Lupita Amondi Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress. She was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents and raised in Kenya. She attended college in the United States, earning a bachelor’s degree in film and theater studies from Hampshire College.
Nyong’o began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently returned to Kenya to star in the television series Shuga (2009). Also in 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes. She then pursued a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. Soon after her graduation, she had her first feature film role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She became the first Kenyan and first Mexican actress to win an Academy Award.
Nyong’o made her Broadway debut as a teenage orphan in the critically acclaimed play Eclipsed (2015), and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance.