Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Dawn-Lyen Gardner Headshot


Birth Date: August 30, 1981

Age: 42 years old

Birth Place: Los Angeles, California

Dawn-Lyen Gardner is an accomplished actress of stage and screen, whose work spanned television, film and voiceover. A native of Los Angeles, Gardner naturally ended up in the industry, auditioning for commercials and television roles at the age of 9 - at the suggestion of a family friend. She continued to pursue her passion, at the L.A. County High School for the Arts and thanks to her early efforts, eventually landed guest spots on TV series including "ER"(NBC 1994-2004) and several commercial spots. With theater being her first love, Gardner headed east to attend the prestigious Juilliard School in New York to study acting. It was there, where she met and trained alongside her future Queen Sugar co-star Rutina Wesley of "True Blood"(HBO 2008-2014) fame. After graduating, she fully immersed herself in the New York theater scene and originated roles in world premiere productions including Richard Greenberg's "A Naked Girl on the Appian Way" (2005), Nathan Louis Jackson's "Sticky Traps" (2015), and an off-Broadway production of "A Fable" (2014). While theater kept her busy, Gardner eventually made her film debut with a bit part in the indie film, "Art School Confidential" (2006). She would follow that up with steady stream of guest roles on numerous television series. Not content to rest on her laurels and stick to one avenue of entertainment, she returned to the stage in 2010 to appear in Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of "Much Ado About Nothing," alongside Helen Hunt, Grace Gummer and Lyle Lovett and she spent two seasons at the Tony award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While she was a familiar face on screen, Gardner also became famous for her voice, which she lent to the acclaimed animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (Cartoon Network, 2008-13; Netflix, 2014) as fan favorite Steela Gerrera. While her stage credits had outweighed her film and TV credits, Gardner was primed to be on everyone's radar, appearing in the highly anticipated Marvel Spinoff, "Luke Cage" (Netflixx 2016), the feature film adaptation of the short story collection "The Dunning Man" (2016), directed by Michael Clayton, and Oprah's OWN Channel's first original series, "Queen Sugar,"(OWN 2016- ), created by the acclaimed director of "Selma" (2014), Ava DuVernay, and Oprah Winfrey herself.

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