Who is Saniyya Sidney?
A young and aspiring actress, Saniyya Sidney rose to prominence thanks to her role as Venus Williams in the 2021 biographic drama “King Richard”, also starring Will Smith, who won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Venus and Serena’s father, Richard Williams.
The movie followed the early life of two tennis superstars, and how their father’s coaching affected their careers. This sports drama had 135 award nominations, including five for Oscars – Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures-Original Song, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role-Aunjanue Ellis – and won 48.
However, let’s get back to the story of the talented and charismatic Saniyya.
Early life, parents, and education
Born on 30 October 2006, Saniyya’s zodiac sign is Scorpio. She was raised in her birth town, Los Angeles, California USA, by her mother Malik Sydney who is a producer, while there’s no information about her father, although judging by her Instagram account posts, she’s close to both of them. Saniyya has siblings, but she hasn’t revealed their names and genders.
Saniyya began acting when she was just six years old, and since then has had an opportunity to act alongside great actors such as Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Kevin Hart, among others.
Speaking of her educational background, she’s still a high school student.
Acting career, Oscars
Saniyya made her acting debut portraying Amity in the 2012 short horror movie “The Babysitters”. Four years later, she was cast to play Kizzy (aged 6) in the TV mini-series “Roots”, starring Forest Whitaker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Malachi Kirby. This war drama about an African man and his descendants who were sold into slavery in the US, had 52 award nominations, including seven for Primetime Emmys, and won five.
For her performance in the series, Saniyya won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actress.
In the same year, she was seen as Flora Harris in Chapters 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the series “American Horror Story”, starring Lady Gaga, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. This anthology series centered on various characters and locations such as an insane asylum and a haunted hotel, had over 400 award nominations, and won 128, including 16 Primetime Emmys.
Saniyya followed with her role as Constance Johnson in the 2016 historical biographical drama “Hidden Figures”, about a team of an African-American women who had a vital role in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the early years of the US space program.
The movie was nominated for three Oscars – Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Motion Picture of the Year, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role-Octavia Spencer. This was the first time Saniyya attended an Oscar ceremony, but not the last.
She co-starred alongside Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and Stephen McKinley Henderson in another Oscar-awarded movie “Fences” (2016), a drama set in the ’50s about an African-American who tries to raise his family while dealing with events in his life. The movie had 121 award nominations and won 59, including the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Viola Davis).
Saniyya won the Young Entertainer Award for Best Supporting Young Actress – Feature Film, and shared with the rest of the crew nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award- Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Gold Derby Award-Ensemble Cast.
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— Comedy Dynamics (@comedydynamics) February 5, 2019
Two years later, Saniyya was seen in Julia Hart’s science-fiction thriller “Fast Color”, followed by her role as Riley in the TV movie “Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History” in 2019.
Next, she was cast to play Amy Bellafonte in the series “The Passage”, opposite Mark-Paul Gosselaar, based on the best-selling trilogy by Justin Cronin about a botched US government experiment that transforms a group of death row inmates into highly contagious vampires, and the only one who can prevent the ensuing disaster is an orphaned girl, Amy. The series had no award nominations, but it was well-accepted by the audience.
In 2021, Saniyya was seen playing her most notable role to date, as Venus Williams in “King Richard”. Her performance brought her the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Award for Breakout Performance, and she also won the Santa Barbara International Film Festival-Virtuoso Award. She was also nominated for the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female, and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actor/Actress, among many others.
The Hollywood Critics Association awarded her the Star on the Rise Award in 2022.
Currently, her fans can enjoy watching Saniyya as Sasha Obama in the Showtime Original series “The First Lady”, also starring Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson. The series premiered in April 2022 and has already won numerous accolades.
Love life and relationships
Saniyya is quite secretive when it comes to her personal life, and hasn’t shared any information regarding her relationships. Some rumors were saying that she might be dating her fellow actor, Jalon Christian, known for his role in the 2022 action adventure “Black Adam”, however, according to Sanniyya’s post on Instagram, they are just friends.
Age, height, and net worth
Saniyya is 16 years old, and is still growing, however, as of 2022, she is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall, while she weighs around 90lbs (40kgs); there is no information about her vital statistics.
Speaking of her net worth, this youngster has managed to earn a decent amount of money for someone of her age, and according to sources, her net worth has been estimated at around $1 million.
At the end, we have another interesting fact to share with you. Did you know what Will Smith has done with his $40 million earnings from starring in “King Richard”? Well, he shared it with the other actors, including Saniyya, as a sign of gratitude for their work and effort.