Thandiwe Adjewa "Thandie" Newton (born 6 November 1972) is an English actress. She has appeared in a number of successful British and American films, including The Pursuit of Happyness, Run, Fat Boy, Run, Mission: Impossible II, Crash, 2012, and W.
Newton was born in London, England, and is the daughter of Nyasha, a Zimbabwean health-care worker, and Nick Newton, an English laboratory technician and artist. Her birthplace has been incorrectly reported to be Zambia in some biographies, however she has confirmed in interviews that she was born in London, during a two-week trip by her parents. The name "Thandiwe" means "beloved" in Ndebele, Zulu, Xhosa or Swazi, and "Thandie" is pronounced /ˈtændi/ TAN-dee in English. According to Newton, her mother is a Zimbabwean Shona Princess. Raised in London and Penzance, Cornwall, she went on to study Archaeology and Anthropology at Downing College, Cambridge, from 1992 to 1995, where she achieved a 2:1.
Newton made her film debut in Flirting (1991). She gained international recognition in the Merchant Ivory production of Jefferson in Paris as Sally Hemings, which led to her being cast in Jonathan Demme's Beloved (1998), in which she played the title character. She played the female lead Nyah Hall in the film Mission: Impossible II. When this film went over schedule, she had to pull out of the film Charlie's Angels, and her character ultimately went to Lucy Liu.