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Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith has performed in film, television, and on stage. She has received numerous awards for her work including the prestigious 2013 Gish Prize for achievement in the arts and the 1996 MacArthur Award.

Smith has been featured in several films, including RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, THE HUMAN STAIN, DAVE, and RENT. She was a regular on the CBS series PRESIDIO MED and she played the National Security advisor on THE WEST WING.

Smith has been said to have created a new form of theater which combines journalism, dramatic writing, and keen acting skills. She creates one-person shows, based on interviews, in which she portrays several characters -- as many as 46 in one show. She has toured the U.S. and abroad to critical acclaim with her plays FIRES IN THE MIRROR, TWILIGHT LOS ANGELES and LET ME DOWN EASY. Those plays were also broadcast on PBS.

She has received honorary degrees from Juilliard, The University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern, among many other schools. She is a professor at New York University and is the author of the books "Talk To Me: Travels in Media" and "Letter to a Young Artist: Straight Up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts." She is founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, an organization that convenes artists from around the world who use art to enhance the betterment of humankind.

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