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Sanaa Lathan Isn’t the Only Celebrity In Her Family – 5 Other Interesting Facts

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Stan Lathan (l) Sanaa Lathan (r)

By Yolanda Spivey

Sanaa McCoy Lathan was born on September 19, 1971 to show biz parents, Eleanor McCoy, an actress and dancer, and Stan Lathan, a legendary director/producer who works include, Sanford & Son and Def Comedy Jam. After her parents’ divorce, she spent a great deal of her childhood traveling bi-coastally from New York to Beverly Hills and was exposed to all aspects of the entertainment business which greatly impacted her life.  After graduating college, Sanaa starred in many Broadway  stage plays, eventually making her way to television and later film.  She made Ebony magazine’s, 55 Most Beautiful People list.  Here are five interesting facts about this beautiful actress you’ll be interested in knowing:

Her name is unique-Sanaa Lathan’s name is Swahili for “work of art” and “beauty.”  In Arabic it means “brilliance.” When people mispronounce her name, (which they do often), she tells them to pronounce it like they are saying “Sinatra” without the “tra” ending.

She wanted to study law– Sanaa Lathan never set out to be an actress.  She graduated with a B.A. in English from University of California-Berkeley and initially wanted to study law, but she was encouraged to apply to the Masters program at the Yale School of Drama by a recruiter.  From that point on, her love for acting grew.

She loves her co-star’sAlfred Woodard played Sanaa’s mother in three different films—“Something New”, “Love & Basketball” and “The Family that Preys”.  She appeared on screen with  fellow actor Taye Diggs a total of four times in the movies, “The Best Man,” “The Wood,” “Brown Sugar,” and “The Best Man Holiday.”

She’s serious about her acting– Sanaa Lathan gained twenty pounds when she played the lead role of Zora in the HBO movie Disappearing Acts.

No, she currently doesn’t have a man– Most recently, Sanaa Lathan was rumored to be dating NFL star Colin Kaepernick after she posted a photo of the two of them on her Instagram page.  Sanaa quickly denied dating him stating, “That night I was just at a dinner and I took a picture with him. And he’s a cutie pie. All of a sudden the rumors are out there.”


  1. Read and think!

    December 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Smart sister! Keep it up.

  2. Ed Johnson

    December 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Always had a crush on this beautiful black woman! She is a tremendous talent!

  3. Stanleybruce

    December 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Wao! What a surprise? Even the Dad of the beautiful Sanaa is my name sake. @ Ed Johnson stay away from her.

  4. Mrs. tchaiko kwayana

    December 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Please forward this to Sanaa for her father: Sanaa, your father, Stan Letham, was one of the artists (along with the late St.Claire Bourne) who came to Georgetown Guyana in 1970 for our Pan African Seminar sponsored by A.S.C.R.I.A. (African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa), whose Coordinating Elder, a year later my husband, Eusi Kwayana, and ASCRIA, made this Call in support of the African Liberation Movement: LET US MOVE FROM WORDS OF RESPECT TO DEEDS OF RESPECT FOR AFRICA! Stan and St. Claire were actively involved. Eusi saw that Stan ate at the home of our naturopath’s home where he, like I, ate excellent vegan meals!

    I have been trying to get in touch with Stan as I am writing my memoir as a part of my Ph.D. dissertation and that Seminar is a part of that narrative. I need a message to him for his reflections about that experience. There are time constraints. I was at the time Ann Cook. I would love the re-connection.

    Tchaiko Kwayana aka Ann Cook


    May 2, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Excellent article! We are linking to this great content on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

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