Our favorite katana-wielding, walker-slaying samurai is celebrating a birthday today. Danai Gurira, Michonne from The Walking Dead, turns 40 on this Valentine’s Day!
Danai Jekesai Gurira was born in Grinnell, Iowa in 1978. The youngest of four siblings, Danai taught acting and playwriting in South Africa, Liberia, and Zimbabwe.
She co-starred and co-wrote the off-Broadway play In the Continuum which centered on the story of two women and their journey navigating the world after both contracting the AIDS virus. The play led to Gurira winning an Obie Award and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress.
Some of her other stage and theater work include Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (acting), Eclipsed (playwright), Measure for Measure (acting), The Convert (playwright) and Familiar (playwright). In 2016, Eclipsed was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play and won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design in a Play.
Danai began her role as Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead in its third season in the episode “Seed.” The character of Michonne was seen at the end of the season 2 finale where she saves Andrea from being killed by walkers after the farm becomes overrun but Gurira had not been officially cast at the time of filming. Michonne is the third longest surviving female characters on The Walking Dead after Maggie and Carol.
Some of Danai’s other film and television work have included roles in The Visitor, My Soul to Take, Ghost Town, All Eyez on Me, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Life on Mars and Treme. In 2016, during San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Danai had been cast in the role of Okoye in Marvel’s Black Panther which premieres this Friday. She will also reprise the same role in the upcoming film Avengers: Infinity War set to premiere later this year.
Join us here at Fan Fest News in wishing Danai a very Happy 40th Birthday!
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo