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Oprah to Play Civil Rights Protester Annie Lee Cooper in Ava Duvernay's ‘Selma’


Oprah has joined the cast of Ava DuVernay's “Selma.” She is also producing the film.

Winfrey will play Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman who tried to register to vote and was unfairly denied by Sheriff Clark. She was a visible leader amongst the civil rights protesters in Selma.


The drama follows MLK's landmark 1965 voting rights campaign, which is regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement.



The film stars Oprah's 'Butler' co-star David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr.; Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King; Tom Wilkinson as Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson; Cuba Gooding Jr. as Fred Gray; Common as James Bevel; Wendell Pierce as Rev. Hosea Williams; Stephan James as John Lewis; and Nigel Thatch as Malcolm X.

Winfrey earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Steven Spielberg's “The Color Purple.” She most recently played Oyelowo's mother in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” In addition to “Selma,” Winfrey is a producer on DreamWorks’ “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” which hits theaters in August. She's represented by WME.

Photo Credit: ANTHONY HARVEY/GETTY IMAGES

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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