her British accent limited the amount of work she was getting, and she returned to Britain, where she went to Cambridge University to study, eventually receiving a degree in anthropology.
Between semesters, she continued her acting and became noticed and in-demand for future film roles.
She made her theatre debut in London's West End starring in Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman. In 2010 she worked with Whoopi Goldberg and Janet Jackson in For Colored Girls.
She also starred in Tyler Perry's Good Deeds and in Roland Emmerich's 2012 with John Cusack. The latter grossed over $750-million worldwide.
In 2013 she began starring in the mystery drama television series Rogue as Grace Travis, a morally and emotionally conflicted undercover detective who is tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son's death.