Paula Patton

Actor Biography

Paula Patton emerged as an unforgettable talent with her leading roles in Tony Scott's "Déjà Vu," where she starred opposite Academy Award®-winning actor Denzel Washington, and Bryan Barber's original musical "Idlewild." However, it was Patton's memorable performance as the compassionate Ms. Rain in the critically acclaimed drama "Precious" that quickly made her a household name. Patton's body of work is proof that she is one of today's most gifted and diverse actresses.

Last year, Patton starred as the half-orc warrior woman Garona in "Warcraft." Patton was also seen in "The Perfect Match," where she also served as a producer, and the Adam Sandler comedy "The Do Over." Previous features include the comedy "Baggage Claim," with Taye Diggs, and opposite Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in "2 Guns." In "Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol," she was the female lead alongside Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner.  The film grossed more than $693 million worldwide. In the independent drama "Disconnect," she co-starred with Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Bateman. 

In May 2011, Patton co-starred in the wedding-themed comedy "Jumping the Broom," opposite Angela Bassett, Laz Alonso and Loretta Devine. Patton received a 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in the film. Patton also appeared opposite Queen Latifah and Common in "Just Wright."

Patton starred in the critically acclaimed and award-winning film "Precious," directed by Lee Daniels, playing the challenging role of Ms. Rain.  The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award.  Additionally, it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard. The film garnered numerous award nominations, including six Academy Award® nominations, a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Motion Picture–Drama, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Film.  Patton was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her pivotal role in the film.

In 2008, Patton appeared in the thriller "Mirrors," opposite Kiefer Sutherland.  That same year, audiences saw Patton in the light-hearted political satire "Swing Vote," alongside industry veterans Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammer.

In August 2006, Patton starred in "Idlewild," alongside Outkast's André Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton, Terrence Howard, Ving Rhames and Patti LaBelle. In the musical, set in the Prohibition-era American South, Patton played a diva from St. Louis who travels to Idlewild and, with the help of Benjamin's character as her piano man, the two develop a stage act as well as a love affair. Patton was previously seen in the romantic comedy "Hitch," in which she co-starred opposite Will Smith, Eva Mendes and Kevin James.

Patton grew up in Los Angeles, attending the Hamilton High School for the Performing Arts.  She always had a passion for acting and filmmaking. Upon graduating from high school, Patton was chosen as one of four young filmmakers for a PBS documentary series titled "The Ride," which followed the four filmmakers as they directed their own documentary films about young people across America. After spending her freshman year of college at UC Berkeley, with an increasing passion for filmmaking, Patton transferred to the prestigious USC Film School, where she graduated magna cum laude. Upon graduation, she began doing various production assistant work and eventually worked her way up to shooting and producing a show titled "Medical Diaries," for the Discovery Channel. When the show was completed, Patton realized her love of acting and immediately enrolled in acting classes.  After a year of studying, she decided to pursue a career in professional acting. 

Patton currently resides in Los Angeles.