Kerry Washington (born January 31, 1977) is an American actress. She is known for her roles as Ray Charles's wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the film Ray (2004), as Idi Amin's wife Kay in The Last King of Scotland, and as Alicia Masters, love interest of Ben Grimm, The Thing, in the live-action Fantastic Four films of 2005 and 2007. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed independent films Our Song and The Dead Girl, and will be the lead actress in the fall 2011 ABC drama Scandal, a Shonda Rhimes series where Washington will play Olivia Pope, a former crisis management expert to the President[
Washington was born in the The Bronx, New York City, the daughter of Valerie, a professor and educational consultant, and a real estate broker father. She performed with the Tada theater teen group and attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994. Washington went on to earn a Presidential Arts Scholarship to attend The George Washington University, graduating in 1998. She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City. Washington was a 1994 winner of YoungArts national program, which cultivates the talent of young artists, and was awarded their Alumni Award in 2011.