Facts about Ariana DeBose
Ariana DeBose Biography
Ariana DeBose won an Oscar for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s screen version of West Side Story (2021).
That was the role made famous by Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her performance in the 1961 version.
DeBose grew up outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, where she was a high school standout who studied music, dance, acting and singing. After a brief stint at Western Carolina University, she headed for auditions in New York.
On TV she nearly triumphed in the dancing competition series So You Think You Can Dance, but had more success on the stage. By 2011 DeBose was on Broadway, in Bring It On: The Musical.
Then DeBose was “The Bullet” in the original run on Broadway of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (2015), and got a Tony nomination when she played Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (2018).
A relative newcomer to the big screen, DeBose won an Oscar as best actress in a supporting role for singing, dancing and acting her way through West Side Story (2021, also starring Ansel Elgort). The movie was nominated for six other Oscars, including best picture.