Jennifer Hudson


Character: Maggie

An Academy Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning recording artist and best-selling author, Jennifer Hudson is an extraordinary talent. From humble beginnings, Hudson began singing in a small Chicago church where, week after week, she brought the congregation to its feet. From there, she’s gone on to worldwide acclaim.

In late 2012, Hudson finished production on the first of two back-to-back features, “Lullaby” and recently completed “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” for director George Tillman Jr. The film will premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Also last summer, Hudson filmed several episodes for a guest-starring arc on NBC’s acclaimed series, “Smash.”

Expanding her talents in the arts, Hudson added author and clothing designer to her list of talents in 2012. First in January with the release her inspirational best-selling memoir, “I Got This: How I Changed My Ways, Found Myself and Lost Everything that Weighed Me Down” and then with the launch of her first clothing line the Jennifer Hudson Collection, which debuted on QVC in September 2012.

In 2007, Hudson won an Academy Award for her role as ‘Effie’ in “Dreamgirls”, an adaptation of the Broadway musical. Her breakout film performance also garnered a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA and an NAACP Image Award. She was also honored by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review and was named “Entertainer of the Year” at the Soul Train Awards.

Hudson also received an NAACP Image Award nomination in 2009 for her role in Fox Searchlight’s “The Secret Life of Bees.” Directed by Gina Prince Blythewood, the stellar cast included Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keyes and Queen Latifah. Prior to “Bees”, Hudson co-starred in the box office hit “Sex and the City: The Movie”, joining the hit television series' original cast of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis.

Hudson has made the same kind of impact in the world of music that she has made in film with the successful release of both of her Arista Records albums. Most recently, she released her sophomore album, “I Remember Me,” on March 22, 2011 to rave reviews. The album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified RIAA Gold in the U.S. She recently received a 2012 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top R&B Album as well as taking home two 2012 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Music Video and Outstanding Album and also collaborated with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross on the title track for the hit film “Think Like a Man” which opened April 20, 2012.

Hudson’s 2008 debut self-titled album won a Grammy Award for “Best R & B Album,” which was presented by one of Hudson’s idols, Whitney Houston. She also received three additional nominations including “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance,” “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals” and “Best R&B Song.” The album then went on to win three awards at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards including “Best Album.” The RIAA Gold Certified album entered Billboard’s Top 200 at No. 2 and marked the biggest first week sales for an R&B female entry since 2004 and has since sold over 1.1 million albums worldwide to date.

In 2009, Jennifer, along with her sister Julia, founded The Julian D. King Gift Foundation in loving memory of Jennifer’s nephew and Julia’s son who they lost in 2008. The Foundation’s mission is to provide stability and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds so that they may grow to become productive, confident and happy adults, able to be positive influences on their communities. The work of the Foundation will be carried out through fund raising events, the content and proceeds of which will be used to support and encourage the positive development of children. Jennifer and Julia have thus far hosted four Annual Toy Drives at Christmas for less fortunate children in the Chicago area as well as founding “Hatch Day” in 2011, an annual back-to-school supply drive, which takes place in August on Julian’s birthday to make sure all children start their school year with the supplies they need.

Hudson has been the national spokesperson for Weight Watchers since 2010.