Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps probably never imagined that nearly two decades ago they were making history by starring in the romantic comedy movie Love & Basketball, which is now considered a classic within the culture. Love & Basketball was released in the spring of 2000 and it tells the story of Quincy McCall (Epps) and Monica Wright (Lathan), two childhood neighbors who bond over their shared love of basketball before falling for each other. The film became a cult classic for going against the standard in gender roles and showcasing black love.
The relationship between the main characters in the film was highly lauded, with McCall and Wright becoming a favorite on-screen couple of fans around the world. Before she ventured into acting, Sanaa Lathan had contemplated becoming a lawyer. However, she changed her mind and ended at Yale’s School of Drama, earning herself experience points and receiving acclaim for the various plays she was a part of.
Sanaa Lathan’s Early Life and Education
The daughter of a Broadway dancer and a veteran TV director, Sanaa was inevitably artistically inclined. She was born Sanaa McCoy Lathan on September 19, 1971, in New York City. The actress grew up with a brother and three half-sisters (Lilliane, Colette, Ariel. While her brother, Tendaji works as a DJ, her sister, Lilliane is a professional photographer.
As a child, she was nurtured in athletics and the arts, training in Gymnastics and Dance. Lathan is an alumnus of the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. After she finished high school, she proceeded to the University of California, Berkeley, where she acquired an English degree. Thereafter, she also earned a Master’s degree in drama from Yale University, before joining the Hollywood industry.
Details of Her Acting Career
Sanaa Lathan began her acting career with guest roles on TV shows including Family Matters, NYPD Blue, and In the House. The actress gained twenty pounds for her role in the 2000 TV movie, Disappearing Acts. She is also a voice actress, providing the voice of Donna Tubbs on Seth MacFarlane’s comedy series The Cleveland Show before its cancellation. However, it was her turn as a butt-kicking femme fatale in the wildly successful 2004 thriller Alien vs. Predator that made her a familiar face to the audience.
Sanaa Lathan is also a multiple-award-winning actress. She received a Tony Award nomination for her Broadway performance in A Raisin in the Sun. She also received the NAACP Award for Best Actress for her performance in Love & Basketball. More so, her performance in the movie also fetched her BET and Black Reel Awards for Best Actress, as well as an Independent Spirit Awards nomination for the same category.
Her other film credits include Blade, The Wood, The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday, Repentance, Catfish in the Black Bean Sauce, Brown Sugar, Approaching the Unknown, Out of Time, The Family That Preys, Powder Blue, Wonderful World, Now You See Me 2, American Assassin, and Nappily Ever After (for which she was also the producer). She had a recurring role on the popular television show Nip/Tuck and had the lead role in 2017’s Shots Fired, among others.
Does She Have A Husband and Kids?
Sanaa Lathan has so far been one to find happiness in what she does, determined to not let things slow her down. Though the American Assassin star has been linked with a few Hollywood actors like the Oscar-nominated singer Tyrese Gibson, as well as her Love & Basketball co-star Omar Epps, she has never been married, neither does she have any children.
Lathan and Denzel Washington reportedly started a relationship back in 2003, when the pair were filming the movie Out of Time. Sources at the time claimed that Sanaa and the married Denzel carried on a full-blown relationship while on set. However, this was never fully confirmed and remains a rumor. She was reportedly engaged to Steve Rifkind, the founder, and chairman of Loud Records, as well as SRC Records. The couple would eventually part ways in 2011.
Later in 2015, the actress was rumored to be dating New York rapper French Montana. Not only that, she was speculated to be pregnant with Montana’s child. However, Lathan denied the claims, proving the rumors were nothing more than that.