Photo of Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson

A loser on the third season of TV's "American Idol," Jennifer Hudson proved to be a winner in real life as she took home Oscar and Golden Globe statuettes and a host of other honors for the career-making role of Effie White in the 2006 screen adaptation of the Broadway play "Dreamgirls."

Born Sept. 12, 1981, Chicago native Hudson -- who has no formal vocal training -- honed her skills singing in church choirs and performing in local theater productions and talent shows. In 2003, she landed her first major performing gig with a role in a Disney Cruise Line musical.

After touring with former "Idol" performers in 2004, Hudson beat out hundreds of other Effie aspirants for the Dreamgirls role that established her as not only a powerful singer but a fine actress.

Jennifer Hudson in Confirmation


2016 TV-14

When President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court, you can bet he didn't know what Anita Hill would have to say about Thomas. This TV movie recounts the drama that erupted after her accusations of sexual harassment.

  • Jennifer Hudson in Chi-Raq Chi-Raq
  • Jennifer Hudson in The Secret Life of Bees The Secret Life of Bees
  • Jennifer Hudson in Sex and the City: The Movie Sex and the City: The Movie
  • Jennifer Hudson in The Three Stooges The Three Stooges
  • Jennifer Hudson in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
  • Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls Dreamgirls
  • Jennifer Hudson in Black Nativity Black Nativity
  • Jennifer Hudson in Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Call Me Crazy: A Five Film
  • Jennifer Hudson in Winnie Mandela Winnie Mandela
  • Jennifer Hudson in Lullaby Lullaby
  • Jennifer Hudson in Fragments Fragments
  • Jennifer Hudson in Hollywood Singing and Dancing: '80s, '90s Hollywood Singing and Dancing: '80s, '90s