Anna Deavere Smith (born September 18, 1950) is an American actress, playwright, and professor. She is currently the artist-in-residence at the Center for American Progress. Smith is widely known for her roles as National Security Advisor Dr. Nancy McNally in The West Wing (2000–06), and as hospital administrator Gloria Akalitus in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie (2009–15). She is a recipient of The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2013), one of the richest prizes in the American arts, with a remuneration of $300,000, and was named the Jefferson Lecturer for 2015.
Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Anna (née Young), an elementary school principal, and Deaver Young Smith Jr., a coffee merchant. She has four younger siblings. Smith is an alumna of the historic Western High School. She then studied acting at Beaver College (now Arcadia University), graduating in 1971. She received her M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California...
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