• Sanaa Lathan was born in New York City, USA in 1971 and is an actress and voice actress.
• She has a net worth of over $4 million, mostly earned through her acting career.
• She was exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age and attended the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University.
• She has received awards and acclaim for her work in films such as “Blade”, “Life”, “The Best Man”, “Love & Basketball”, “Catfish in Black Bean Sauce”, and “Now You See Me 2”.
• She is close friends with actresses Regina Hall and Gabrielle Union, and has expressed her desire to help African-Americans and women get more roles in the acting industry.

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$4 Million
Date Of BirthSeptember 19, 1971
FactAppearing on Broadway as Beneatha in "Raisin In The Sun". [April 2004]

Who is Sanaa Lathan?

Sanaa Lathan was born on 19 September 1971, in New York City, USA, and is an actress and voice actress, best known from her appearances in numerous films over the course of her career, including “Alien vs. Predator”, “Now You See Me 2”, and “Contagion”.

The Wealth of Sanaa Lathan

How rich is Sanaa Lathan? As of mid-2018, sources inform us of a net worth that is over $4 million, mostly earned through a successful career in acting. She also received a lot of acclaim for her Broadway performance in “A Raisin in the Sun”, which earned her a Tony Award nomination.

Early Life and Education

Sanaa’s name means artistry in Swahili and shining light in Arabic. She grew up with her brother who would go on to become a DJ. Sanaa was exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age as her mother was a dancer and actress who performed on Broadway. Her father worked on PBS television behind the scenes, and was a producer of various shows such as “Def Comedy Jam” and “Sanford & Son”. Sanaa attended the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, and after matriculating enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed a degree in English, after which she furthered her education at Yale University completing a master’s degree in drama.
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Acting Career

Sanaa initially performed in a number of Shakespearean plays, slowly earning popularity for her off-Broadway performances. With the encouragement and help of her father, she also started to find guest roles in television shows, including “In the House” and “NYPD Blue”, before winning a Best Actress NAACP Theatrical Award for her performance in “To Take Arms”. In 1998, Lathan earned a lot of recognition when she played the role of the mother of Wesley Snipes’ character in the film “Blade”. She then continued with a string of films including “Life”, “The Best Man”, and “The Wood”. “The Best Man” which became one of the top grossing African-American films, and she earned a NAACP Image Award nomination for her performance. She would go on to win an Award for Outstanding Actress in “Love & Basketball” before appearing in the off-Broadway production of “The Vagina Monologues”.

In 2001, Lathan’s acclaim was increased even further with the film “Catfish in Black Bean Sauce”, and she then appeared in the HBO film “Disappearing Acts” which got her an Essence Award for Best Actress. The following year, she appeared in the romantic comedy film “Brown Sugar” before starring in the 2004 Broadway production of “A Raisin in the Sun”, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, before she reprised her role in the television production made by the ABC. She also co-starred with Denzel Washington in the film “Out of Time” before getting a lead role in “Alien vs. Predator”.

Later Work

In 2006, Sanaa appeared in another romantic comedy – “Something New” – in which she co-starred with Simon Baker. She also appeared during the fourth season of “Nip/Tuck” before co-starring with Matthew Broderick in “Wonderful World”, released in 2009. This was also the time that she started foraying into voiceover work, and was a part of “The Cleveland Show” from 2009 to 2013. In 2011, she was one of the stars of “Contagion”, alongside Matt Damon and Jude Law, a film about the spread of a virus transmitted by fomites.

Image source

Five years later, Sanaa had a role in the “Now You See Me” sequel entitled “Now You See Me 2”, which became a box office hit. In 2017 she returned to television with a lead role in the series “Shots Fired”, while she also appeared in the movie “American Assassin”, before being cast in a recurring role in “The Affair”, and is now the lead of the Netflix film entitled “Nappily Ever After”.

Personal Life

Not much is known about Lathan’s romantic relationships, as she has’t been reported to have been linked with anyone over the course of her career. Many sources believe that it is likely that she has had romances, but has managed to keep them away from the eyes of the media. She has mentioned in interviews that she is best friends with actress Regina Hall, and she is also close friends with actress Gabrielle Union. Lathan also mentioned that she didn’t originally think about becoming an actress, but would eventually discover her knack for it when growing up. She mentioned that she wants to help African-Americans and women get more roles, and breakdown barriers in the acting industry.

General Info

Full NameSanaa Lathan
Net Worth$4 Million
Date Of BirthSeptember 19, 1971
Height1.7 m
ProfessionVoice Actor
EducationYale School of Drama, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, Yale University


ParentsStan Lathan, Eleanor McCoy
SiblingsTendaji Lathan, Arielle Lathan, Colette Lathan, Lilane Lathan


AwardsNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, BET Award for Best Actress, Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress
NominationsNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, Independ...
MoviesThe Perfect Guy, Love & Basketball, Now You See Me 2, The Best Man Holiday, Alien vs. Predator, The Best Man, Something New, Out of Time, Brown Sugar, Approaching the Unknown, Blade, The Family That Preys, American Assassin, Disappearing Acts, The Wood, Vipaka, A Raisin in the Sun, Wonderful World, ...
TV ShowsThe Cleveland Show, Boss, Nip/Tuck, LateLine, Built to Last

Social profile links


1I grew up in the business. My dad is a director/producer and my mom is a dancer, she performed with Alvin Ailey, but I didn't even think about becoming an actress.


1Appearing on Broadway as Beneatha in "Raisin In The Sun". [April 2004]
2Graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a B.A. in English.
3Sister of Tendaji Lathan.
4Alfre Woodard has played Sanaa's mother in three different films: Something New (2006), Love & Basketball (2000) and The Family That Preys (2008).
5She is African-American.
6Gained 20 pounds for her role in Disappearing Acts (2000).
7Voted one of Ebony magazine's 55 Most Beautiful People. [2000]
8Says her name is pronounced Sa-NA, "like Sinatra without the tra".
9Her name is Swahili for "work of art".
10Yale School of Drama graduate.
11Sanaa was raised partly in Beverly Hills with her father, director Stan Lathan, and partly in New York with her mother, Eleanor McCoy, a Broadway stage actress.




Shots Fired2017TV Series post-productionAshe Bell
Macbett: The Black Macbeth2016announcedLady Macbett
American AssassinfilmingIrene Kennedy
Approaching the Unknown2016Emily Maddox
Now You See Me 22016Deputy Director Natalie Austin
Family Guy2010-2016TV SeriesDonna Tubbs / Muhammad Ali's Wife / Clair Huxtable
The Perfect Guy2015/ILeah
The Best Man Holiday2013Robyn
The Cleveland Show2009-2013TV SeriesDonna Tubbs
Repentance2013/IMaggie Carter
Boss2012TV SeriesMona Fredricks
Tilda2011TV MovieSasha Litt
Contagion2011Aubrey Cheever
Wonderful World2009Khadi
Powder Blue2009Diana
The Family That Preys2008Andrea
A Raisin in the Sun2008TV MovieBeneatha Younger
CR: Alien vs. Predator2007Video GameAlexa Woods
Nip/Tuck2006TV SeriesMichelle Landau
Something New2006/IKenya Denise McQueen
The Golden Blaze2005VideoMonica (voice)
AVP: Alien vs. Predator2004Alexa Woods
Out of Time2003/IAnn Merai Harrison
Brown Sugar2002Sidney 'Syd' Shaw
Disappearing Acts2000TV MovieZora Banks
The Smoker2000ShortRoxanne
Love & Basketball2000Monica Wright
The Best Man1999Robin
The Wood1999Alicia
Catfish in Black Bean Sauce1999Nina
LateLine1998-1999TV SeriesBriana Gilliam
NYPD Blue1998TV SeriesShirley Barish
Miracle in the Woods1997TV MovieYoung Lilly
Built to Last1997TV SeriesLinda
Drive1997Carolyn Brody
Family Matters1997TV SeriesAllison
Moesha1996TV SeriesEbony
In the House1996TV SeriesCharese


The Perfect Guy2015/Iexecutive producer


The Cleveland Show2009TV Series performer - 1 episode


Boss, Season 2: The King and His Court2013Short special thanks


The 47th NAACP Image Awards2016TV MovieHerself
Home & Family2015TV SeriesHerself
The Real2015TV SeriesHerself
Let's Go, DFW!2015TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Made in Hollywood2013-2015TV SeriesHerself
Reel Junkie2015TV SeriesHerself
Steve Harvey2015TV SeriesHerself
The Chew2015TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Good Morning America2015TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The View2015TV SeriesHerself
Punk'd2015TV SeriesHerself
The Boris & Nicole Show2015TV SeriesHerself
BET Awards 20152015TV MovieHerself - Presenter
The Insider2013-2015TV SeriesHerself
CNN Newsroom2014TV SeriesHerself
Real Husbands of Hollywood2014TV SeriesHerself
The Wendy Williams Show2011-2013TV SeriesHerself - Guest / Herself
The Arsenio Hall Show2013TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Queen Latifah Show2013TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Playboy Morning Show2013TV SeriesHerself
The Talk2012-2013TV SeriesHerself - Guest
BET Awards 20132013TV SpecialHerself
Big Morning Buzz Live2011-2012TV SeriesHerself
43rd NAACP Image Awards2012TV SpecialHerself - Host
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain2011DocumentaryHerself - Audience Member (uncredited)
E! Buzz with Carla B2011ShortHerself
Brave New Voices 20102010TV Movie documentaryHerself
Angela and Friends2010TV SeriesHerself
Breakfast2010TV SeriesHerself
Lens on Talent2009TV SeriesHerself
The 40th NAACP Image Awards2009TV SpecialHerself
Entertainment Tonight2008TV SeriesHerself
Baisden After Dark2008TV SeriesHerself
39th NAACP Image Awards2008TV SpecialHerself
Dreams Worth While: The Journey of 'A Raisin in the Sun'2008Video shortHerself
38th NAACP Image Awards2007TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
The Oprah Winfrey Show2006TV SeriesHerself
The Tyra Banks Show2006TV SeriesHerself
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson2006TV SeriesHerself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien2006TV SeriesHerself
The 11th Annual Critics' Choice Awards2006TV Movie documentaryHerself
The 3rd Annual Vibe Awards2005TV SpecialHerself
The Directors2005TV Series documentaryHerself
Tavis Smiley2004TV SeriesHerself
HBO First Look2000-2004TV Series documentaryHerself
The 58th Annual Tony Awards2004TV SpecialHerself - Nominee: Best Featured Actress in a Play
Out of Time: Crime Scene2004Video documentary shortHerself
AVP: Production2004Video documentaryHerself
The Sharon Osbourne Show2003TV SeriesHerself
3rd Annual BET Awards2003TV Special documentaryHerself
The 2001 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards2001TV SpecialHerself
32nd NAACP Image Awards2001TV SpecialHerself

Archive Footage

Cinemassacre's Monster Madness2013TV Series documentaryAlexa Woods
Blade: The Series2006TV SeriesVanessa Brooks
Brilliant But Cancelled2002TV Movie documentary


Won Awards

2016All Def Movie AwardAll Def Movie AwardsBest ActressThe Perfect Guy (2015)
2016Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Motion PictureThe Perfect Guy (2015)
2014Hollywood AwardAcapulco Black Film FestivalBest Ensemble CastThe Best Man Holiday (2013)
2006WFCC AwardWomen Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Female Images in a MovieSomething New (2006)
2004Best Performance by an ActressAmerican Black Film FestivalOut of Time (2003)
2004Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsFilm: Best ActressOut of Time (2003)
2001Rising Star AwardAcapulco Black Film Festival
2001BET AwardBET AwardsBest ActressLove & Basketball (2000)
2001Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsTheatrical - Best ActressLove & Basketball (2000)
2001Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Motion PictureLove & Basketball (2000)

Nominated Awards

2014Hollywood AwardAcapulco Black Film FestivalBest Supporting ActressThe Best Man Holiday (2013)
2011PFCS AwardPhoenix Film Critics Society AwardsBest Ensemble ActingContagion (2011)
2009Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic SpecialA Raisin in the Sun (2008)
2008Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsBest ActressThe Family That Preys (2008)
2007Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsBest ActressSomething New (2006)
2007Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesNip/Tuck (2003)
2007Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Motion PictureSomething New (2006)
2006Black Movie AwardBlack Movie AwardsOutstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleSomething New (2006)
2004BET AwardBET AwardsBest ActressOut of Time (2003)
2004Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion PictureOut of Time (2003)
2003BET AwardBET AwardsBest ActressBrown Sugar (2002)
2003Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsTheatrical - Best ActressBrown Sugar (2002)
2003Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Motion PictureBrown Sugar (2002)
2003Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie LiplockBrown Sugar (2002)
2003Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie ChemistryBrown Sugar (2002)
2001Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsNetwork/Cable - Best ActressDisappearing Acts (2000)
2001Independent Spirit AwardIndependent Spirit AwardsBest Female LeadLove & Basketball (2000)
2000Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion PictureThe Best Man (1999)
2000Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsFilm - Choice ChemistryLove & Basketball (2000)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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