Nicole Beharie

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Nicole Beharie
Nicole Beharie SDCC 2014 (cropped).jpg
Beharie at the 2014 Comic-Con International
Born (1985-01-03) January 3, 1985 (age 34)
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Education Juilliard School
Occupation Actress
Years active 2008–present

Nicole Beharie (born January 3, 1985) is an American actress and singer. She is known for her roles in the drama film American Violet (2008), the drama Shame (2011), which is about a man's sexual addiction, and the biographical sports drama 42 (2013). From September 2013 to April 2016, she starred in the Fox fantasy series Sleepy Hollow.

Early life and education

Beharie was born in West Palm Beach, Florida.[1] She attended Orangeburg Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and is a 2003 graduate of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities,[2] a public residential high school in Greenville. Beharie was then accepted into Juilliard School, a performing arts conservatory (Drama division Group 36: 2003–07).[3] She was awarded a Shakespeare scholarship and trained in England.[4]


Beharie made her feature film debut in the 2008 film American Violet,[5] where she played the leading role. Also in the same year she played Sarah Ward in the American sports film The Express opposite actor Rob Brown. In the Lifetime movie, Sins of the Mother (2010),[6] Beharie portrayed Shay Hunter, a struggling university student who goes on a journey to mend her fractured relationship with her mother Nona played by Jill Scott.

In 2011, Beharie performed five original songs as a singer-songwriter opposite German actor Ken Duken in the romantic comedy My Last Day Without You. In the Russell Leigh Sharman film adaptation of his play Apartment 4E, she played Piper, a troubled young woman who never leaves her apartment.[7][8] Beharie played Marianne in the Steve McQueen film Shame,[9] about a 30-something sex addict played by Michael Fassbender, his myriad of sexual escapades, and what happens when his wayward younger sister moves in with him. Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe praised her performance, calling her "a marvel of natural transparency".[10]

In 2013, Beharie starred as Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), in the historical baseball feature 42. The same year, she began portraying Abbie Mills on the Fox fantasy series Sleepy Hollow, which is based on the 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.[11] In Spring 2016, Beharie departed the series after three seasons, with her character dying in the series' third season finale, the episode entitled "Ragnarok", which was aired on April 8, 2016.[12]

Personal life

Beharie was in a relationship with her Shame co-star Michael Fassbender from 2012 to early 2013.[13][14]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 American Violet Dee Roberts
2008 The Express Sarah Ward
2011 My Last Day Without You Leticia Johnson
2011 Shame Marianne
2012 Apartment 4E Piper
2012 The Last Fall Faith Davis
2012 The Mirror Between Us Zora Short film
2012 Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day Beth Hutchins
2013 42 Rachel Robinson


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Three Rivers Helen Reed Episode: "Win-loss"
2010 Sins of the Mother Shay Movie
2011 The Good Wife Imani Stonehouse 2 episodes
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tracy Harrison Episode: "Child's Welfare"
2013–2016 Sleepy Hollow Abbie Mills Main role; 49 episodes
2015 Bones Abbie Mills Episode: "The Resurrection in the Remains"


Year Title Role Note
2010–11 A Free Man of Color Margery Jolicoeur Broadway

Soundtrack appearance

Year Album Note
2013 My Last Day Without You Original motion picture soundtrack

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2009 African-American Film Critics Best Actress[15] American Violet Won
2010 Black Reel Awards Best Actress Nominated
Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
Best Ensemble Nominated
2012 Best Song My Last Day Without You Nominated
2014 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Sleepy Hollow Nominated
2015 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Favorite Actress on Television[16] Nominated


  1. "Nicole Beharie Biography - Nicole Beharie Bio". 1985-01-03. Retrieved 2012-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Three drama alums on Broadway". South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities. November 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. March 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 7, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Osenlund, Kurt R (April 12, 2013). "On the Rise: Nicole Beharie". Slant Magazine. Retrieved September 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Celebrities | News". BET. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2012-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Sins of the Mother". Retrieved July 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Small Of Her Back". Small Of Her Back. Retrieved 2012-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Small of Her Back : Post-Production by Russell Sharman – Kickstarter". 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2012-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "20 Questions: Theater & Film Ingenue Nicole Beharie - Entertainment Newswire | Black Voices". 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2012-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Morris, Wesley. "Down and dirty: Fassbender's performance as a sex addict is spellbinding, though 'Shame' is not". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 16, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Topel, Fred (September 18, 2013). "Exclusive Interview: Nicole Beharie on 'Sleepy Hollow' and 42 We talk to Ichabod Crane's police partner on Fox's modern day "Sleepy Hollow" about the new take on the horror story, and her landmark role in the biopic 42". Retrieved September 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Nicole Beharie Leaving Sleepy Hollow".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  13. Heath, Chris. "Fast Bender". Retrieved 11 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Ramsdale, Suzannah. "Michael Fassbender and Nicole Beharie split". Retrieved 11 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "On the Rise: Nicole Beharie". slant magazine. April 12, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "The 2015 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Winners and Full Results!". Retrieved 8 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links