Annie Ilonzeh

Annie Ilonzeh Headshot


Birth Date: August 23, 1983

Age: 40 years old

Birth Place: Grapevine, Texas

After years of playing secondary roles on television shows and in films, Annie Ilonzeh finally took her place among the stars as one of the leads on "Charlie's Angels" (ABC, 2011), a remake of the classic cop drama in the 1970s. The talented actress launched her career playing mostly "eye candy" roles on shows like "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-14) and "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011), and in the action-fantasy film "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" (2010). Ilonzeh then scored a regular part on the long-running daytime soap "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ), as a medical intern who falls for the charm of a flirtatious and risk-taking bad boy. While still enjoying her soap run, Ilonzeh went on to nab one of the most iconic female roles on television, as a former hard-nosed cop who turns her life around and becomes a crime-fighting siren, on the remake of "Charlie's Angels." Although the show was short-lived, it successfully launched her as a known commodity and an actress with beauty and talent to spare.

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

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Annie Ilonzeh