Khandi Alexander was born in New York City, New York is known for her dancing, choreography and, most popularly, for her acting. She is most remembered for her time as Doctor Alexx Woods on the CBS series CSI: Miami, a crime forensic investigation show. In the past she has also been a choreographer on the Whitney Houston world tour from 1988 to 1992 and on Broadway shows such as “Chicago”, “Dancin” and “Dreamgirls”. Recently she starred in an HBO Film about the famous blues singer Bessie Smith.
Daughter of Alverina Yavonna, a jazz and opera singer, and Roland Alexander, the owner of a construction company, she was born on the 4 of September 1957 in New York City, New York. In her early life she studied at Queens borough Community College.
In the beginning of her career she featured in Broadway shows like Chicago, Bob Fosse’s Dancin and Dreamgirls, and was a dancer in the music video for a cover of “Pink Cadillac” sung by Natalie Cole in 1988. From 1988 until 1992 she was also a choreographer with Whitney Houston’s world tour.
She made her television debut on a show called “FTV”, which was a sketch-comedy show in 1985. Also in 1985 she starred in her first movie “Street walkin” as the role “Star” who is befriended by the lead character “Cookie” (Melissa Leo). That same year she featured as a dancer in a musical film called the “A Chorus Line”, starring Michael Douglas.
During the 1990’s she focused most of her skill and energy into television and films, starring in supporting roles for movies like “Joshua Tree”, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, “Poetic Justice”, “Sugar Hill”, and even in the 1998 comedy “There’s Something About Mary”.
In 1995, she was cast in NBC’s television comedy series News Radio as Catherine Duke, which she was a permanent fixture in until season 4 episode 7. In addition, from 1995 until 2001 she was a recurring cast member of the hit television series ER in the role of Jackie Robins, featuring in 29 episodes.
On the 16 of April 2000, Khandi Alexander was viewed by the public in the HBO drama television series “The Corner” as the role of “Francine Boyd” (also known as “Fran”), a drug addicted mother to the drug dealer, “DeAndre” (Sean Nelson). She received two nominations and won an award for her acting in the series.
From 2002 until 2009, she entered the role, for which she became a recognized face, in the CBS forensic crime television series CSI Miami, as “Dr. Alexx Wood”, the medical examiner. She featured in 142 episodes spanning the seven years in this role before leaving in season 6, coming back to make 3 guest appearances (1 in season 7 and 2 in season 8).
In 2008, she played the lead role in the HBO drama “Tremé” as “Ladonna Batiste-Williams” a bar owner in the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.
She is currently a recurring role, since 2013, as the evil stepmother to Kerry Washington’s character in the drama series of Shonda Rhimes called “Scandal”.
On the 16 of May 2015 the premier of the HBO Film “Bessie”, which was dedicated to the life of Bessie Smith, a famous Tennessee blues singer, saw her cast as “Viola”. Khandi plays the role of the stern older sister of “Bessie” (Queen Latifah), for which she received an award nomination.
In her 30 years of showbiz, she has been nominated for 15 awards, winning 4 of those nominations such as: Best Actress (The Corner); and Best Performance – Drama (Tremé).
She is still a thriving actress with many more years of talent and skill to share with her large viewer-base worldwide.