Alfre Woodard is an American actress best known to television viewers for her starring role as Betty Applewhite in the comedy-drama television series Desperate Housewives, from 2005-2006.
She also starred as Lt. Tanya Rice in the comedy-drama police procedural television series Memphis Beat, from 2010-2011.
She has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won four Emmy Awards, three SAG Awards and one Golden Globe Award.
Woodard was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an entrepreneur and interior designer.
She attended Bishop Kelley High School, a private Catholic school in Tulsa. She studied drama at Boston University, from where she later graduated.
Woodard has made numerous guest appearances in television series and motion pictures. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1983 film Cross Creek.
She also appeared as Lily Sloane, Zefram Cochrane's assistant in Star Trek: First Contact.
Woodard's television credits include Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Puss in Boots, L.A. Law, Homicide: Life on the Street, My Own Worst Enemy, Three Rivers and True Blood.
She has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for her television performances in Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, the television movie Miss Evers' Boys, and The Practice.
She has also received Emmy nominations for Words by Heart, St. Elsewhere, Unnatural Causes, a second for St. Elsewhere, A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story, The Piano Lesson, Gulliver's Travels, Homicide: Life on the Street, and The Water Is Wide.
From 2005 to 2006, Woodard starred in the ABC series Desperate Housewives, and received another Emmy nomination for her role as Betty Applewhite.
Woodard has appeared on stage in such plays as Map of the World, Drowning Crow, Me & Bessie, and A Winter's Tale.
She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband, writer Roderick Spencer, and their two adopted children, Mavis and Duncan. Woodard follows Christian Science.