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.
Washington was born in the Bronx, New York City, the daughter of a real estate broker father and a professor and educational consultant mother. She performed with the Tada theater teen group in 1985, when she was 15 years old. She attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994. Washington went on to earn a B.A. degree in theater in 1998 from The George Washington University. She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.
Washington made her screen debut in the ABC telefilm Magical Make-Over (1994). She was in the cast of the 1996 PBS sketch comedy-style educational series Standard Deviants, and she appeared in the short "3D" and the feature film Our Song in 2000. She went on to appear in several movies, including Save the Last Dance (2001), The Human Stain (2003), Spike Lee's She Hate Me (2004), Ray (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Man, I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and as a wife of 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the UK historical drama The Last King of Scotland (2006). Washington has also appeared in the recurring role of Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal, and in several episodes of the A&E cable-TV series 100 Centre Street.