Although Khandi Alexander got her start in show business as a dancer (she’s worked with Bob Fosse, was a member of the original Broadway cast of the musical Dreamgirls, and worked as a choreographer for Whitney Houston), she told The World in 2014 that she always “felt like an actress”. She got her big break when she was cast as reporter “Catherine Duke” on the NBC comedy series “NewsRadio” in 1994, a role that allowed her to showcase her considerable comedic chops.
But since leaving the show during season four, she’s proven just as adept at drama, including long stints on ER and CSI: Miami. Khandi Alexander decided to leave the “NewsRadio” series in 1998, fearing that she would be typecast for playing comedic roles. “I knew that to open my career I had to leave or that’s all they would give me,” he told Reuters in 2010. “I don’t like being pigeonholed; I don’t like people seeing me for something and they don’t think I can do it. “.
During and after her time on the comedy series, Khandi Alexander had a recurring role on the medical drama “ER” as the sister of Eriq LaSalle’s Dr. Benton, and also appeared on the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries The Corner. . Coincidentally, after leaving the ER in 2001, the actress’ next regular role was playing medical examiner “Dr. Alexx Woods” in the CBS crime drama CSI: Miami.
After six seasons, Khandi Alexander left the show to star in HBO’s acclaimed series Treme, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, appearing throughout its four seasons. After Treme ended, Alexander took on a recurring role on Shonda Rhimes’ flashy political drama Scandal, playing the villain “Maya Pope,” mother of Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role in 2015.
Over the years, Alexander has also frequently guest-starred on shows like NYPD Blue, Third Watch, Law & Order: SVU, and Better Off Ted. He also voiced a character on the Netflix animated series Bojack Horseman. Khandi Alexander formed her own production company, Kiss the Sky, to bring her self-penned children’s book “Marlowe’s Voyages” to the screen. Although she signed a contract to develop the film in 2004, it was sadly never produced.
However, she still hopes that Kiss the Sky will help her use her influence to help other creators bring their work to life. “I am making a new transition to producing and providing many opportunities that will be rewarding for talent to express themselves,” he told Gloss Magazine in 2016. In 2021, Khandi Alexander made a guest appearance on the third season of What We Do in the Shadows. from FX playing Contessa Carmilla De Mornay, a member of the Vampire Council. Her role reunited her with her former boss, Paul Simms, creator of NewsRadio, who serves as executive producer of the mockumentary horror comedy.
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