Queen Latifah is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Emmy Award-winning producer, label president, author and entrepreneur.
Latifah received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG nomination for her portrayal of Mama Morton in the feature musical Chicago and an Emmy Award nomination, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for her role in the cable film Life Support. Additionally, Latifah earned an Emmy Award nomination, Golden Globe nomination and SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role in the cable film Bessie, which she also produced.
Latifah’s additional topline credits include Living Single on television, and the feature films Girls Trip, Hairspray, Taxi, Set it Off, Last Holiday, Barber Shop 2: Back in Business, and voicing the character Ellie in the Ice Age film series.
In 1995, Latifah and her producing partner, Shakim Compere, founded Flavor Unit Entertainment. The pair has produced the hit feature comedies Bringing Down the House, Beauty Shop, The Perfect Holiday, The Cookout, Just Wright, as well as Bessie and Life Support. Separately, Latifah executive produced the highly successful 2020 cable television film The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel.
Flavor Unit’s upcoming feature projects include The End of the Road and Ray Giarratana’s The Tiger Rising, for which Latifah will both produce and star. Also, she will headline the sports drama Hustle opposite Adam Sandler, and Angela Tucker’s teen comedy, Paper Chase.
Latifah is an advocate for scleroderma-associated interstitial lung disease, as her mother suffered from and later succumbed to the disease. Recently, she produced the documentary Beyond Breathless to bring awareness to the illness, educate the public and share her personal experience living with her mother’s sickness.
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Latifah began her foray into the entertainment industry as a signed rapper, releasing her first album at 19 years old. She revolutionized the hip-hop industry, rapping about topics surrounding her experience as a Black woman. Dubbed the “Queen of Jazz-Rap,” Latifah has released seven studio albums, sold nearly 2 million records worldwide and is the first female hip-hop recording artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Latifah resides in Los Angeles. Her birthday is March 18. Follow her on Twitter @queenlatifah and on Instagram @iamqueenlatifah.
Detective Marcus Dante
Tory Kittles is best known for his television roles in the drama series True Detective, opposite Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, Carlton Cuse’s Colony, with Josh Holloway, and Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy.
On the big screen, Kittles made his feature film debut in Tigerland, opposite Colin Farrell. He would go on to play Frederick Douglass in Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet; star in Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen and Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna; and appear opposite Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
Kittles’ additional film credits include Stop-Loss, The Sapphires and Man Down. Also, Kittles starred in the acclaimed television films Bessie and Steel Magnolias, opposite his Equalizer co-star, Queen Latifah.
Most recently, Kittles appeared in S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete, opposite Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. His upcoming titles include Wander Darkly, with Sienna Miller and Diego Luna, and Those Who Wish Me Dead, opposite Angelina Jolie.
Kittles was born in Lawtey, FL, a small town of 700 people that has only one stoplight. Kittles overcame a childhood stutter after reading James Earl Jones’ autobiography and learning the actor did the same himself. After college, Kittles studied Linklater and Shakespeare with the esteemed Fran Bennett of Cal Arts.
Kittles’ hobbies include playing tennis, basketball, golfing, hiking and chess. He loves to read plays, particularly by Shakespeare and August Wilson. He enjoys watching movies and television, as well as listening to music. In his free time, Kittles plays the piano and creates musical scores for all of his characters.
Kittles is involved with the Children’s Defense Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to uplift all children, with a focus on poor children, children of color and those with disabilities.
His birthday is August 2. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @torykittles.
Adam Goldberg is an actor, director, producer and musician, best known for his roles in the feature films Dazed and Confused, A Beautiful Mind, Saving Private Ryan, The Hebrew Hammer, Deja Vu, 2 Days in Paris and Zodiac.
Goldberg’s additional film credits include the Tribeca Film Festival feature Between Us, opposite Olivia Thirlby and Ben Feldman; Once Upon a Time in Venice, alongside Jason Momoa, John Goodman, Bruce Willis and Famke Janssen; and the indie features Rebirth and Jason Cabell’s Running with the Devil, opposite Nicholas Cage and Laurence Fishburne. He can next be seen in the The Georgetown Project, opposite Russel Crowe.
Also, Goldberg wrote, directed, produced and starred in the feature film No Way Jose. He lent a combination of those same skills to the films I Love Your Work, Running with the Bulls and Scotch and Milk.
On television, Goldberg has starred in the series Taken, The Jim Gaffigan Show, The Unusuals and The Street. He has had memorable recurring roles in series such as Fargo and Entourage. On the Network, he starred in the police procedural NYC 22 and recurred in the family drama God Friended Me.
Goldberg has a personal passion for photography and music. A guitarist and songwriter, he composed and arranged the music to I Love Your Work and Running with the Bulls, and provided a song for the Hebrew Hammer soundtrack. Goldberg has issued both rock and jazz albums, most recently under his band name, The Goldberg Sisters.
Born in Santa Monica, Calif., Goldberg resides in New York with his wife and two sons. His birthday is Oct. 25. Follow him on Instagram @theadamgoldberg.
Melody "Mel" Bayani
Liza Lapira is a film, television and theater actress who was most recently seen starring opposite Daniella Pineda and Alicia Witt in the Myriad Pictures feature film Modern Persuasion, which premiered at the 2020 Cannes Virtual Market. Lapira will next star in Dante Basco’s independent feature The Fabulous Filipino Brothers.
Lapira’s additional feature film credits include Crazy, Stupid, Love, opposite Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Marissa Tomei; 21, opposite Jim Sturgess and Kevin Spacey; Fast & Furious, with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Gal Gadot; Paper Year, alongside Andie MacDowell and Eve Hewson; All I Wish, with Sharon Stone, Caitlin Fitzgerald and Tony Goldwyn; Someone Marry Barry, with Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch and Damon Wayans Jr.; and Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield.
Lapira’s most recent television credits include Nancy Drew and Unbelievable, opposite Toni Collette and Merritt Weaver. Her additional television credits include the series Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Conan O’Brien and John Riggi’s Super Fun Night, opposite Rebel Wilson, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, Traffic Light and starring roles in Battle Creek and 9JKL, on the Network. Lapira recurred in the series Dexter, Huff, Law & Order: SVU, ER, NCIS, on the Network, and Dollhouse.
On stage, Lapira starred in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, opposite Justin Long and Hal Linden.
Lapira was raised in Queens, N.Y. She is an avid supporter of LA’s Best, which provides after school services to 28,000 children in 189 schools in the neighborhoods with the highest needs around Los Angeles. Also, she participates in the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Charity Triathlon each fall in Malibu. Currently, she is working with The Impact Theatre in Harlem, while living on the east coast.
Her birthday is Dec. 3. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @lizalapira.
Laya DeLeon Hayes
Laya DeLeon Hayes is a 16-year-old rising performer who has built an impressive body of work in a short period of time.
Hayes is perhaps best known for voicing the titular role in the BAFTA, Emmy and Peabody Award-nominated animated series, Doc McStuffins, which earned her a NAACP Image Award nomination. Hayes was just 9 years old when she booked the landmark role as the first Black animation character on Disney Jr.
Hayes’ additional television credits include Just Add Magic, Liv & Maddie and Raven’s Home. Also, she guest-starred in Cougar Town, Grey’s Anatomy, Quantico and Code Black, on the Network. Also, she appeared in the television film Santa Hunters and several national commercial campaigns.
Hayes has established a successful voiceover career, garnering roles in Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie, and most recently, she voiced the Iron Maiden in the popular video game series League of Legends.
On the big screen, Hayes starred in the independent movie 40 as Hany, the youngest sister in the family of recently freed slaves, opposite Imani Hakim.
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, Hayes participated in school plays and talent shows, which powered her passion to perform. She trained at Hart and Soul studio in Dallas prior to moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
Hayes is an equal rights and social justice advocate and utilizes her social media platforms to spread awareness and to help propel conversation forward. Also, she is passionate about women’s rights, body positivity and equality for all.
Hayes has volunteered at the Indianapolis Children’s Hospital to read to children and has helped feed the homeless at the Los Angeles Mission. She’s participated in several anti-bullying campaigns, including Say-NO Bullying and Free2Luv, and walked the runway in the Grace Rose Foundation annual fashion show to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.
In her free time, Hayes enjoys rollerblading, baking with her friends and family, fashion, singing, traveling and sketch drawing. She loves theater, watching movies and creating films and videos. In the future, she hopes to develop, write, direct and produce her own projects.
Her birthday is June 22. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @layadeleonhayes.
Lorraine Toussaint is a SAG Award-winning performer best known for her role in the Academy Award-nominated feature film Selma, and for playing “Vee” in the television series Orange is the New Black, which earned her a Critics Choice TV Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Toussaint’s first television appearance was in in the 1983 movie The Face of Rage. Her career skyrocketed after she co-starred opposite Annie Potts in Any Day Now, a role that earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination and a Wiley A. Branton Award from the National Bar Association.
Additionally, Toussaint starred in the drama series Rosewood and had recurring roles on Friday Night Lights, Saving Grace, Law & Order, Ugly Betty and The Fosters. She has guest starred on CSI: Crime Investigation, on the Network, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Grace and Frankie. Along with The Equalizer, Toussaint can be seen starring in Your Honor, opposite Bryan Cranston on Showtime.
Toussaint narrated the documentary series Unladylike and has lent her voice to characters in the animated projects She-Ra and the Princess of Power, Big City Greens and The Magician’s Elephant.
Toussaint’s first feature film role was opposite Burt Reynolds in the crime comedy Breaking In. Her additional film credits include Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere, Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Glorias, opposite Julianne Moore, Dangerous Minds, The Soloist, Sprinter, Girls Trip, The Night Before, Love Beats Rhyme, Silent Retreat, Fast Color. She can next be seen in the Toronto Film Festival hit Concrete Cowboys, opposite Idris Elba, and starring opposite Jack Whitehall and Isabella Rossellini in Silent Retreat.
Born in Trinidad, Toussaint and her mother moved to Brooklyn, NY when she was 10 years old. She attended New York’s renowned Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, followed by the prestigious Julliard School’s drama program, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
On her college graduation day, Toussaint landed her first paid acting job as Lady MacBeth with Shakespeare & Company. She spent the first 12 years of her career acting on stage in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. Currently, she once again resides in New York State.
Her birthday is April 4. Follow her on Twitter @LPToussaint and on Instagram @lorrainetoussaint.
Chris Noth is a Golden Globe and SAG Award-nominated actor who rose to prominence playing Detective Mike Logan for five seasons on the original Law & Order. Noth is well known to audiences for his iconic role as Mr. Big on the groundbreaking series Sex and the City, and for his critically lauded portrayal of Peter Florrick on The Good Wife, on the Network.
Noth earned his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy for his star turn as Mr. Big, the love of Carrie Bradshaw’s life. He went on to earn his second Golden Globe nod for Best Actor in a Drama, as well as two SAG Award nominations for Best Ensemble, for his powerful performance as Peter Florrick, opposite Juliana Margulies on The Good Wife.
Most recently on television, Noth starred opposite Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany in Manhunt: Unabomber, and the final season of Tyrant. His additional television credits include Caesar, Titanic: Blood and Steel, and the films Exiled and Bad Apple, which he also executive produced. Also, Noth featured his comedic talents in the series Catastrophe, VIP and a recurring role on the long-running scifi series Dr. Who.
On the big screen, Noth’s credits include Lovelace, with Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard; Elsa & Fred, opposite Christopher Plummer and Marcia Gay Harden; Frankie Go Boom; My One and Only; Mr. 3000; Searching for Paradise; Double Whammy; Cast Away; Texas Funeral; Getting to Know You; The Broken Giant; The Confession; Cold Around the Heart; Naked in New York; and most recently, the Sundance feature White Girl and the independent film Chronically Metropolitan.
However, the stage is Noth’s first love. Upon his graduation from Yale School of Drama, he appeared in numerous plays, both on and off Broadway. Most recently, he starred in the Atlantic Theatre’s Production of Mother opposite Isabelle Huppert. His additional theater credits include That Championship Season, with Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric and The Best Man, with Elizabeth Ashley and Charles Durning, which earned him a Theatre World Award. Off Broadway, his credits include Dr. Faustus, Farragut North, What Didn’t Happen at the Playwrights Horizons, Arms and the Man and American Buffalo.
Also, North performs in plays at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Yale Rep, The Manhattan Theater Club, Circle Rep, the Taper 2 series at Mark Taper Forum and La Mama.
Dubbed GQ’s 2015 International Man of the Year, Noth was the face of Biotherm Homme in Canada in 2009. He is also a huge supporter of the Rainforest Action Network. Additionally, he is co-owner of The Cutting Room, a well-known music venue in New York City that he opened in late 1999, with his friend, Steve Walter.
Noth is bicoastal, living both in New York and Los Angeles. His birthday is Nov. 13. Follow him on Instagram @chrisnothofficial.