Yaya DaCosta

Yaya DaCosta Headshot

Model • Actress

Birth Name: Camara DaCosta Johnson

Birth Date: November 15, 1982

Age: 41 years old

Birth Place: Harlem, New York

Following a successful stint on "America's Next Top Model" (The CW, 2006-2015), Yaya DaCosta pursued a career as an actress in films, television, and on stage, where she excelled at dramatic fare like "The Kids Are All Right" (2010), Lee Daniels' "The Butler" (2013) and "Whitney" (Lifetime, 2015), as well as the network series "Chicago Med" (NBC, 2015- ).

Born Camara DaCosta Johnson in Harlem, New York on November 15, 1982, she was the daughter of Brazilian and Nigerian parents, both of whom worked in the education field. DaCosta was interested in acting from a very early age, and earned her first exposure to performing through auditioning for educational films. She continued to pursue her dream of an acting career at the LaGuardia High School of Art and Music and Performing Arts, but decided to follow in her parents' footsteps and become a teacher.

After stints at Northfield Mount Hermon School and Brown University, where she majored in international relations and Africana studies, DaCosta accepted a challenge from friends to audition for "America's Next Top Model." She was selected to participate in the competition's third season and finished second, which led to a modeling contract with the Ford Agency and print work for the Lincoln Motor Company, Sephora, and other entities.

In 2005, DaCosta made her acting debut on an episode of the sitcom "Eve" (UPN, 2003-2006), with her first feature film appearance coming the following year in the dance drama "Take the Lead" (2006). DaCosta appeared briefly on the daytime soap opera "All My Children" (ABC/The Online Network, 1970-2011, 2013), but exited the show to focus on more substantive fare, including supporting roles in John Sayles' "Honeydripper" (2007) and a Broadway run of "The First Summer" with the Negro Ensemble Company.

DaCosta returned to film in television in 2009, logging guest appearances on "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-2010), "The Messenger" (2009) and in "The Kids Are All Right" and "The Butler." Two years later, she was top-billed as Whitney Houston in "Whitney" (Lifetime, 2015), a biopic of the late singer that marked Angela Bassett's debut as director. That same year, she enjoyed a four-episode run as ER nurse April Sexton on "Chicago Fire" (NBC, 2012- ); she reprised the character, now as a series regular, on the spinoff series "Chicago Med."

Credits

The Lincoln LawyerStream

Guest Star
Andrea Freemann
Series
2022
85%

Black History Month Anthem

Actor
Show
2022

Our Kind of PeopleStream

Actor
Angela Vaughn
Reality
2021

Our Kind of People: Extras

Actor
Show
2021

Turning the Tables with Robin RobertsStream

Self
Talk
2021

Bolden

Actor
Nora Bolden
Movie
2019

Peel

Actor
Sarah
Movie
2019

Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff StoryStream

Actor
Kendra
Movie
2018

The Nice Guys

Actor
Tally
Movie
2016

Chicago MedStream

Actor
Nurse April Sexton
Series
2015

Chicago MedStream

Guest Star
April Sexton
Series
2015

Chicago Med: Extras

Actor
Nurse April Sexton:
Show
2015

WhitneyStream

Actor
Whitney Houston
Movie
2015

Chicago P.D.Stream

Guest Star
April Sexton
Series
2014

Whitney

Actor
Movie
2014

The Real

Guest
Talk
2013

Big Words

Actor
Annie
Movie
2013

Mother of George

Actor
Sade Bakare
Movie
2013

Lee Daniels' The ButlerStream

Actor
Carol Hammie
Movie
2013
72%

Chicago FireStream

Guest Star
April Sexton
Series
2012

UnforgettableStream

Guest Star
Molly
Series
2011

Body of ProofStream

Guest Star
Series
2011
76%

Let's Stay Together

Producer
Movie
2011

Shanghai Hotel

Actor
Kendra
Movie
2011

In TimeStream

Actor
Greta
Movie
2011
37%

Whole Lotta Sole

Actor
Sophie
Movie
2011

The Kids Are All RightStream

Actor
Tanya
Movie
2010
92%

Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange

Host
Show
2008

Racing for Time

Actor
Vanessa
Movie
2008

Army WivesStream

Guest Star
Specialist Amber Stiles
Series
2007

HoneydripperStream

Actor
China Doll
Movie
2007
69%

Ugly BettyStream

Guest Star
Nico Slater
Series
2006
97%

Take the Lead

Actor
LaRhette
Movie
2006

HouseStream

Guest Star
Anita
Series
2004
90%

EveStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Audrina
Series
1999
78%

Access Hollywood

Guest
News
1996

The SimpsonsStream

Guest Voice
Princess Kemi
Series
1989
85%

News aboutYaya DaCosta

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller in 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 2 Part 2 Trailer: Will Mickey Win Lisa’s Case? (VIDEO)

Yaya DaCosta and Brian Tee in 'Chicago Med'

‘Chicago Med’: Yaya DaCosta Looks Back on ‘Beautiful’ Wedding & Ponders April’s Future

Yaya DaCosta in 'The Lincoln Lawyer' Season 2
Spoiler Alert

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’: Yaya DaCosta Teases ‘So Much Fire in That Courtroom’ in Season 2 Part 2

Lana Parrilla and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 2 Trailer: Mickey Gets Close to Lana Parilla — Why Is She Arrested? (VIDEO)

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in 'The Lincoln Lawyer' Season 2

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 2 Release Date, Cast & First-Look Photos

Yaya DaCosta and Brian Tee - 'Chicago Med'
Exclusive

‘Chicago Med’: First Look at Ethan & April’s Wedding in Brian Tee’s Final Episode (PHOTO)

Morris Chestnut, Nadine Ellis, Joe Morton in Our Kind of People
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‘Our Kind of People’ Finale Will Set up an ‘Explosive’ Season 2 — Watch Sneak Peek (VIDEO)

Tubi, Black History Month 2022 Lineup

Tubi Celebrates Black History Month With ‘Howard High,’ ‘Pass the Mic’ & More

Chicago Med, Season 7 - Brian Tee
Spoiler Alert

Brian Tee Talks Ethan’s ‘Chicago Med’ Return & If He’s Moved on From April

Chicago Fire, The Resident, NCIS

10 Shows With Shocking (Non-Death) Exits in 2021

Our Kind of People, Season 1, Yaya DaCosta
Spoiler Alert

‘Our Kind of People’: How Does it Compare to Lee Daniels’ Other Fox Shows? (POLL)

Yaya DaCosta as Angela in Our Kind of People
Fall Preview

‘Our Kind of People’: 3 Things to Know About Martha’s Vineyard-Set Drama

Yaya DaCosta as Angela in Our Kind of People

The ‘Our Kind of People’ Cast Explains Why You’ll Be Tuning in Every Week (VIDEO)

'Our Kind of People' - Yaya DaCosta

‘Our Kind of People’: Yaya DaCosta Is Very Ambitious in New Trailer (VIDEO)

our kind of people yaya dacosta

‘Our Kind of People’: Yaya DaCosta Shakes Things Up in Fox Trailer (VIDEO)

Chicago Med Season 6 Natalie Torrey DeVitto April Yaya DaCosta
Spoiler Alert

Were You Satisfied With ‘Chicago Med’s Season 6 Finale Exits? (POLL)

Chicago Med Season 6 Finale Dean April Will
Exclusive

‘Chicago Med’ Bosses Tease a Doctor in Danger, Natalie & April’s Exits and More (VIDEO)

Chicago Med Torrey DeVitto Yaya DaCosta Natalie April

‘Chicago Med’ Shocker: Torrey DeVitto & Yaya DaCosta Leaving After Season 6

Chicago Med April Fire Brett PD Hailey

One Chicago to Return in January: What to Expect on ‘Fire,’ ‘Med,’ & ‘P.D.’ (VIDEO)

Yaya DaCosta Chicago Med Season 6 Episode 2 April Sexton Patient
Exclusive

‘Chicago Med’ Sneak Peek: April Reassures a Worried Mother & Daughter (VIDEO)

Chicago Med Season 6 Premiere April Patient Yaya DaCosta

‘Chicago Med’ Is on the Front Lines in the Season 6 Premiere (PHOTOS)

Chicago Fire Brett PD Atwater Med April Premiere
Exclusive

One Chicago’s Heroes Are in Trouble & Tackling COVID in New Promo (VIDEO)

Brian Tee and Yaya DaCosta in Chicago Med as Ethan Choi and April Sexton
Fall Preview

Find Out Which ‘Chicago Med’ Romances Are Thriving & Struggling in Season 6

Chicago Med Episode 100 April Sneak Peek
Exclusive

Watch ‘Chicago Med’s April Collapse in Pain in Episode 100 (VIDEO)

Chicago Med - Season 5
Spoiler Alert

‘Chicago Med’: Does April’s Secret Affect Ethan’s Surprise? (RECAP)

One Chicago
Exclusive

Behind the Scenes of the ‘One Chicago’ Cover Shoot With the Stars of ‘Med,’ ‘Fire,’ and ‘P.D.’ (VIDEO)

Chicago Fire - Season 6
Preview

‘One Chicago,’ From A to Z: Everything You Need to Know About ‘Med,’ ‘Fire’ & ‘P.D.’