With a name meaning “Our Pride”, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was surely destined for greatness. The English actress is taking the film world by storm not just with her superb acting talent, but also with her timeless beauty.

Gugu was born Gugulethu in Oxford, England. Her father is a South African doctor and her mother, a nurse. Her parents separated when she was just a year old and Gugu continued to live with her mother in the town of Witney, Oxfordshire. The acting bug bit when she was just eleven and she joined the local acting group named Dramascope, in which she starred in the Oxford Playhouse pantomime each year.

Gugu was extremely talented in singing as well as dancing and thus she joined the Oxford Youth Music Theatre and spent most of her teenage years with the company. At 18, she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, finally putting some real study behind her natural talent. She has gone on to become a rising in star in theatre, acting in Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Gethsemane and Hamlet.

Gugu has become quite the star stateside, having been the lead in her own primetime television show, Undercovers, alongside Boris Kodjoe. Though the show was cancelled, it made a lasting impression and few shows have ever shown a young worldly married African-American couple. This year she is also acting alongside film greats including Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in Larry Crowne. Gugu is a natural beauty, often going for minimal makeup and her natural curls.  One of our favorite looks of hers to date was her look at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event in which she wore a stunning cobalt blue gown from Reem Acra’s Resort 2012 collection. We cannot wait to see what the young acting star has in store for the rest of the year.

What do you think of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s look and career?

-Faith Cummings

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