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New York-born and –bred Yaya DaCosta began her professional acting career starring in Liz Friedlander’s Take the Lead,opposite Antonio Banderas, for which she received a Teen Choice Award nomination.
This was followed by a lead role in John Sayles' Honeydripper, in which she played opposite Danny Glover and Charles S. Dutton. She then reunited with Mr. Dutton in the telefilm Racing for Time, which Mr. Dutton also directed.
Ms. DaCosta was most recently seen on-screen in Oren Moverman’s acclaimed The Messenger, with Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster. She next appears in the highly anticipated Tron Legacy, directed by Joseph Kosinski.
Her television work includes a notable story arc in the final season of Ugly Betty, portraying the duplicitous daughter of Vanessa Williams’ character; and a recurring role on the daytime drama All My Children. Television viewers might also remember Ms. DaCosta as the first runner-up on America’s Next Top Model, from the reality show’s third cycle.
She recently made her professional stage debut as part of The Signature Theater Company’s tribute to the historic Negro Ensemble Company, in their revival production of Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer, co-starring with Leslie Uggams and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (who also starred with her in Honeydripper). For her performance, Ms. DaCosta was honored with a Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre.