About Annie Ilonzeh
Annie Ngasi Illonzeh was born on Aug. 23, 1983 in Grapevine, TX. Before she pursued an acting career, she studied finance at the University of Texas in Arlington on a basketball scholarship. In 2007, Ilonzeh made her television debut on the critically acclaimed comedy series "How I Met Your Mother," followed by a minor role in the independent short film "Not Necessary" (2009), about an actress struggling to keep her sanity amidst all the chaos in her life. Ilonzeh also appeared in big-budget films like the comedy "He's Just Not That Into You" (2009), opposite an ensemble cast of A-list stars that included Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly and Drew Barrymore, and in the big screen adaptation of "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," as one of several women who played Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Giving television another shot, Ilonzeh had a recurring role in 2010 on the primetime drama series "Melrose Place" (The CW, 2009-2010), a remake of the popular 1990s pop cultural phenomenon of the same name. That same year, she also guest starred on "Entourage," where she played one of Turtle's (Jerry Ferrara) attractive employees.
In 2010, Ilonzeh landed a regular role on the daytime soap opera "General Hospital," where she portrayed Maya Ward, the great-granddaughter of the billionaire Edward Quartermaine's (John Ingle) and his late mistress (Rosaline Cash). An intern at General Hospital, Ilonzeh's character was a headstrong woman who, thanks to an enormous amount of alcohol, found herself marrying one of the show's bad boys, Ethan Lovett (Nathan Parsons) in Vegas. The two tried to get their marriage annulled, but changed their mind in exchange for $1 million that her great-grandfather promised them if they stayed married for at least a year.
Ilonzeh's stint on "General Hospital" gave her career the boost that it needed to land her breakthrough role on ABC's "Charlie's Angels," a reboot of the 1970s police drama of the same name about three beautiful women working undercover for a private detective agency. Ilonzeh turned heads and stole scenes as Kate Prince, a former "dirty" cop and martial arts expert who was the most serious of all the "Angels" - the others being Rachael Taylor and Minka Kelly. Not only did the physically demanding role give Ilonzeh a profile boost outside of the soap world, she also made history by being the first African-American actress to step into the iconic role of Angel. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled during its first season, but the exposure it provided the relative unknown was critical to moving to the next phase of her career.
By Candy Cuenco
|University of Texas at Arlington|
|Co-starred with Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor on the small-screen reboot of "Charlie's Angels" (ABC); played Kate Prince, a Miami, FL detective who gets kicked out of the force and joins Charlie's female crimefighting unit|
|Guest starred on HBO comedy "Entourage"|
|Joined the cast of long-running ABC soap "General Hospital"|
|Cast as Aphrodite Girl in "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief"|
|Landed a bit role in the ensemble comedy "He's Just Not That Into You"|
|Made television acting debut on an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)|