September 24, 1980
Durban, South Africa
A multi-talented actress, model, humanitarian, animal rights activist, world traveler, and autodidact, Tanit Phoenix was born in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal in 1984. As a model, she was featured in campaigns for, and was often the face of, such diverse products and brands as American Swiss Jewelry, the venerated beauty product company Nivea, and the Alberto VO5 hair care line, among others. Following a handful of small, featured roles on the big and small screen, Phoenix landed her breakthrough role, playing Candy in the 2005 action drama "Lord of War," alongside Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, and Jared Leto. She landed her first starring role in the 2010 zombie thriller "Gallowwalker," opposite Wesley Snipes. 2010 also saw Phoenix earn two other leading roles: in "Death Race: Frankenstein Lives" she played the tough-as-nails female convict Katrina Banks, and in "Lost Boys: The Thirst" she portrayed novelist Gwen Lieber, who joins the vampire hunter heroes when she suspects her brother's recent abduction was the result of otherworldly foul play. During the same period, Phoenix has also taken leading and feature roles in South African films, such as "Spud," a comedy starring John Cleese, and the satirical "Schuks Tshabalala's Survival Guide to South Africa." In 2011, she was cast as the enigmatic host of the HBO mystery anthology "Femme Fatales."