Gugu Mbatha-Raw (born 1983) is an English actress best known for her television roles as Jenny in the fifth season of Spooks (2006), and her lead role as Vivienne Davis in Bonekickers (2008).
She also starred as Samantha Bloom, a CIA spy living a double life, in the American thriller series Undercovers (2010) and as social worker Clea Hopkins in the supernatural thriller Touch, in 2012.
Born in Oxford in the United Kingdom, Mbatha-Raw was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Having studied Shakespeare, her first professional role was in an Open Air production of As you Like It, playing the role of Celia.
This was followed by roles at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre in Antony and Cleopatra, and the title role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, for which she was nominated for the Manchester Evening News Award for Best Actress in 2005.
Her British television credits include M15, Dr. Who, Marple: Ordeal By Innocence, Bonekickers, and Fallout. It was this latter role that led to her being selected as a Star of Tomorrow 2008 by industry magazine Screen International.
Other stage credits include the critically acclaimed Big White Fog at the Almeida Theatre, and Gethsemane, a production at the National Theatre that later toured the U.K.
Mbatha-Raw made her West End debut as Ophelia in Hamlet opposite Jude Law, a production that transferred to New York's Broadhurst Theatre for a limited run and became a hit on Broadway in 2009.
Gugu (short for Gugulethu, Zulu for "Our Pride") was born in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, to South African doctor Patrick Mbatha and his English wife, nurse Anne Raw.
Her parents separated when she was only a year old, though she is still close to her father and was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney, Oxfordshire.