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Laverne Cox

  • Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama
  • Birthday: May 29

Acclaimed actress Laverne Cox plays the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset in Netflix original series Orange is The New Black. Cox — whose character on Orange is an incarcerated African American, transgender woman — is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. 

A renowned speaker, Cox has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country. Her insights have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, HLN, VH1, Fox News Latino and more.

Acclaimed actress Laverne Cox plays the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset in Netflix original series Orange is The New Black. Cox — whose character on Orange is an incarcerated African American, transgender woman — is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. 

A renowned speaker, Cox has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country. Her insights have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, HLN, VH1, Fox News Latino and more.

In 2013 Cox won Best Supporting Actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her work in the film Musical Chairs, directed by Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan). Her other acting credits include Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, Bored to Death, and the independent films Carla and The Exhibitionists.

She is the first trans woman of color to produce and star in her own television show, VH1's TRANSForm Me, which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. Cox is also the first to appear on an American reality television program, VH1's I Wanna Work for Diddy, for which she accepted the GLAAD media award for Outstanding Reality Program.

She was named one of the top 50 trans icons by the Huffington Post, one of Out magazine's Out 100 and Metro Source magazine's "55 People We Love."

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Panelists Laverne Cox, Christy Dees, Sherri Saum, Andrew Rannells and moderator Stephen Tropiano
November 05, 2013