Lorraine Toussaint

A commanding character actress with a powerful screen presence, Lorraine Toussaint graduated from Juilliard and built a theatrical career as a Shakespearean actress before she tackled screen acting, landing supporting roles in such films as "Hudson Hawk" (1991), "Point of No Return" (1993) and "Dangerous Minds" (1995) and a series regular role opposite Annie Potts on the then-and-now best friends drama "Any Day Now" (Lifetime, 1998-2002), for which she earned five Outstanding Lead Actress Image Award nominations. She recurred on "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-2010) and "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 2006-08; The 101 Network, 2008-2011), earned a series regular role opposite Holly Hunter on "Saving Grace" (TNT, 2007-2010) and notched a supporting turn in the Jamie Fox/Robert Downey, Jr. drama "The Soloist" (2009). An immensely gifted actress who had long flown under the radar, Toussaint earned a massive critical boost with her powerful supporting turn in the indie "Middle of Nowhere" (2012), as a hardworking mother who struggles to support her daughter's (Emayatzy Corinealdi) decision to put her life on hold to support her incarcerated husband (Omari Hardwick). One of the best and most striking character actresses in the business, Lorraine Toussaint left many critics and fans hoping her considerable talents would be even more widely recognized.