Alexandra Billings

Assistant Professor of Acting

  • Alexandra Billings speaks at USC.
  • Alexandra Billings speaking on panel discussing the transparency of Hollywood

Biography

Alexandra Billings is an actress, singer, author, teacher and activist.

Currently, Billings plays Davina on Amazon’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning hit TV show Transparent. She has also appeared on How To Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy and the Amazon series Goliath, starring Billy Bob Thornton. In 2005, Billings played Donna, opposite Katherine Heigel, in the ABC film Romy and Michelle: A New Beginning. It was the second time a transgender actress played a transgender character in the history of television. She’s had guest starring roles on How To Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Eli Stone, E.R., Karen Sisco, Nurses opposite Lynn Redgrave, and playing opposite Dot Jones in the Ryan Murphy pilot Pretty/Handsome, co-starring Blythe Danner and Robert Wagner. Her first feature film role as a non-trans character, Valley of Bones, debuted in the fall of 2017.

Billings has been acting since 1968 and has performed across the United States in hundreds of plays and musicals. She’s played everyone from Mama Rose in Gypsy to Mrs. Lynde in A Doll House. Most every stage role is considered to be a first for a transgender actress. Her one-woman autobiographical show, Before I Disappear, toured from Chicago to Boston to Los Angeles, and finally off-Broadway at The Producer’s Club, winning rave reviews and running for over 10 years. She originated the role of Alejandra in Time to Burn by Charles Mee at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and toured to off-Broadway in Jeff Richmond and Michael Thomas’ camp classic, Hamlet! The Musical! Her album Being Alive, produced by Ralph Lampkin, Jr., was up for Grammy consideration in 2002.

She is the recipient of five After Dark Awards and one Joseph Jefferson Award.

Billings’ activism stretches across the continent. She has won the TPA Award and the Rainbow Spirit Award, and she was inducted into the Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in Chicago in 2007. She has been living with AIDS since 1995. Her life story From Schoolboy to Showgirl, produced by Alex Silets for PBS television, was nominated for an Emmy for best documentary.

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