Tonya Pinkins

Tonya Pinkins

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Tonya Pinkins

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Tonya Pinkins (born May 30, 1962) is an American actress and author known for her portrayal of Livia Frye on the soap opera All My Children and her Tony Award winning performances in Broadway musicals.


Pinkins was born on May 30, 1962 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a police officer and insurance salesman and her mother is a former postal worker and current CTA driver. She has two brothers, Eric Swoope and Thomas Swoope and a sister Tamera Swoope. Pinkins also has three nephews Angelo Swoope 23, Jeremy Swoope 24 and Varnell Turner 27 and one niece, Marquita Swoope 26. Pinkins was interested in theater and the arts in general from a young age. In high school, she studied acting at the Goodman Theatre Young People's Program. At the age of 18, Pinkins briefly attended college but decided to drop out in order to pursue her acting career. She would later return to college, earning her undergraduate degree from Columbia College in Chicago, followed by graduate work at Carnegie Mellon's music theater program, and a year of law school in California.

Pinkins is probably most admired for her stage work. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Sweet Anita in Jelly's Last Jam and was nominated for her role in Play On. Her additional Broadway credits include Merrily We Roll Along, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Wild Party, House of Flowers, and most recently playing the title role in Caroline, or Change, for which she was again nominated for a Best Leading...
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