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Lorraine Toussaint is a Trinidadian-born American actress, best known for her role as Rene Jackson in Lifetime drama series Any Day Now (1998-2002). Toussaint also received critical acclaim and Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in the 2012 film Middle of Nowhere. In 2014 she played the role of Yvonne "Vee" Parker in the Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black, which was based off the real life character, Lionnel "Grizzly" Houghton, in Piper Kerman's Orange Is The New Black book.
Toussaint was born in Trinidad, but moved to Brooklyn with her mother at the age of 10. She graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts in 1978. She then attended the Juilliard School's drama division as a member of Group 11 (1978–1982), where her classmates in 1982 included Megan Gallagher, Penny Johnson, Jack Kenny, and Jack Stehlin. Toussaint graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Toussaint is best known for starring alongside Annie Potts in Any Day Now. She was a featured recurring guest-star in the first few seasons of the legal drama Law & Order as defense lawyer Shambala Green. She appeared on fims such as Breaking In, Hudson Hawk, Dangerous Mindsand The Soloist. She was also a regular guest on the drama Threat Matrix, as Carina Wright/Agent Cassandra Hodges. In 1993, Toussaint appeared in Point Of No Return, starring Bridget Fonda.
From 2007 to 2010, Toussaint starred as Captain Kate Perry in Saving Grace, which aired on TNT. She has also appeared on the several other television series, such as Crossing Jordan, Frasier, The Closer, Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, and Scandal.
In 2012, Toussaint was nominated on Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for performance of Middle of Nowhere, a drama film written and directed by Ava DuVernay. In 2013 she had recurring roles on season 3 of Dana Delany's Body of Proof as Angela Martin, the new police chief, and on ABC Family's The Fosters, as Sherri Saum's mother. She also was cast for the second season of Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black in which her role as Vee was praised by both critics and audiences. In 2014, Toussaint also was cast as Amelia Boynton, a leading civil rights activist who played a key role in efforts that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and who was the first African American woman in Alabama to run for Congress, in the Ava DuVernay's historical drama film Selma.
Toussaint has one daughter named Samara. One of Toussaint's grandparents was from Haiti, the other was from Martinique.
You can find Lorraine's blog at www.everydaylovelyatlorraine.com.