How Sanaa Lathan Reached a Net Worth of $5 Million


Sanaa McCoy Lathan is an African-American actress and professional voice actress, born September 19, 1971 in New York, United States. As of 2022, her net worth was $5 million, and she has her acting talent to thank for that. She has appeared in various shows and movies, including voice acting for Family Guy to date. So how did she join the millionaire club? Here’s a look at how the Tony Award nominee has conducted her acting career since making her debut in 1996.

The youth of Sanaa

Sanaa was born to Stan Lathan and Eleanor McCoy. His father was a PBS employee and producer of TV shows like Def Comedy Jam and Sanford & Son. On the other hand, her mother was an actress and dancer who worked with Eartha Kitt on Broadway. Her parents divorced when she was still young, but both got custody of Sanaa and her brother, Tendaji Lathan. She then moved in with her father in Beverly Hills. According to TV Stars Info, Sanaa became interested in dance and gymnastics as a teenager. Her parents were already in show business, which also got her interested in acting in Shakespeare plays. She developed her talent by joining the Black Theater Workshop to learn acting and voice acting. Later, she enrolled in science and math at Manhattan Center. Years later, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California. Her passion for theater also brought her to Yale University, where she was part of a drama club participating in Shakespearean plays. It’s also where she earned a master’s degree in drama.

Sanaa’s acting career

After training at Yale off-Broadway and on stage in Los Angeles, Sanaa followed her passion as an actress. Her first debut dates back to 1996 when she played a small role in Moesha. A year later, she landed roles in a mini TV movie, Miracle in the Woods and Drive.

Blade (1998)

Her most significant break was in the 1998 film Blade, where she starred as Wesley Snipe’s mother. According to Wealthy Genius, the film earned over $131.2 million at the box office. Some sources reveal that she was paid $10,000 for her participation and performance in the film. She was so talented that she won several nominations, despite playing a minor role.

Love and Basketball (2000)

In 2000, Sanaa appeared in the movie Love and Basketball. Everyone was impressed with her skills and she won her first prize thanks to the film. She appeared in Candy in the Blackbean Sauce a year later, a comedy-based film. She also starred in Disappearing Acts, playing a famous songwriter and singer, where she earned an annual salary of $700,000. The film reunited her with Wesley Snipes, previously of Blade.

Alien vs. Predator (2004)

In 2004, Sanaa’s cup of blessings began to overflow, with film directors and producers offering her the chance to appear in their films. Her previous appearances described her as a “damsel in distress”, but that didn’t deter her from taking on villainous roles. She eventually gave in and starred in Alien vs Predator, where she played a tough guide named Alexa Woods. Sources reveal that the sci-fi action film received positive reviews. It’s no surprise that it earned around $172.5 million at the box office.

Contagion (2011)

In 2011, Sanaa starred in Contagion as Dr. Ellis Cheever’s wife, Aubrey Cheever. Most critics say the movie could have been a premonition of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The actress has starred alongside famous actors and actresses like Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, and Laurence Fishburne. Thanks to the film’s controversies, the worldwide box office earned $137.5 million.

The Perfect Guy (2015)

Sanaa’s second biggest break came in 2015 when the producer of The Perfect Guy cast her to star in the film. She played Leah Vaughn in the movie and her net worth has risen to $3 million. Her character is a successful career woman with a well-paying job, living on the Fastlane, and a faithful, loyal boyfriend (Morris Chestnut). However, the duo’s fairy tale goes downhill after their breakup. She meets a handsome and charming guy she thinks is her new Prince Charming, played by Michael Ealy. Unfortunately, she realizes she “jumped from the frying pan into the fire” after her new boyfriend reveals his true colors to her. Although the show received equal positive and negative reviews, it earned $60.2 million. However, the sources did not say how much Sanaa earned from the movie.

The Cleveland Show (2009–2013)

The Cleveland Show is another television show in which Sanaa played the role of Donna Tubbs, one of the most famous actresses of all time. While the show received Primetime nominations and two Teen Choice Awards, Fox canceled it after season 4 due to negative reviews, resulting in a drop in ratings.

Sanaa Awards and Nominations

Sanaa has raised the bar in her career with awards and nominations. Here are some accolades she has received through her major roles in movies and TV shows:

BET and Black and Reel Awards

Around 2000, Sanaa’s career peaked thanks to her professional acting skills. She won BET’s “Best Actress” award for starring in the TV production Love and Basketball.

Hollywood Awards

She won the award in 2014 for “Best Ensemble Cast” at the Acapulco Black Film Festival.

Black Spool Price

She won the Black Reel award for ‘Best Actress’ for her role in Out of Time (2003)

All Def Movie Awards

She also won All Def Movie’s “Best Actress” award.

NAACP Picture Award

She won “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” at the NAACP Image Awards.

Tony Award

She was nominated for a Tony Award as “Best Actress in a Play” after her role in “A Raisin in the Sun” in 2003.


Sanaa Lathan has her acting talent to thank for steering her towards her net worth of $5 million. She may have pursued other interests in school, but her father’s support of her acting career is why we celebrate her today. The Tony Award nominee proved that beauty and intelligence can go hand in hand, and that no human is limited when it comes to show business.


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