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ALFRE WOODARD was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 8, 1953, the youngest of three children. She was named by her godmother who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name in written out in gold letters. As a child, Alfre was precocious and energetic. In high school she ran track and was a cheerleader until a nun at her high school suggested she try channeling her energies into acting.

Woodard studied drama at Boston University and then, after a brief stint in theater (in Me and Bessie), Alfre moved to Hollywood where she would soon appear with Jeff Goldblum in 1978's Remember My Name.

Most people became familiar with Alfre from her televison appearances. She's played small pivotal roles in dramas like St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues. Her Emmy Award winning appearance on LA Law also got the attention of director John Sayles, with whom Alfre would collaborate numerous times. Said Sayles of Woodard ,"She wasn't on the screen long but you just feel like you want them to drop the rest of the show and have only her."

Over the past twenty years Woodard has charmed and provoked audiences on both the small and large screen, picking up countless awards including an honorary degree from the prestigious American Film Institute in 1999.

Although the actress seems to work non-stop she still finds time for political activism in the US and Africa. Last year she hit the presidential campaign trail in support of Al Gore. In 1989 she co-founded Artist for a Free South Africa (with Danny Glover).

Woodard has been happily married for many years to the love of her life, writer Roderick Spencer. The couple resides in Santa Monica with their two adopted children, Mavis and Duncan.